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Outdoor Naturalist

The Basics

 IRAP is leasing land from private landowners and making it available for outdoor naturalists to observe wildlife, participate in bird watching and outdoor photography throughout many counties in Illinois. Bird watching is quickly becoming one of America’s most popular hobbies that can be enjoyed by all ages. For more information on bird watching visit the IL Audubon Society or All About Birds.

Available sites are listed on the IRAP Outdoor Naturalist Site Map.

Outdoor Naturalist activities on IRAP leased sites are available for public access

  • From May 15 – September 15th
  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
  • From sunrise to sunset.
  • For foot traffic only

How It Works

  1. A participant must first register online and receive an IRAP participant ID Number.

  2. Click Here for IRAP Registration/Reservation System

  3. During the registration process, the participant must agree to and sign the Liability Waiver.

  4. Once the IRAP participant is registered, he or she may go to IRAP’s reservation system and make up to three reservations for Outdoor Natural sites.

  5. When a reservation is complete, you will be instructed to print your IRAP Reservation Permit for your vehicle and a smaller one to carry on your person.

  6. If a family or group is participating in the same activity at the same site and day, all participants must register.



IRAP access is provided through cooperation of private landowners and the IL Dept. of Natural Resources.

Participating is this program is a special privilege.
Please be respectful, ethical and safe.

Leave site as you found it – take all garbage with you

Park vehicle in designated parking area.