Children at Big Marsh Park participating in BioBlitz trying to observe small bugs.

Stewardship at Big Marsh Park

Kids learning about bugs at Big Marsh Park.

BioBlitz at Big Marsh Park

Boy Scouts looking for critters in the bushes at Big Marsh Park.

BioBlitz at Big Marsh Park with the Boy Scouts

Workdays Cancelled

All Chicago Park District events including volunteer workdays in Natural Areas have been cancelled until further notice. To read the Chicago Park District’s statement, click on the following link:  www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/coronavirus-response

Volunteer workdays take place at 30 natural areas across the City of Chicago. Workday are led by trained stewards. Activities vary by site and time of year but can include tasks such as litter pickup, trail mulching, invasive plant removal, native plant installation, as well as nature-based activities like birding and plant id walks. ​​​​​​

 

  • Participants can volunteer at stewardship workdays as often as they like (no need to complete a volunteer application).
  • Dates and times are subject to change. Please contact the steward at the site listed contact if you have questions. 
  • Youth under 18 require parental consent and Park District's liability waiver with original signature. Students looking to complete service learning for school must RSVP with the site steward listed. The wavier can be found on the bottom of this page, hard copies are available at the site.

Groups of more than 5 people must contact the site steward in advance. Corporate groups should reach out to https://www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/get-involved/volunteer.

 


For additional information about the Community Stewardship Program, to schedule group volunteer opportunities, or to obtain a liability waiver for a minor, please email stewardship@chicagoparkdistrict.com.


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

Every 2nd Wednesday of the month from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m

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

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


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

Every 3rd Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

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

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


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

Select weekdays from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m

  • April 2
  • May 7
  • June 11 & 25
  • July 9 & 23
  • August 6
  • September 10

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) 
(11559 S. Stony Island Ave.)

  • April 18               9:30-12:30 Earth Day
  • May 9                 9am-12pm Chicago River Day
  • September  12   10am-12pm Annual BioBlitz
  • September 12    1-6pm Bird, Bikes, and Beats
  • November 27     10am-1pm Opt Outside

Meet at the south entrance parking lot at 11559 S. Stony Island Ave.  Join us as we restore native habitat and improve nature trails at Big Marsh.  Snacks, tools, and gloves will be provided, but please dress in comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and bring a water bottle.  All volunteers will be required to sign a waiver upon arrival. For more information and to RSVP please email Joel Zavala at cpd.se.events@gmail.com

Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Lincoln Park
(East of Addison and N Lake Shore Dr.)

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

  • Jan 11 & 25
  • Feb 8 & 22
  • March 7 & 21 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 4 & 18
  • May 2, 16, & 30
  • June 13 & 27
  • July 11 & 25
  • Aug 8 & 22
  • Sept 12 & 26
  • Oct 10, 24, & 31
  • Nov 14 & 21
  • Dec 12

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/ or email info@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. (63rd St) Hayes Dr. and S. Lake Shore Dr.)

Every 2nd Saturday March to November  

  • March 14 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 11
  • May 9
  • June 13
  • July 11
  • August 8
  • September 12
  • October 10
  • November 14

Join neighbors and friends for habitat restoration workdays.  Volunteer tasks vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up. Volunteers typically meet at the South entrance to Bobolink Meadow in Jackson Park.  Contact Norm Bell and Gail Parry at parrybell@ameritech.net or (773) 288-1260 for additional workday information.

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

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

  • March 7 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 4
  • April 18
  • May 2
  • June 6
  • July 11
  • Aug 1
  • September 12
  • October  3
  • November  7
  • December 5

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, email taylorkathl@aol.com or call Kathleen Taylor at (773) 924-2738 or George Davis at (773) 268-4856

Burnham Nature Walks

Select Sundays from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m

  • February  2
  • March 22 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • May 3
  • June 21
  • August  2
  • September 20
  • November 1
  • December 20

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.

Columbia Basin at Jackson Park
(5800 S. Cornell behind the Museum of Science and Industry)

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

  • March 21 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 18
  • May 16
  • June 20

Team up with fellow community members to restore the natural edge to the Columbia Basin in Jackson Park! The Columbia Basin abuts the south side of the Museum of Science and Industry and frequently hosts egrets, herons and other water birds.  To join a workday, meet along Cornell behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Workday activities can vary by season but typically include brush removal, invasive species removal, native plantings, seed collection, tree mulching and litter pickup . For more information and to RSVP for a workday, email Nancy Joseph at njoseph2008@aol.com or text 773-562-6177.

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

Select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m

  • April 18 
  • May 16
  • June 20
  • August 22 
  • September 19
  • October 17

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.

Garfield Park
(100 N Central Park Ave)

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

  • April 18
  • May 30
  • July 25 
  • Sept 26
  • October 24

Volunteer tasks vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up. For more information or to RSVP, email Carol Johnson at wshps2017@gmail.com

Safety walks/Community Cleanups - Coming Soon!

Safety walks are an activity the Garfield Park Advisory Council's Safety & Natural Resources committee initiated to regularly assess the physical conditions and maintenance of the park. For more information or to RSVP, email Carol Johnson at wshps2017@gmail.com

Humboldt Park
(1440 N. Sacramento Ave - meet east of the Field house, next to the statue)

3rd Saturday of each month from May-September from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

  • May 16
  • June 20 
  • July 18
  • August 15 
  • September 19 

Team up with fellow community members to improve the natural areas in Humboldt Park!  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.

Indian Ridge Marsh 
(11740 S. Torrence Ave (look for a small parking lot))

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

  • Jan 25       9am-2pm
  • Feb 22       9am-2pm
  • March 28   9am-2pm Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 25      9am-12
  • May 30      9am-12
  • June 27     9am-12
  • July 18      7:45pm-11:00pm
  • Aug 8        9am-12pm
  • Sept 19     9am-12pm
  • Oct 10       9am-12pm
  • Dec 12      10am-2pm

Join the restoration of prairie, savanna, wetland, and hemimarsh habitats. Work days will include habitat restoration as well as nature hikes, cleaning-up the site, native plant ID, invasive plant removal, native plug planting, seed collecting. Please dress for the weather and plan to wear a hat, long pants, long sleeves and boots you do not mind getting dirty. Tools, work gloves, muck boots, water and snacks will be provided! Thank you for our partners Audubon Great Lakes and The Wetlands Initiative.  For more information or to RSVP for a workday, contact Volunteer Community Steward Samuel Long at sbowenlong@gmail.com.

Kathy Osterman Beach
(Ardmore and Lake Front Trail entrance)

Select Sundays from 10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m

  • April 26
  • June 7
  • July 19
  • August 30
  • October 11
  • November 22

Join friends and neighbors to help clean up and restore the natural area at Kathy Osterman (also known as Hollywood/Ardmore) Beach.  Tools, gloves, water refills, snacks and instruction provided.  Please bring your own water bottle and dress for the weather with closed-toe shoes (we have Sand Burs!). All ages and experience levels are welcome! Enjoy a swim and afternoon at the beach afterward. Meet on the north side of the beach, just east of Ardmore and Sheridan turnaround/beach entrance. For more information, contact Renee Patten at ostermanbeachnaturalarea@gmail.com.

Leone Beach
(1222 W. Touhy (7200 N. off Sheridan) Touhy and the Lake)

From 9:30-12:30

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

Please meet at the fieldhouse. Leone Beach Park surrounds the oldest building on Chicago’s lakefront. The east side, the side closest to Lake Michigan is being restored as a sand prairie. The west and north sides of the building is being restored as a black oak savannah. Contact Ann Whelan 773-743-2662 with questions.

Loyola Beach Dunes 
(Pratt Avenue & Lake Michigan)

3rd Saturday of each month from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m

  • May 16
  • June 20 
  • July 18
  • August 15 
  • September 19 
  • October 17

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 
(2210 W. Pershing Road)

3rd Sunday of each month from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

  • April 26 
  • May 31 
  • June 14 
  • July 12 
  • August 9 
  • September 13 
  • October 4 
  • November 8

Join fellow volunteers to restore this habitat 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 9:00 AM at the south entrance to the McCormick Bird Sanctuary which is located here: https://goo.gl/maps/vBryWghEA9q. This is where the McCormick Bird Sanctuary trail meets a service road, between Ft. Dearborn Drive and the Lakefront Trail.  For more information, contact suzanne.erin@gmail.com

McKinley Park Lagoon 
(2210 W. Pershing Road)

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

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

Please join the McKinley Park Advisory Council in beautifying and restoring our expanded natural area! Volunteer projects vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plants, native seed collection, or trash pick-up. Families are welcome! Tools and work gloves will be provided. Meet at the stump circle between the lagoon and Damen Avenue. Parking is available in the lot at 2210 W. Pershing Road. For more information, contact Katie Flores katie.e.flores@gmail.com.

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

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

  • March 28 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 25
  • May 23
  • June 20
  • July 18
  • August 15
  • September 20 (Sunday)
  • October 10

Stewardship days occur April through October. Please contact us at stewardship@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 5
  • May 16
  • June 6
  • July 11
  • August 8
  • September 12
  • October 3

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. Contact Alycia Kluenenberg at akluenenberg@gmail.com for additional information.

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

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

  • March 29 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 19
  • Mary 17
  • June 21
  • July 19
  • August 16
  • September 20
  • October 18
  • November 15

The Nichols Park Wildflower Meadow is located on E. 54th St. at the end of the cul-de-sac off S. Kenwood Ave. Dress in clothing appropriate for working in brush, including closed-toe shoes. Tools and gloves will be provided. Contact Dan Brown at djpbrown@yahoo.com to confirm workdays, be informed of changes, or with any questions.

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 18 – Earth Day 
    • Shifts 10am-noon and 12:30-2:30pm
  • May 2, 16, 30
  • June 13 and 27
  • July 11 and 25
  • August 8 and 29
  • Sept 12 and 26
  • October 10 

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.)

3rd Saturday of the month from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

  • March 14 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 25
  • May 9
  • June 13
  • July 11
  • August 8
  • September 12
  • October 10
  • November 14
    • 9am – 11:30am BYO picnic @ 11:30
       

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 southwest entrance near 29th and Poplar.  Contact Carla Lents at stearnsquarry@gmail.com for more information.

Ping Tom Park 
(S. Wentworth Ave. and 19th Street)

2nd Saturday of every month from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

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

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 greatlakesactiondays@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

  • May 23 10:00am-12

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 (773) 750-1408.

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

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

  • May 2       –    7:00am-10am
    • The Birds with Chris Williamson
  • May 2             10am-12pm 
  • June 27          10am-12pm
  • July 25            10am-12pm
  • September 26 10am-12pm
     

Join neighbors and friends for habitat restoration workdays.  Volunteer tasks vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up.  Meet at the entrance off the parking lot, at the southeast end of the beach. For directions, details, and to RSVP visit https://rainbowbeachdunes.wordpress.com/rsvp/.  Contact co-stewards Alison and Jen with questions at rbdstewardship@gmail.com.

Ronan Park
(W Argyle St. & N Shore Channel Bike Trail)

Every 3rd Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

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

Join neighbors and friends to help enhance Ronan Park natural area. Volunteers should bring a water bottle and weather–appropriate clothing, and must sign a waiver upon arrival.  Tools and gloves will be provided.  We will meet at the N. Shore Channel Bike Trail and W. Argyle St.  To RSVP or for more info, email ronanparkstewards@gmail.com.

South Shore Nature Sanctuary 
(7059 S South Shore Dr.)

3rd Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m

  • March 21 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 18
  • May 16
  • June 20
  • July 18
  • August 15 
  • September 19
  • October 17

Meet behind the cultural center, at the entrance to the sanctuary (near the restroom/lifeguard building at South Shore Beach).  Volunteers should bring a water bottle and weather–appropriate clothing, and must sign a waiver upon arrival.  Tools and gloves will be provided.  For more information contact Susannah Ribstein at susannahbet@gmail.com or 708-207-6590.

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

Select Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m

  • April 16
  • May 20
  • July 18
  • August 15
  • September 19
  • October 17

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. Volunteers meet at the entrance to the Nature Preserve at 5801 N. Western Ave. (at Ardmore). There is usually parking along Western Ave., and the site is also served by the Western Ave. CTA Bus #49B. 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.)

Every 4th Saturday of each month, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m

  • March 28 Canceled due to COVID-19
  • April 25
  • May 23
  • June 27
  • July 25
  • August 22
  • September  26
  • October 24
  • November 28

Meet at the South Bridge, near the parking lot at S. Cornell Ave. and E. 63rd St. Take Lake Shore Dr. to E. Hayes Dr. and stay right at the split, then take the first right into the parking lot. The South Bridge is just beyond the Northeast side of the parking lot.  For more information contact Jerry Levy at (312) 832-0215 (day), or (773) 955-6384 (evening).

 

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