Volunteer with Birds in My Neighborhood®


Birds in My Neighborhood seeks volunteers to join pre-K to 5th-grade students during the school day for 2-3 hour trips.

Birds in My Neighborhood relies on volunteers to help our in-school programs thrive.

Birds in My Neighborhood® is a volunteer-driven program for preschool to fifth grade students that helps students see nature in their community through the observation of birds. Volunteers only need to have a little time each spring season, enjoy spending time outside and be willing to help students learn through inquiry. The commitment is minimal but certainly rewarding.

Volunteers help run the program by working with teachers to schedule two classroom visits and a field trip to a local natural area. Volunteers are only required to have a passion for connecting youth to nature.

Becoming a volunteer requires a commitment of 15-20 hours per season with the following responsibilities:

  • Attend required training sessions.
  • Work with a teacher to set the schedule for visits and field trips.
  • Co-lead three visits with students: an in-classroom lesson, neighborhood bird walk, and field trip. Volunteers help youth learn about birds and identify birds in the neighborhood and take students on a field trip to a local natural area.

City of Chicago

Registration is currently closed. For those interested in volunteering with the program in the City of Chicago, sign up for our Birds in My Neighborhood newsletter to stay updated on the re-opening of registration.

Lake and McHenry Counties

For those interested in volunteering with the program in McHenry or Lake counties, please contact Stacy Iwanicki at or 815.344.1294.

Keep in Touch!

Can’t volunteer this year but want to stay up to date on future opportunities? Sign up for Openlands’ Garden & Nature-Based Education newsletter.

Meet Our Expert Staff

Openlands Staff Jessica Fong
Director of Education
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