Plants of Concern

Citizen Science Rare Plant Monitoring Program


Volunteers in the field

Since its ambitious inception, Plants of Concern (POC) has grown to work across the Chicago Wilderness region and continues to expand in scope each year. Volunteers are the backbone of the program, collecting and submitting data about rare species region-wide. POC is thriving because of the dedication and perseverance of volunteers and the collaboration of regional partners. Since 2001, POC has accomplished the following:

  • Worked with more than 800 volunteers
  • Monitored 288 species, of which 50 percent are endangered or threatened
  • Monitored 1,170 populations
  • Monitored 70 percent of the endangered and threatened plant populations known from six northeast Illinois counties
  • Monitored plants in eight counties in northeast Illinois (Cook, DuPage, Lake, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, McHenry, and Will)
  • Monitored plants in three counties in northwest Indiana and four counties in southeast Wisconsin
  • Coordinated with 128 landowners

How you can help!

We are looking for volunteers of all skill levels to monitor rare species in northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana. Visit our How to Sign Up page for more information on how you can help conserve rare-plants.