Hiking in Forest

Adopt-A-Trail

The Forge Charitable Adventures' Adopt-A-Trail program enables volunteers to be active stewards of a section of trail within the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area. Adopters help with our ecological conservation and restoration efforts while keeping the trails safe and looking great for all visitors!

Our goal is to uncover the history of the quarries, remove invasive species, restore damaged ecological habitats, and open doors for more projects in the quarries so that everyone can freely enjoy Lemont’s quarries.

IT'S YOUR BACKYARD. GET OUTDOORS AND GET INVOLVED!

Companies, community organizations, church groups, businesses, families, and individuals are encouraged to get involved. Participants are welcome to select an existing trail or work with The Forge Charitable Adventures to create an entirely new path.

Trail maintenance includes cleaning and shaping drainage structures, trimming back encroaching vegetation, removing fallen trees, and improving way-finding through blazes and cairns. 

 

TFCA provides necessary hand tools and supplies, but volunteers can use their own. Volunteers are encouraged to patrol and maintain their adopted trail throughout the year.

 

 

Duties of Adopt-A-Trail Volunteers:

  • Patrol/maintain trail at least four times during each adoption year

  • Pick up and bag litter 

  • Clear trail of small debris and encroaching vegetation

  • Inspect the condition of trail and trail signs

  • Clean water bars and drainage systems

  • Perform brushing or mowing (hand tools only)

  • Remove fallen branches of 6-inch diameter or less (hand tools only)

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Volunteers are required to commit to the program for one year and a minimum of 100 person-hours of service

  • If trail work is done as a group, one individual 18 or older must be designated as the group leader and liaison to TFCA staff

  • All volunteers or volunteer group leaders must sign and submit a Volunteer Agreement form before beginning their duties as trail adopters

  • Volunteers must complete and submit a Trail Report form after each trail workday

  • Volunteers must wear gloves and closed-toe shoes while volunteering; boots are recommended

  • Limit work to your adopted trail (leave some fun for other people!)

  • Adopters are required to complete an Adopt-A-Trail Program Project Agreement

  • All participants are required to complete a participation waiver prior to commencing any project

Restrictions:

 

  • Power tools and machinery are not permitted

  • Do not pick up any hazardous material or unreasonably heavy or oversized branches; report these items to your designated TFCA supervisor

  • Do not reroute or modify trails without prior authorization

  • Volunteers are responsible for providing their own food and water

  • If your group fails to perform duties or adhere to safety protocols, TFCA may remove it from the Adopt-A-Trail program