Open Space Steward/Volunteers

Dundee Township Open Space Volunteer Work Days are open to all.
For dates and locations, please email:
All first-time volunteers must fill out a volunteer form. Volunteers under the age of 18 will need a guardian's signature. Volunteer forms will be available at each workday or can be picked up at the Dundee Township's Supervisor's Office located at 611 E. Main Street, Suite 201 in East Dundee (Monday thru Friday 9 am-4 pm).
Volunteers will be asked to sign in and out for all workday activities. 
Please dress for the weather and have the following available: long pants, closed-toe shoes, a hat, work gloves, a water bottle, snack, bug spray, and protective sun lotion. Please apply bug spray and lotion before entering the Open Space properties.

Volunteer Spotlight
Our Open Space program would not be possible without the wonderful dedication of our volunteers. Each month, we'd like to feature one of our volunteers and say thank you for all they do for our community. 
January 2022 - Susanne Masi

When did you learn about Dundee Open Space?
As a longtime friend of June Keibler’s, I was aware of the awesome effort to create an Open Space District in Dundee Township – approved by referendum in 1997 - and of how progressive and unique it was (only one other township in Illinois had an open space district). When my husband and I moved to Algonquin in 2001, the District had already been well-established.

How long have you been volunteering?
2001 was also the year that I began monitoring the endangered and threatened species at Dixie Briggs Fromm through the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plants of Concern Program. I became more and more involved in the conservation aspects of Dundee Township, and have continued this work ever since. I officially became a volunteer after my retirement in 2014. In the past two years, I have expanded my efforts and help June coordinate the seed collecting program and seed dispersal, with a lot of staff support from Katie Meyer.

Favorite site:
Although there are many wonderful sites in the Township’s Open Space District, Dixie Briggs Fromm has to be it for me, since I’ve spent 20 years climbing its hills and learning all the plants. As the District’s only Illinois dedicated Nature Preserve (since 2003), with its rare plant species and mix of hill prairie, wetland, woodland, and stream corridor habitats, Dixie is a jewel the Township can be very proud of. And with staff, stewards (Carol Weinhammer, Rose Johnson, and June Keibler), and many volunteers doing ongoing critical management work like burning, brush and weed control, seed collecting and dispersal, and so many other tasks, it has just gotten better and better. Dixie is very popular and frequently visited by neighbors as well as scientists doing plant and animal studies – it’s a destination place.

What is the most important thing to share with residents about the conservation/preservation of these areas?
These areas are part of the natural heritage of Illinois, native ecosystems that protect the animals and plants that have lived here for thousands of years. Now oases of natural beauty and life. They are irreplaceable and need to be preserved and protected - and managed – for all the generations to come. To volunteer locally is also to be part of a much greater – even global - effort to heal and restore the earth.

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