Ways to Get Involved

Whether you want to further conservation, learn more about nature or share your love of the outdoors, you’ve come to the right place. National wildlife refuges provide many opportunities for you to help your community by doing what you love. National wildlife refuges partner with volunteers, youth groups, landowners, neighbors and residents of area communities to make a lasting difference. Find out how you can help make American lands healthier and communities stronger while doing something personally satisfying. 

The spirit of volunteering at Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is brought to life by the words of Jane Goodall: "We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place." Our team of volunteers do just that; they are the life energy of the refuge and their dedication, time and effort has had an incredible impact on the refuge. 

The refuge is fortunate to have a wonderful group of volunteers who share the mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, working together to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife, plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. 

Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area provides several volunteer opportunities for a wide variety of interest including, but not limited to environmental education, land restoration and invasive species invasive species
An invasive species is any plant or animal that has spread or been introduced into a new area where they are, or could, cause harm to the environment, economy, or human, animal, or plant health. Their unwelcome presence can destroy ecosystems and cost millions of dollars.

Learn more about invasive species

For more information on volunteer opportunities or how you can get involved, contact the refuge manager at 815-677-7958 or by email at kankakee@fws.gov.


Discover for yourself what tens of thousands of volunteers have learned: Volunteering for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is fun and rewarding in many ways. Learn new skills, meet new friends and enjoy a sense of accomplishment from doing your part to further wildlife conservation for the pleasure of generations to follow. You can learn more about the latest volunteer opportunities by contacting the refuge staff.

Our Partners

Nature does not recognize human-made boundaries. In order to conserve our natural and cultural resources effectively, we must work with others to bridge these boundaries. Partnerships foster creative solutions to challenging situations and often the results are greater than the sum of the parts. Learn more about our local partners. 

The Friends of the Kankakee, our primary non-profit support organization, work with and support individuals and groups, public and private, who share a vision for Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area. The Friends were established in 2005, in the hopes of working closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to preserve the biological and cultural diversity of the Kankakee River Basin. They are key partners in protecting and restoring this special area that supports numerous species, including state threatened and endangered species. 

Partnerships with landowners, neighbors, conservation organizations and local, county, state and other federal government agencies are all successful components to Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge & Conservation Area. 

Education Programs

Open the door to a potentially life-changing experience. If you land a student internship, a fellowship or a volunteer opportunity at a national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
, fish hatchery or other U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site, you’re bound to come away with new insights and excitement about conservation. 

Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area typically works with a community partner to host a Youth Conservation Corps crew of high school students during the summer. These youth gain work experience and job skills through conducting conservation activities on the refuge. For more information and to learn how to apply, contact the refuge staff.