Address: 3826 N. Taylor Road
Hanna City, IL 61536

Phone: 309-676-0998

Volunteer Areas Available

Landscaping

Guests of the Park enjoy hiking trails, animal exhibits, wildflower fields, and bike trails when they visit.  All these areas require routine upkeep that is performed through the dedication and hard work of volunteers.  Seasonally, volunteers are needed to mow trails and fields, trim and clear brush, mulch trails, plant flowers and maintain flowerbeds.

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Maintenance

The maintenance department at Wildlife Prairie Park keeps Park operations moving smoothly every day.  Maintenance staff and volunteers complete routine repairs on all Park buildings and some animal enclosures.  Other duties include painting, train and vehicle maintenance, as well as construction and demolition of exhibits.  It is preferred (but not required) that maintenance volunteers have some experience with tools, machinery and driving special equipment.  The Park is always looking for volunteers who have experience in skilled trades, like electricians, IT specialists, carpenters, and plumbers.

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Transportation, Train & Trek

Wildlife Prairie Park is unique from other parks and attractions in the area because of its two- mile, 24-inch gauge train called the Prairie Zephyr.  Volunteers who are 25 years or older and have good eyesight and hearing can sign up to drive the train.  Two trains run daily during the late spring, summer and early fall.  The train is often a highlight of our many special events.

The Adventure Trek has become a very popular attraction over the past few years. The Trek takes guests on a guided tour of the Park where they can see areas of the Park such as Lodging, Mike the Bison, and are taken out into the bison and elk pasture. The Adventure Trek is open seasonally and requires a driver and a narrator.

There are also opportunities to drive different, special vehicles on Park property.  For example, at many special events the Park offers hayrack rides to guests.  Special events also require volunteer assistance to drive a small bus or tram to transport guests throughout the Park. The Park also participates in many parades throughout the year, so volunteers may have the opportunity to drive a float in a parade.

Some of these positions require a CDL.

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Special Events

Wildlife Prairie Park conducts many special events throughout the year.  These events often take place on weekends and allow guests to experience the Park in a new and different way.  Volunteer help is always needed to ensure these events run smoothly and are successfully set up and cleaned up.  Volunteer duties often vary on the type of event and time of year but can include decorating, taking tickets, passing out Halloween candy, filling Easter Eggs, making crafts, directing parking and other various jobs. Some of our events include, Wildlife Scary Park, Art in the Wild, Pioneer Days, Santa’s Wildlife Express and many more!

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Hospitality

Adventure Store

Volunteers who enjoy working with the public may enjoy several different volunteer positions at Wildlife Prairie Park.  The Adventure Store is volunteer run and donates all its profits back to the Park as a donation.  Duties at the gift shop include greeting guests, answering questions, taking inventory and running a cash register.

Visitor Center

The Visitor Center and Gertie’s Discovery Workshop is another busy area of the Park that relies on volunteer support.  Volunteers here assist guests by answering questions, giving directions, light cleaning, selling memberships, Adventure Trek, and train tickets.  This area also has a workshop for children that should be changed periodically with new puzzles, coloring activities, and games.

Log Cabin and Old Schoolhouse

If history is your thing, volunteer to help in an 1800s one room schoolhouse or our authentic log cabin. Both have been kept as close as possible to their original state and are a favorite of our guests.  Volunteers help monitor these historic places and provide information and answers for guests.

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Education and Conservation

Kim St John Butterfly Habitat

The Kim St John butterfly habitat is in the Pioneer Area. The purpose of the habitat is to support the life cycle of native Illinois butterflies and to establish a garden-like environment including host and nectar plants with an emphasis on native species. Guests have many questions about the butterflies and plants, so volunteers are an important part of the educational aspect of the habitat.

Blue Bird Monitor

Volunteers also lead a Bluebird conservation project at the Park.  Volunteers who are interested in birds and want to help track bluebird nesting by checking strategically placed bird boxes will enjoy this position.  It involves some hiking to each box, counting eggs, type of birds inhabiting each box, number of chicks hatched, and number of chicks fledged.

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Animal Programming

The Animal and Programming departments’ volunteer program is designed to groom a group of dedicated volunteers to work as a support system for the animal keepers.  Volunteers will work alongside animal and programming department staff to provide daily nutritional needs, general care, training, public programs and enclosure maintenance. A volunteer will have the opportunity to advance in the program after they reach the required minimum hours and are evaluated by staff.

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