Deer Grove West Natural Areas Volunteers

The Deer Grove Natural Areas Volunteers is a volunteer ecological restoration group assigned to Deer Grove West and supported by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and the Nature Conservancy's Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN). Our goal is to restore the natural communities of Deer Grove West to pre-settlement conditions, and to enable them to support the native plant and animal communities historically found in Deer Grove Forest Preserve.

Workdays are from 9am to noon, on the first and third Saturday of each month. For added information contact the Co-Stewards Ron Vargason 847-398-1853 or Pete Jackson 847-577-4438. If the weather is poor (extreme cold or pouring rain) call Ron or Pete after 7:30AM of the work day to find out if the workday is canceled. To get added to the email reminder list, send an email to Ron at ''.

Why is restoration necessary?  Illinois' once majestic prairies , savannas, woodlands and wetlands have suffered the effects of nearly two centuries of local and regional development.  This has included fire suppression, fragmentation, and the introduction of numerous non-native plants and animal species. 

Deer Grove Forest Preserve is located in Palatine, a northwest suburb of Chicago, IL. Deer Grove West, which in 1916 became the very first forest preserve site in the world and is an Illinois Nature Preserve, is bounded by Quentin on the east, Dundee on the south, Ela on the west and Lake Cook and Hillside on the north.

Volunteers are what makes this group function and new faces are always welcome!

Background (click for more information on Deer Grove and volunteering there)
Workday Schedule (click for dates of workdays)
Workday Log of Past Activities (click for a typical list of past workday accomplishments)
A Deer Grove plaque near the NW corner of Quentin and Dundee reads: "The Heritage to Posterity: The Forest Preserve District organized February 11, 1915, is the heritage of far-seeing men of cook county and Illinois who, by legislative act, seek to perpetuate the forests and streams, hills and vales, prairies and fields, for another generation than this. Thousands of acres of forests skirting cook county shall remain as the red-men left them; - that the health, strength womanhood and manhood of our American posterity may benefit by this foresight. To the athletically inclined there are out door sports � to the fishermen well stocked streams � to the floriculturist the wild flowers � to the tourist comfort � to the infirmed hope � to the future the untrammeled unmolested virgin fields and forests � our tribute to future generations."

General work day information on where to meet and how to dress.
Trail map and Policy information
from the Forest Preserve District of Cook Cty WEB site
Flowers of Deer Grove pictures of rare and common flowers found in the Deer Grove Forest Preserve
Work day pictures of the site and our volunteers.
Streams of Deer Grove describes sources and names.
Friends of the Forest Preserves is a group of people dedicated to the mission of the Cook County Forest Preserves and emerged from the Stewards. The Friends of the Forest Preserves are attending Board meetings, educating Commissioners and their staffs, and working with the District.

Picture of the month 

Picture taken late spring, 2012

Other local volunteer stewardship groups who have web sites:

Forest Preserve District of Cook County (official WEB site of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County)

Des Plaines River Valley Restoration Project

Poplar Creek Prairie Stewards

Palos Restoration Project

North Branch Restoration Project

Somme Prairie Grove


Links to other Nature-related sites:


The Deer Grove web pages are created and maintained by DGNAV and are not an official publication of the Nature Conservancy or of the Cook County Forest Preserve District.

Last update: Jan 2011