Natural Areas Community Stewardship Days

Dates and times are subject to change.  Please contact the site’s listed steward for weather related cancellations. For additional information about the Community Stewardship Program or to discuss large group volunteer opportunities, please email stewardship@chicagoparkdistrict.com.  Students looking to complete service learning for school must RSVP with the site's listed steward prior to attending a workday in order to receive hours.  

Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool in Lincoln Park (125 W Fullerton Pkwy)

Select Thursdays from 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

  • April 6, 20
  • May 4, 18
  • June 1, 22
  • July 6, 20
  • August 3, 24
  • September 7, 21

Join the Lincoln Park Conservancy for “Hops and Habitat” at the Fullerton gate of the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool (125 W. Fullerton Ave).  Workday activities include planting, pulling invasive species, restoring trails, cleaning fences and mulching trees.  Workdays are followed by an optional social gathering at a local restaurant. For additional info or to RSVP, please contact Aaron Hammond at ahammond@lincolnparkconservancy.org.

Big Marsh (Park No. 564) (111th and Stony Island Ave.)

Select Saturdays from 10 a.m.  12 p.m. 

  • January 28
  • June 3
  • November 4
  • December 2

Join us as we combat invasives and create hiking trails at Chicago's newest natural area.  Tools and gloves will be provided, but please dress in comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and bring a water bottle.  The natural area is not yet open to the public, so all volunteers will be required to sign a waiver upon arrival.  For details, and to register, please email stewardship@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Lincoln Park (3550 N Lake Shore Dr.)

Select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

  • February 11, 25
  • March 11, 25
  • April 8, 22
  • May 13, 27
  • June 10, 24
  • July 8, 22
  • August 12, 26
  • September 9, 23
  • October 7, 21, 28
  • November 11, 18
  • December 9

Join the Lake View Citizens Council in stewardship activities in and around the Sanctuary. We work rain, shine or snow, so be prepared. Work gloves and tools will be provided. Binoculars and instruction in how to use them will be available during break times. We meet at the east side of the Sanctuary (Addison Ave. and Lake Shore Drive, east of the totem pole) at the small garage near the viewing platform. Parking is north of the Sanctuary in the Waveland Golf Course lot.  Contact site steward Charlotte Newfeld at (773) 327-5053 for more information. Please visit http://www.jarvissanctuary.org/ for more information on the Sanctuary. All youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

Bobolink Meadow in Jackson Park (near E. Hayes Dr. and S. Lake Shore Dr.)

 2nd Saturday of each month, beginning in March, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • March 11
  • April 8
  • May 13
  • June 10
  • July 8
  • August 12
  • September 9
  • October 14
  • November 11
  • December 9

Join friends and neighbors to combat invasive species, plant native species, collect seeds, refresh nature trails at this Jackson Park natural area.  Visit the Bobolink volunteer website for map and further information http://bluestem.info/bobolink.  Contact Norm Bell and Gail Parry at parrybell@ameritech.net or (773) 288-1260 with questions, or to confirm workdays.

Burnham Nature Sanctuary (Entrance at 47th St. and Cornell Dr.)

Select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • March 4
  • April 1, 22
  • May 6
  • June 3
  • July 8
  • August 5
  • September 9
  • October 7
  • November 4
  • December 2

Volunteer tasks vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up.  Burnham Nature Sanctuary is located at 47th Street and Lake Shore Drive, at the southeast end of the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, enter driveway at 47th Street and Cornell. The Metra and several CTA bus stops are available less than two blocks from the nature sanctuary.  Parking passes are available for volunteers who drive. For more information, contact Kathleen Taylor at (773) 924-2738 or George Davis at (773) 268-4856. 

Guided nature walks - Select Sundays from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

  • March 19 - Vernal Equinox Walk 
  • April 30 - Spring Long Walk
  • June 25 - Summer Solstice Walk
  • July 30 - Summer Long Walk
  • September 24 - Autumnal Equinox Walk
  • October 29 - Autumn Long Walk
  • December 17 - Winter Solstice Walk

Join fellow community members to explore off the beaten path at the Burnham Wildlife Corridor, and observe the impact of volunteer stewardship at the natural area.  Volunteers meet at 9:20 a.m. at the Burnham Nature Sanctuary parking lot (47th st. and Cornell Dr.). Bring a pair of binoculars, and dress for the weather, as the walk will proceed rain or shine! Contact George Davis to RSVP or for more information at (773) 268-4856 or kenwoodgwd@yahoo.com.

Columbus Park (W. Jackson Blvd and S. Golf Dr.)

Select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • March 25
  • April 22
  • May 20
  • June 24
  • July 22
  • August 26
  • September 23
  • October 28

Team up with fellow community members to restore the natural area in Columbus Park! Meet behind the Refectory across from the golf course entrance at W. Jackson Blvd. and S. Golf Dr.  Workday activities can vary by season but may include brush removal, litter pickup, invasive species removal, and native plantings. For more information and to RSVP for a workday, email Laura at lbrentner@luc.edu.

Gompers Park (4222 W Foster Ave)

Select Saturdays from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.

  • March 11
  • April 22
  • May 13
  • June 10
  • July 8
  • August 12
  • September 9
  • October 14
  • November 11

Please join Gompers Park volunteers for a variety of activities including park clean up, mulching trees, invasive plant removal, plantings and more. Tools, gloves and refreshments provided. Meet at the Keeler parking lot (just south of Foster near the tennis courts).  Parking is available.  For more information contact Julie Newfield at jlnewfeld@gmail.com or (773) 710-7595.

Humboldt Park (Field house – 1440 N. Sacramento Ave)

Select Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • April 22 (park-wide Earth Day event)
  • May 20
  • July 22
  • September 16

Select Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

  • June 14
  • August 16

Team up with fellow community members to improve the natural areas in Humboldt Park! Meet outside the field house at 1440 N. Sacramento.  Workday activities can vary by season but may include brush removal, litter pickup, and planting natives. For more information and to RSVP for a workday, email Jaclyn at jaclyn.humboldtpark@gmail.com.

Loyola Beach Dunes (Pratt Avenue & Lake Michigan)

4th Saturday of each month from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

  • April 22
  • May 20
  • June 17
  • July 15
  • August 19
  • September 16
  • October 21
Meet at the entrance to the dune habitat at the west end of the pier, just North and East of Pratt Ave. For more information, contact Ann Whelan at (773) 743-2662 or phida50@aol.com.

McCormick Bird Sanctuary (south of McCormick Place off S. Lake Shore Dr.)

Select Sundays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • September 10
  • October 8
  • November 12

Join fellow volunteers and birders to restore this lakefront stopover for migratory birds and butterflies.  Stewardship tasks vary by season, but may include invasive species removal, native species planting, seed collection, litter pickup, and mulching. Meet at the Caracol Gathering Space, just south of the bird sanctuary.  Arrive by lakefront bike trail, or take the 31st St. exit east from S. Lake Shore Dr., and park at the north end of the lot.  To RSVP or for more information, please contact Suzanne Erin at suzanne.erin@gmail.com or (312) 342-2313.

McKinley Park Lagoon (2210 W. Pershing Road)

2nd Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • April 8
  • May 13
  • June 10
  • July 8
  • August 12
  • September 9
  • October 14
  • November 11

Please join the McKinley Park Advisory Council in beautifying and restoring our lagoon! Volunteer projects vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up. Families are welcome! Tools and work gloves will be provided. Meet on the west side of the lagoon, on the path between the lagoon and the soccer field.  Parking is available in the lot at 2210 W. Pershing Road. For more information, contact Katie Flores katie.e.flores@gmail.com or Heather Breems heatherbreems@gmail.com.

Montrose Beach Dunes in Lincoln Park (4400 N Simonds Ave.)

Select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • April 22
  • May 20
  • June 17
  • July 15
  • August 19
  • September 23
  • October 14

Stewardship days occur April through October. Please contact Forrest Cortes at forrest.cortes@chicagoparkdistrict.com for additional information.  The dunes are located at the far East end of Montrose Beach. If driving, take Lake Shore Drive and exit at Montrose Avenue. Travel east along the harbor as the road winds to the right. Park along the harbor and walk north (away from the harbor) where you will soon see a flagpole next to the beach house and beach (bicycle riders, there is a lockup at the beach house). The dune habitat is to the right, next to the concrete fishing pier. It's the only vegetated portion of Montrose Beach. 

Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary (Wilson & Montrose & North Simonds Drive)

Select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • April 1
  • May 7 (Sunday)
  • June 3
  • July 8
  • August 6 (Sunday)
  • September 9
  • October 7

Contact Alycia Kluenenberg at akluenenberg@gmail.com for additional information. Meet at the "Magic Hedge" located on Montrose Ave., east of Lake Shore Dr. Drive east towards the lake and as the road turns north, take the first right by the bait shop. Continue to the nature area on the left, just before the harbor parking lot.  Parking is available on the street.

Nichols Wildflower Meadow (Near E. 54th St. & S. Kenwood Ave)

Select Sundays from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

  • April 16
  • May 21
  • June 18
  • July 16
  • August 13
  • September 17
  • October 15
  • November 19

Contact Dan Brown at djpbrown@yahoo.com with any questions, to confirm the workdays, or to be informed of changes. Workday schedule is subject to change, so please check with the steward prior to the workday.  Meet in the meadow on E. 54th St. at the end of the cul-de-sac off S. Kenwood Ave. Dress in clothing approriate for working in brush, including close-toed shoes. Tools and gloves will be provided.

North Park Village Nature Center (5801 N. Pulaski Rd.)

Every Wednesday and Sunday, year-round from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Restore the woodland, wetland, and prairie communities in the nature preserve. Activities include planting native species and invasive species control. Registration is required.  Please contact the Nature Center at (312) 744-5472 for additional information or to register.  The Nature Center is located at 5801 N. Pulaski Rd., between Foster Ave. and Peterson Ave.  Refreshments are provided.

North Pond in Lincoln Park (2610 N. Cannon Dr.)

Select Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • April 22
  • May 20
  • June 3, 24
  • July 8, 22
  • August 5, 26
  • September 9, 30
  • October 7

Join the Lincoln Park Conservancy for the North Pond Gardeners Workdays in planting, pulling invasive species, restoring trails, cleaning fences and mulching trees. North Pond is located behind the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Meet on the plaza in the front of North Pond Restaurant (2610 N. Cannon Drive). Tools, gloves, and water will be provided. For additional info or to RSVP, please contact Aaron Hammond at ahammond@lincolnparkconservancy.org.

Palmisano Park (Halsted. and 29th St.)

Select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • March 25
  • April 22
  • May 20
  • June 17
  • July 1, 22
  • August 19
  • September 16
  • October 21
  • November 18
Join Bridgeport area friends and neighbors in activities such as invasive species control, weeding, litter removal, seed collection, and planting.  Gloves and tools are provided. Appropriate dress is strongly encouraged as we will be entering the prairie areas to work: wear long pants, closed toed shoes, hats, etc.  We meet at the southeast entrance at 29th and Halsted.  Contact Carla Lents or Sam Ozik at stearnsquarry@gmail.com for more information.

Ping Tom Park (S. Wells St. and W.19th St.)

2nd Wednesday of every month from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
  • April 12
  • May 10
  • June 14
  • July 12
  • August 9
  • September 13
  • October 11
Join the Ping Tom Park Advisory Council and the Shedd Aquarium for community stewardship days through the Great Lake Action Days (GLADs) program at Ping Tom Park. Contact site steward Jackie Grom at jgrom@sheddaquarium.org for details or to confirm workdays.  Enter the park on 19th street, just West of S. Wentworth Ave, make a right at the pagoda, then walk North along the river and meet at the Urban Kayaks boathouse.

Portage Park Nature Garden (4100 N Long Ave)

Select Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. 12:00 p.m.

  • May 13
  • June 3

Join community stewards for cleanup and restoration days.  The nature garden is located in the Southeast corner of Portage Park.  Contact Renata Listopad at renatalistopad@yahoo.com or Becky Collings for details at beckyschillo@gmail.com.

Rainbow Beach Dunes (77th St. and the Lake - enter by car at 79th St.)

Fourth Saturday of each month from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • March 25
  • April 22
  • May 27
  • June 24
  • July 22
  • August 26
  • September 23
  • October 28

Meet at the entrance to the Nature Area, southeast end of the beach. Directions and details at http://rainbowbeachdunes.wordpress.com.  RSVP here: https://rainbowbeachdunes.wordpress.com/rsvp/.  Contact co-stewards Alison and Jen with questions at rbdstewardship@gmail.com.

Walking Stick Woods (Near 5801 N Pulaski Rd.)

Select Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • February 25
  • March 18
  • April 15
  • May 20
  • June 17
  • July 15
  • August 19
  • September 16
  • October 21
  • November 18
  • December 16

Join families from Forest Play School, and members of the community to help restore and care for Walking Stick Woods. Meet at the entrance to the woods, just Southeast of Peterson Park Field House. If driving, drive past the field house and make a right just before the cul-de-sac. Parking will be available on your left. Wear comfortable, layered clothing and be sure to bring a water bottle. Work gloves and tools will be provided. For more information, or to RSVP, email renee4yoga@gmail.com.

West Ridge Nature Preserve (Park No. 568) (5801 N. Western Ave.)

Select Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

  • April 15
  • May 20
  • June 17
  • July 15
  • August 19
  • September 16
  • October 21
  • November 18
  • December 16

Join the West Ridge Nature Preserve Park Advisory council for community stewardship days. Activities may include invasive species removal, native seed collection and dispersal, and litter cleanup.  Gloves and tools will be provided.  For more information, email steward Tom Murphy at tjm2040@rcn.com or visit www.westridgenaturepreserve.org.  

Wooded Island (Paul H. Douglas Nature Sanctuary) in Jackson Park (near S. Stony Island Ave. and E. Hayes Dr.)

4th Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. 

  • March 25
  • April 29
  • May 27
  • June 28 (Wednesday)
  • July 29
  • August 26
  • September 23
  • October 28
  • November 25

Meet at the Darrow Bridge, south of the Museum of Science & Industry. Take Lake Shore Dr. to Science Dr. (5800 South), turn west at the light onto Science Dr. and go left to the Music Court Parking Lot. The Darrow Bridge is on the west side of the parking lot.  For more information contact Jerry Levy at (312) 832-1616 (day), or (773) 955-6384 (evening).

12th Street Beach (1200 S Linn White Dr.)

2nd Wednesday of each month from 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

  • April 12
  • May 10
  • June 14
  • July 12
  • August 9
  • September 13
  • October 11

Join the Shedd Aquarium for restoration and cleanup days through the Great Lake Action Days (GLADs) program at 12th Street Beach. Contact site steward Jackie Grom at jgrom@sheddaquarium.org for details or to confirm workdays.

63rd Street Beach (6300 S. Lake Shore Dr.)

Last Friday of the month from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

  • April 28
  • May 26
  • June 30
  • July 28
  • August 25
  • September 29
  • October 27

Join the Shedd Aquarium for restoration and cleanup days through the Great Lake Action Days (GLADs) program at 63rd Street Beach. Contact site steward Jackie Grom at jgrom@sheddaquarium.org for details or to confirm workdays.