There are several way to help Fermilab Natural Areas accomplish its mission to conserve, restore and study the natural areas within Fermilab while encouraging employees and neighbors to experience and enjoy Fermilab’s natural beauty.
FNA has received a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation for funding various tall grass prairie and woodland restoration projects for 2018 and 2019. In order to receive this funding, we are obligated to both raise funds and provide volunteer efforts in the field as part of our outreach program. Any donations received that designate the use of these funds for the grant will be matched by three dollars of grant funds. The total that can be matched by our donations will be $21,000 – to receive that full amount we will need to raise an additional $7,000.
Please note that for funds to be used for this purpose the donation must state that it is for use as matching funds for the Illinois Clean Energy grant. As a result, donations for membership will not be eligible for matching grant money.
Donations to Fermilab Natural Areas are vital to our organization as we are not funded by Fermilab or any government entity. We are a 501 3(c), not-for-profit organization that depends on donations, grants, memberships and fundraising as revenue sources that enable us to achieve our goals of restoring native Illinois landscapes that are diverse, beautiful and very rare. We believe grassroots organizations like FNA are critical to the survival of the planet.
FNA also accepts donations in kind of goods and services. Please contact us about in-kind donations at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are thankful for your donation which is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
Your tax-deductible donations to Fermilab Natural Areas go to support the following programs.
The Robert F. Betz Internship
This internship provides young ecologists with hands-on field experience in Fermilab’s restoration program such as native seed harvesting, invasive species removal, plant identification, wildlife monitoring, organizing volunteer events, and participation in scientific research.
The FNA Stewardship Program
Our volunteer stewards are committed to the ecological health of Fermilab’s natural areas. Your membership donation helps provide them with the tools and equipment they need to get the job done.
Habitat Enhancement and Fine-scale Land Management
Fermilab Natural Areas complements the large-scale work of the Fermilab Roads & Grounds group by providing volunteer hand crews for seed collecting, invasive removal, habitat surveys, and wildlife monitoring.
Conservation of Rare Species
Fermilab Natural Areas works with regional partners such as the Conservation Foundation, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County, the Peggy Notebaert Museum, and Plants of Concern to conserve, reintroduce, and protect rare species.
Ecological Research Partnerships
FNA and Fermilab collaborate on invasive species research projects, native shrub propagation methods, and prairie restoration studies with regional partners such as The Nature Conservancy, Morton Arboretum, and the Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership.
Please become a donor today !
$2,500 and up
You may donate by sending your check or money order to along with your name, email and mailing addresses to:
Fermilab Natural Areas
P.O. Box 500, MS 444
Batavia, IL. 60510
Or you can submit your credit card to or make payment through PayPal By clicking the here.
Fermilab Natural Areas members are a vital part of our organization. Contributions are a major resource for restoration and outreach projects. Our members enjoy the satisfaction of knowing they play a vital part in supporting the organization and helping us achieve our goals of restoring native Illinois landscapes that are diverse, beautiful and very rare.
Some of the member benefits you will receive include:
• Six issues of FNA newsletter
• Invitations to member-only events
• Discounts on FNA merchandise: rain barrels, t-shirts, and hats
Thank you for becoming a FNA member today! Join Now
Explore and learn more about:
• Native plants for wildflower gardens, rain gardens, or shade
• Damselflies and Dragonflies
• Birds of Fermilab (over 280 species!)
• Natural history of Illinois
Join the fun, participate in…
• Spring wildflower walks
• Autumn prairie harvests
• Site ecology tours
Volunteer to work on a project.
• Share your passion, talents and time with us—we need your help!
Thanks you for your generous support and we look forward to connecting with you in the field, during a program, or over a cup of coffee.
Fermilab Natural Areas has volunteer opportunities available throughout the year. Whether you love native plants, wildlife or everything about nature, we have a place for you to fit in that is suited to your interests and abilities. It requires no special skill set and tools and instruction are always provided.
Simply download and fill out the volunteer application, indicating your areas of interest and return to the mailing address provided or email to email@example.com
The Fermilab Natural Areas stewardship program offers the chance to adopt a habitat area and oversee its care and return to a state of high biodiversity. Potential stewards will work with the Fermilab ecologist to choose an area in need of stewardship and together they will determine stewardship goals. Stewards will also receive ecology and safety training in order to use tools, herbicides and equipment necessary for work. Primary duties of an FNA steward include invasive species control, basic plant and/or animal surveys, hosting workdays, native seed collection & spreading and providing a summary of accomplishments from time to time.
If you are not quite ready to take responsibility for an area, you may shadow an existing steward to learn more and/or find another volunteer to co-steward an area with you. This program accepts volunteers at all levels of experience but requires a willingness to commit to regular work and a passion for protecting our native habitats over the long-term.
*1 Fermilab employees may wish to enter the stewardship program. Activities undertaken by employee stewards must take place outside regular working hours, or be approved by their supervisor.
Fermilab Natural Areas offers volunteers the opportunity to monitor and survey different types of wildlife. Fermilab is a 6,800 acre site with a great variety of intermingling habitats. Within these areas are many places for wildlife to live (and hide!). Potential monitors will work with the Fermilab ecologist to choose a wildlife group in need of monitoring and together they will come up with a survey plan. Your efforts will help us better understand the presence and abundance of wildlife, including many secretive and rare species. They will also provide the ecological data needed to best manage this amazing, preserve-like campus. Monitors will receive ecology and safety training in order to use equipment necessary for work.
If you are not quite ready to take responsibility for a wildlife group, you may shadow an existing monitor to learn more and/or find another volunteer to co-monitor a wildlife group with you. If you have a passion for wildlife and would like to help out please indicate which type(s) of wildlife you love (for example; turtles, butterflies or raptors) on your volunteer application.
FNA and Fermilab partner with the Chicago Botanic Garden’s Plants of Concern (POC) program to monitor rare plants found within the natural areas at Fermilab. If you would like to help with this monitoring, you may find more information and/or sign up at
You may choose to become a lead or assistant monitor for a species. This monitoring not only helps Fermilab better take care of the rare plants found on site but also provides information to the POC program so they may analyze the health of a species across the entire Chicago region. Plants we monitor at Fermilab include savanna blazing star and white lady's slipper orchids (pictured below).
Throughout the year Fermilab Natural Areas offers many outdoor ecology workdays for volunteers to participate in. Dates and event information are listed on the FNA calendar. No experience is necessary. Workdays may be organized by staff or FNA stewards and activities are dependent on the season. Annual volunteer workday events include our Earth Day/Arbor Day plantings as well as two Autumn Prairie Seed Harvests. For these events, typically dozens of volunteers attend and lunch is provided. Regular workdays are held weekly or monthly. Activities at these workdays may include native seed collection, processing, mixing or spreading, invasive brush removal, or control of garlic mustard and other invasive plants. Refreshments are generally provided, but always is the opportunity to learn from stewards or staff. If you love nature and just want to help, attending any of these workdays will be a satisfying and educational experience.
Not all of our work is done outside: FNA has many “behind the scenes” opportunities and we need your help. If you are interested in joining the volunteer team, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and indicate which committee(s) would like to join and one of our members with be in touch with you.
Program Committee - Organizes 'FNA Discovery Day' events, including education programs, nature walks and volunteer events.
Communications/Outreach Committee -Maintains social media, updates the FNA website, Facebook page and FNA newsletter. If you like to do informal research, write copy and/or post photos, this group is for you. We periodically participate in local events and often need people to meet and greet visitors at our booth.
Membership Committee - Maintains current member relations, hosts membership drives, members-only events.
Fundraising Committee - Seeks donors for projects, pursues grant applications & corporate sponsorships. Also explores the use of merchandising options to promote FNA.
Research Committee - Solicits proposals and funds ecology-related research projects to be carried out within the natural areas at Fermilab by students, post-grads, or professionals.
Fermilab Natural Areas volunteers make what we do possible. There are a variety of other activities that you may help with. Some of these things include: Aquatic Invasives Surveyor, Seed Processing Facility Caretaker, Volunteer Coordination Assistant, Hiking Trails Monitor, Prairie Hotspots Helper and more! Or, if you have an idea that might help, or expertise not yet mentioned, ask us about it.