Get to Know Us

Let us host you! We hope you will take some time to find out more about our group, its activities, and its goals. You will be a welcome guest at any upcoming meeting or event.

Our Chapter holds monthly, public meetings from September through May with speakers and presentations on a wide range of environmental topics. Other activities include the items listed below. Join us for:

  • field trips
  • educational programs
  • bird walks
  • campfires
  • workshops
  • discussion groups
  • bird census projects
  • work days at local prairies and woodlands
  • butterfly festival

All Audubon activities are open to the public.


and Events

Check out our full calendar of activities, events, and educational opportunities. You're sure to find something to interest you. Please join us!

Events include:

  • Monthly educational programs and issues discussions
  • Local bird walks
  • Field trips
  • Preserve work days

For more details, see the current newsletter.


Friday, Sep. 29, 2023
September 29 Birdseed Sale Order Deadline!... >

Friday, Sep. 29, 2023
Full Moon Campfire at Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve... >

Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2023
Program: Update from Illinois Evironmental Council, 2023 Annual Report... >

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023
Field Trip: Maquoketa Caves State Park... >


Northwest Illinois Audubon Society is a chapter of National Audubon Society, Inc.


Conserving Our World

If you consider conservation a priority, the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society's Conservation Committee may be a good fit for your volunteer time. The committee reports to the Chapter's Board and guides the conservation activities of our Chapter.

The Conservation Committee meets monthly.

Conservation Committee membership is open to all Chapter members. Feel free to join us for our next discussion.

One One earth, rich and bountiful./One life to live and wonder./One chance to make a difference./One last chance to avoid a tipping point./One time, some years ago/One could see clearly the/One hopeful and certain path./One can only hope we follow it. – Written by Keith Blackmore Keith Blackmore, 1940 - 2015, Photo by Dan Barron

Get Involved

We offer many opportunities for citizens of Northwest Illinois to become active in our environment:


Becoming a member of the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society helps conserve our world and gives you a lot of flexibility. You pick how involved you want to be. Whether it's occasional attendance at an event or meeting, financial donations, or full-fledged regular volunteer support, we appreciate your willingness to make a difference and protect our planet.

Two types of membership are available:

  1. National Audubon Membership – Automatically provides you with membership in both the national organization and the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society. National members receive the National Audubon Society bimonthly Audubon magazine, an excellent source for national and international environmental news and views, as well as the local chapter newsletter. If you wish to join at the National level, select G55 – Northwest Illinois Audubon Society on the online application, or download and print the local membership form and mail it with your dues to P.O. Box 771, Freeport, IL 61032-0771.
  2. Local-Only Membership – Individuals who do not wish to join the National Audubon Society or receive their magazine may join only the local chapter and receive just our bimonthly local newsletter. Download and print the local membership form and mail your dues to P.O. Box 771, Freeport, IL 61032-0771.


A number of prairie restoration and management workdays occur at Elkhorn Creek and Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserves throughout the year. Check our newsletter or our calendar for further details.

Volunteer opportunities include prairie preservation work including

  • removing non-native plant species
  • trail maintenance
  • wood cutting
  • prairie burns
  • prairie plant seed collecting
  • seed cleaning
  • seed planting

We invite you to get on our contact list for prairie burns that are done each spring. We don't schedule burns weeks in advance. When conditions are right, we call you, and if you're available, you join our crew. Usually you'll get the call 24-48 hours beforehand. The burn season typically runs from early March through mid-April.

Don't worry if you lack experience. There are some tasks on burn days that are fine for novices. Snacks and water are provided.

Additional volunteer opportunities are available with Northwest Illinois Audubon Society. Check the list below to see which opportunity is best suited to you.

  • assist with plant, animal, and bird species lists for Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve
  • build trails at Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve
  • count birds at our annual Christmas bird count
  • count spring cranes
  • provide educational programs for adults and children
  • assist on-call as events arise

Contact Mary Blackmore at 815-938-3204 for details on any of our volunteer opportunities.


Any contributions are appreciated. We are committed to using your donation wisely. If you'd like, you may designate your contribution for preserve maintenance, educational purposes, or land acquisition.

The Northwest Illinois Audubon Society is a Chapter of the National Audubon Society. We are a nonprofit charitable (501c3) organization dedicated to the conservation of land and bird habitat. This is accomplished through education of our membership as well as the community by conducting informative programs, field trips and conservation projects.

Please mail your tax-deductible contributions to Treasurer, Northwest Illinois Audubon Society, PO Box 771, Freeport, Illinois 61032. Thank you!