Conservation Explorers

Adventure awaits in your forest preserves...

In this dynamic two-week outdoor program, culminating with an overnight camp-out, high schoolers will explore and study the local ecosystems of Lake County. Conservation Explorers (ConEx) will highlight the importance of conservation and stewardship as participants gain real-world, hands-on experience through data collection and learning from Forest Preserve experts. Participants will also learn about summer job opportunities and career options in the science field.

ConEx is based primarily outdoors and includes hiking, paddlesports, hands-on stewardship projects and other physical activities.


Each day will have a unique focus, with different activities that include:

  • Field trips to explore the local ecosystems at different forest preserves
  • Stewardship projects, such as seed collection or invasive species removal
  • Citizen science and data collection
  • Conservation efforts
  • Kayaking
  • Presentations by guest speakers and Forest Preserve experts

Register    Financial Assistance

Additional program forms and a detailed itinerary will be emailed prior to the program start date.

ConEx is open to students 14–16, entering grades 9 or 10 in the fall. Students of all backgrounds and from all areas are welcome to participate in this program. Financial assistance is available for those who qualify.

Week 1  
July 15–19, 9 am–3 pm Independence Grove
Week 2  
July 22–25, 9 am–3 pm Independence Grove
July 26–27, 3 pm–10 am Van Patten Woods

The two-week program, including the overnight, is $400 for Lake County residents and $560 for nonresidents.

Cost includes all programming and transportation between sites, as well as camp-out food and supplies. Need-based scholarships are available for those who qualify.

Register    Summer Adventures

Registration closes on July 10, or once the program fills.

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We are unable to make age exceptions because activities are geared to cognitive, emotional and physical abilities for this program's specific age range.

Email with questions or to inquire about special accommodations.



A special thank you to Sgt. Tommy's Kids for sponsoring our transportation for this program!