McHenry County Conservation District  •  18410 US Highway 14 •  Woodstock, IL 60098  •  815-338-MCCD(6223)

  Recreation & Public Safety Volunteers


Safety-minded volunteers bike, hike and ski along Conservation Area Trails and the 26-mile long Prairie Trail to provide assistance and information to visitors. They also report dangerous conditions or suspicious behavior that they observe to the District Police Department.

For more information, contact the Volunteer Coordinator at 815.338.6223 x 1229 or


Prairie Trails Safety Watchers on patrolQUALIFICATIONS: Minimum age 21; a registered District volunteer; physically capable of carrying out their duties; responsible, reliable and available at the times required by the position.

EXPERIENCE: Training is provided. Must possess enthusiasm for safety and biking.

TIME COMMITMENT/SCHEDULE: Minimum of 10 touring hours from April through October. Attend initial training session with Police liaison and at least one monthly meeting. The touring schedule is flexible and determined by partners.

LOCATION: Tour segments of the Prairie Trail. Attend monthly meetings in Crystal Lake.

From April through October, Prairie Trail Safety Watch (PTSW) volunteers bike along the Prairie Trail to provide general assistance to trail users. Sponsored by the District’s Police Department, the PTSW helps keep the Trail safe and alerts District staff to unsafe conditions, property damage or suspicious activity. Safety watchers are trained in CPR/First Aid by the District, and attend monthly evening meetings to choose riding partners and learn about safety topics, defensive strategies, radio procedures and basic bike maintenance. In addition to touring, members also provide assistance at special events and sponsor the annual Safe Kids Wear Lids program which promotes bike safety and responsibility to young riders.

CPR/First Aid certification is provided by the District in late winter. Volunteers must supply their own helmet, but other equipment and training are provided. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator to become part of the team.


Cross Country Ski Patrol


Each winter when snow conditions are right, the Glacial Park Ski Patrol (GPSP) takes to the ski trails to help provide a safe and enjoyable experience for cross-country skiers. GPSP volunteers receive extensive training in ski techniques, outdoor emergency care and winter rescue protocols from the National Ski Patrol (NSP). For more information on the NSP, go to To learn more about GPSP qualifications and training, contact the Volunteer Coordinator.





S.W.E.E.P. (Safety Watch Education & Environmental Program)

Prairie Trails Safety Watchers on patrol


All site users are encouraged to report suspicious activity by calling (815) 338-6223. If no answer, call (815) 338-2144.These phone numbers are also posted on S.W.E.E.P. signs located at the entrances to District Sites.

This cooperative police and community watch program is intended to prevent criminal activity at District sites by encouraging public awareness. Visitors are asked to report any unusual or suspicious behavior that they observe to District Police to create a safer, more enjoyable experience for everyone.





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