Interested in participating?
Are you interested in becoming a rare plant monitor? Fantastic!
This page gives an overview of what it takes to get started.
Getting Involved

Complete the Plants of Concern online training.

We offer online training through a series of six video modules that you can view at any time. All modules together take approximately 45 minutes to watch. Short quizzes (less than 5 min each) separate each module. We encourage interested participants to take the online training in early spring and sign up for a group field event (foray) to find out what rare plant monitoring is all about.

Create an account.

Plants of Concern staff will provide participants with an account. New account holders will receive an email with instructions on setting a password and filling out contact information.

Sign the confidentiality agreement.

Rare plants are at risk. When you activate your account, you will be asked to agree to the confidentiality policy. In signing this form, you agree to keep the locations of rare plants secure and confidential, lessening the risk of illegal collection or poaching.

Attend a foray.

Group monitoring events (forays) can serve as field training for participants who would like to get some experience before taking on an assignment of their own. These events are also a great way to meet other people who are interested in saving rare plants. Make sure you are signed up to receive Plants of Concern emails so you know when forays are scheduled.

(Northeastern Illinois Participants only)
Become a Chicago Botanic Garden Volunteer.

Apply to be a Chicago Botanic Garden Volunteer and agree to a background check.

Complete your assignment.

Once you're ready to monitor, staff will assign you to a site and species. You'll have access to your assignment through your Plants of Concern account. You'll visit a subpopulation once a year, when the species is most visible. The Plants of Concern mobile app allows you to navigate to the subpop, collect GPS and other monitoring data, and submit your observations to the Plants of Concern database.

Check out our News & Events page for group field events (forays) and other opportunities to learn about Plants of Concern and gain experience in rare plant monitoring! 

Join Plants of Concern
Go To Training
Monitoring Regions
Plants of Concern is active in Northeastern and Southern Illinois. We invite you to join us in monitoring rare plants in these regions.
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