Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge protects over 43,000 acres of southern Illinois; just over 4000 acres are a designated wilderness area. The refuge once was mostly corn and other agricultural crops but the land was purchased by the government in the 1930's and redesigned by planting millions of trees and creating three lakes to serve as a wildlife sanctuary. In 1947 the Fish and Wildlife Service designated it a National Wildlife Refuge. Hardwood forests, wetlands, lakes, and brushland provide habitat for both nesting and migratory birds. Hundreds of thousands of waterfowl (over 245 species have been documented) use the refuge as a migratory stop over each year. Birds spotted regularly during nesting or migration include crows, vultures, tanagers, vireo, warblers, flycatchers, shorebirds, ducks, geese, hawks, gulls, and hawks, In addition to the birds, the refuge also provides important habitat for a diverse population of plants, mammals, reptiles, fish, and amphibians.
Our service project will be working on trail maintenance on a five mile stretch of the River to River trail that runs through the Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge. Volunteers will drive a short distance to the trailhead each day and hike the River to River Trail, brushing and clearing the trail corridor using loppers & saws. We will also do basic trail maintenance such as clearing drains and improving tread. Volunteers may also assist the Wildlife Refuge with maintenance on a historic cemetery that lies within the wilderness boundary. Join us for a trail maintenance project in the scenic Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge!
Please note: Due to COVID-19, Wilderness Volunteers is operating our 2021 project schedule under our Modified Project Procedures for Volunteers. These project guidelines will be revised as needed. Please check back often for the latest version.
Due to additional COVID-19 precautions, we are prohibiting mixed household volunteer carpooling (with volunteers outside of the same household traveling in the same vehicle) to projects until further notice. Exceptions to this policy (eg close friends traveling together) will need to be discussed with/pre-approved by the office and will require additional precautionary steps for the individuals involved. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.
This project is rated as a strenuous project.
For insurance reasons, WV cannot organize participants' transportation. Due to COVID-19, WV will not allow carpooling for volunteers outside of the same household. For more information, please refer to the most current edition of the Modified Project Protocols for Volunteers.
Jun 13th - Jun 19th 2021
Trail work including brushing, installing/cleaning drains, other trail maintenance.
Day hikes, fishing, birding, relaxing around camp.
Car and tent camping in designated campground.
Strenuous : Hiking, bending, kneeling, lifting, lopping, digging.