There are several ways you can help support the work of the Wildlife Discovery Center and our animals. To donate, partner, sponsor an animal, or volunteer please contact Rob Carmichael, Curator.


Your donation to the Wildlife Discovery Center helps keep the Center FREE and open to visitors three days each week. Your generous support also helps us provide high-quality care and enrichment for all of our animals, as well as supporting the conservation work we do here at the WDC. Several capital improvements have been made possible through the support of generous donors, including the soon to be completed extension to our Bobcat enclosure, and the predator-proof roof on our outdoor turtle pond. Your gifts are fully tax deductible through the Friends of the City of Lake Forest Parks and Recreation, a 501(C)3 non-profit organization. Download the DONATION FORM to mail in your gift, or contact Rob Carmichael, Curator. Thank you for your support.

Donation Form


Partner with the Wildlife Discovery Center and share in our mission to motivate all generations to come to know, respect and protect our challenged and often endangered ecosystems with a focus on their wildlife.

Your company's financial contribution or event sponsorship will not only bring in the revenue needed to help the WDC reach the goals of its mission through quality programming and classes, it will also bring community recognition to your local business or corporation. Your association with the WDC will also send a message to your employees, clients, and customers, that your company is dedicated to the preservation of the world's wildlife and their habitat. To learn how your business can become a WDC Corporate Partner, contact Rob Carmichael, Curator.

Thank you to our many great friends and partners including:

  • Ashland Foundation
  • George Bates Memorial Foundation
  • BTG International, Ltd.
  • Chicago Wilderness
  • Elawa Farm Community of Partners
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • Kinnucan Tree Care Experts & Landscaping, Inc.
  • Knauz Motors
  • Lake County Forest Preserve District
  • Lake Forest Open Lands Association
  • Max Harry Schewitz Foundation
  • The Negaunee Foundation
  • Pasquesi Home and Gardens
  • Project Passenger Pigeon
  • U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Zion Solutions


Please consider an annual gift to help us care for our animals. For a minimum contribution of $100, your name will be added to our donor/adopter poster at the WDC. Adoption opportunities are available for contributions of $500 or more.


Volunteers play a vital role in helping visitors to the WDC have a memorable, educational and fun experience. By giving their time and talent, volunteers also develop new skills, make new friends, and learn about the WDC's animal collection and conservation efforts. Volunteers are valued and play an important role in the success of the WDC.


  • Assist the staff in establishing the WDC as a friendly and inviting place by acting in a professional and welcoming manner towards all of our visitors.
  • Increase the community's awareness of the Wildlife Discovery Center, its mission and programs.
  • Assist the staff in providing services to our visitors that would not be possible without our volunteers.
  • Expand our visitors' knowledge and awareness about wildlife and environmental matters both locally and globally.


  • Genuine interest in wildlife and the environment
  • Conscientious approach to work assignments
  • Willingness to participate in essential training
  • Dependability
  • Initiative


  • Submit application
  • Be invited for interview
  • Pass criminal background check
  • Must be 16 or older
  • Attend new volunteer orientation and training as assigned
  • Commit to a minimum of 1 year of service and 21 hours a month (3 days a month).
  • Sign a Release of Liability
  • Abide by policies and procedures as set forth in Volunteer Manual

Thank you for supporting the WDC!

Volunteer Application