Palos Conservation Corps Crew Member

Friends of the Forest Preserves

Willow Springs, Illinois

Job Type Paid Internship
Salary Details $16.75-$18.75 per hour
Required Experience 0 - 1 years

Palos Conservation Corps Crew Member

Reports to: Palos Conservation Corps Crew Manager

Start date: Open until filled

Locations: Ability to meet at designated meetup locations in 9901 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs IL

Pay rate: $16.75 to $18.75 per hour, depending on credentials, certifications, and experience.  

Schedule: 6:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday-Thursday. Schedule changes regularly, based on season, weather, and other requirements. Friday and Saturday work is sometimes required.


Mission: We unite people to protect, promote, and care for the forest preserves in Cook County.

Our community advocates for the responsible management of the nearly 70,000 acres of forest preserves in Cook County through advocacy, engagement, and stewardship of the land. Some of the best natural areas in Illinois are right here in Cook County, right outside your urban backdoor. Join our team and help us ensure they are here for the next 100 years.

Friends is an organization that gets things done with our members, volunteers, staff, board, and partners. We believe in work-life balance and are here for the marathon, not the sprint (not that we don’t sprint on a regular basis).

Operating Budget: $3,750,000


Friends of the Forest Preserves seeks a crew member to join our Palos Conservation Corps Crews, based out of 9901 Willow Springs Rd, Willow Springs, IL 60480. Conservation Corps members work year-round to remove invasive species and restore native habitats throughout the forest preserves in Cook County. We are seeking a crew member to be part of a program that provides valuable skills and certifications that could lead to a long-term career in natural land management or other environmental jobs.


  • Work outdoors on a team of 5 people, removing invasive species using hand and power tools
  • Conduct hands-on activities, such as seed collecting and prescription burning, to restore ecological health to forest preserves
  • Conduct tool maintenance as required
  • Participate in required training sessions 

Required qualifications:

  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Strong interest in learning about conservation and working outdoors
  • Must be punctual and responsible, with the ability to work with others as a team
  • Ability to lift and move heavy objects (50 lbs.) and work outside in inclement weather and extreme temperatures
  • Ability to obtain a State of Illinois Pesticide Operator License and First Aid/CPR certification ability to secure one within 45 days of hire (training provided)
  • Ability to obtain Forest Preserves of Cook County Feller I Chainsaw Certification, Friends Chainsaw Certification, and Chicago Wilderness Prescription Burn Training Certification (training provided)
  • Some flexibility in work hours, including weekend work, is required
  • Ability to meet at designated meetup location, 9901 Willow Springs Road, Willow Springs IL 

Beneficial qualifications:

  • Experience working outdoors as part of a team
  • Volunteer experience


  • 50% cost share of health and dental insurance
  • Short- and long-term disability insurance, and $100,000 of life insurance
  • 403b retirement account with 3% match starting at 1 year of employment
  • 2 weeks of vacation
  • 2 weeks of sick time
  • 11 paid holidays plus 2 additional paid days of winter break

To apply: Submit cover letter, resume, and two references via the Friends’ website at https://fotfp.org/who-we-are/jobs/. Incomplete applications may not be considered. Please NO calls, faxes, office visits, or emails.

Friends of the Forest Preserves strongly encourages people of all identities to apply. We strive to include people of every race, color, religion, creed, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital or veteran status, and/or sexual orientation. Friends is an equal opportunity employer, in addition to observing all legal protections of special status, promoting diversity in the conservation community.

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category General / Stewardship, Restoration