Volunteer workdays take place at various natural areas across the city of Chicago. Workdays are led by trained Community Stewards. Activities differ by site and time of year, and can include tasks such as invasive plant removal, native plantings, litter pickup, trail mulching, as well as nature-based activities like birding and plant identification walks. ​​​​​​

Come join us!

 

 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with the park district's Community Stewardship Program. To have the best experience please review the following information:

  • Dates and times are subject to change and capacity varies by location. RSVP with the Steward listed for each site to ensure you receive updated information for each workday/event.
  • All participants must sign a liability waiver before beginning work (available at the workday).
  • Dress for the weather and wear comfortable clothes that can get dirty. Long pants and closed toe shoes are highly recommended.
  • A water bottle and hat are recommended.
  • If you have a favorite pair of work gloves, bring them; however we do provide gloves.
  • Most volunteer locations do not have bathrooms, please plan accordingly.

Group Volunteer Opportunities

To learn more about group volunteer opportunities, visit:  www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/get-involved/volunteer.
 


For additional information about the Community Stewardship Program, please email stewardship@chicagoparkdistrict.com.


2023 Community Stewardship Workdays

Additional workday dates for 2023 will be announced soon.

Click on a natural area from the list below to see its workday information:

63rd St. Beach (Jackson Park)
Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary (Lincoln Park)
Bobolink Meadow (Jackson)
Burnham Nature Sanctuary
Columbus Park
Garfield Park
Leone Beach Dunes
Loyola Beach Dunes
McKinley Park
Montrose Beach Dunes (Lincoln Park)
Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary (Lincoln Park)
Nichols Meadow
North Park Village Nature Center
North Pond (Lincoln Park)
Osterman Beach Dunes (Lincoln Park)
Palmisano Park
Ping Tom Memorial Park
Portage Park Nature Garden
Rainbow Beach Dunes
Ronan Park
Rutherford-Sayre
South Shore Nature Sanctuary
Washington Park
West Ridge Nature Park
Wooded Island (Jackson Park)

63rd St. Beach in Jackson Park
6300 S. DuSable Lake Shore Dr.

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

2023 Dates TBA

Join the Shedd Aquarium for restoration and cleanup days through the Shedd Aquarium Action Days. For more information and to RSVP, email ActionDays@sheddaquarium.org.

Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Lincoln Park
Addison and DuSable Lake Shore Dr., near the lake

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • January 28
  • February 11
  • February 25
  • March 11
  • March 25
  • April 15
  • April 22
  • May 13
  • May 27
  • June 10
  • June 24
  • July 8
  • July 22
  • August 12
  • August 26
  • September 9
  • September 23
  • October 14
  • October 28
  • November 11
  • November 28
  • December 9
  • December 16

We meet at the garage on the right as you walk east toward Lake Michigan from Addison and DuSable Lake Shore Drive (view location on Google Maps). We work rain or shine; please dress appropriately. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Vera Rast at alix1@att.net.

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

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

Join neighbors and friends for workdays. Volunteer tasks vary each month and might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up. Meet at the south entrance of the Bobolink Meadow at Jackson Park. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Stewards Norm Bell and Gail Parry at normwbell@gmail.com.

Burnham Nature Sanctuary 
47th St. and Cornell Drive (West of Lake Shore Drive)

Workdays: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • March 4

  • April 1

  • April 22

  • May 6

  • June 3

  • July 1

  • August 5

  • September 9

  • October 7

  • November 3

  • December 2

Volunteer tasks vary each month and might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up. The Metra and several CTA bus stops are available less than two blocks from the nature sanctuary. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Kathleen Taylor at taylorkathl@aol.com.

Burnham Nature Sanctuary Nature Walks: approximately 1.25 miles, from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward George Davis at kenwoodgwd@yahoo.com.

  • March 19
  • June 18
  • September 24
  • December 17

Burnham Wildlife Corridor Nature Walks: approximately 7 miles, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward George Davis at kenwoodgwd@yahoo.com.

  • February 5
  • April 30
  • August 6
  • November 5

Columbus Park 
Jackson Blvd. and Golf Dr. (West of Central Ave.)

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays

  • April 22

  • May 20

  • June 17

  • August 19

  • September 16

  • October 21

Team up with fellow community members to restore the natural area in Columbus Park! Meet in the southeast corner of the parking lot behind the Refectory. Workday activities can vary by season and may include brush removal, litter pickup, invasive species removal, and native plantings. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Laura Brentner at lbrentner@luc.edu.

Garfield Park
100 N. Central Park, at the Gold Dome

2023 Dates TBA

Workday activities can vary by season and may include brush removal, litter pickup, and planting natives. Meet east of the field house, next to the statue. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Carol G. Johnson at wshps2017@gmail.com.

Leone Beach Dunes
1222 W. Touhy (East of Sheridan)

9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. on Sundays

  • April 23

  • May 28

  • June 25

  • July 23

  • August 27

  • September 25

  • October 22

The east side, closest to Lake Michigan is being restored as a sand prairie. The west and north sides of the building are being restored as a black oak savanna. Meet at Leone Beach Park, 1222 W. Touhy, the oldest building on Chicago’s lakefront. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Ann Whelan at leone.nature@gmail.com.

Loyola Beach Dunes 
Pratt Avenue (6800 N) & Lake Michigan

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays

  • April 15

  • 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 at Pratt Ave. (6800 N) and Farwell Ave. (6900 N). For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Ann Whelan at dune.steward@gmail.com.

McKinley Park
2020 W. Pershing Rd. (approx.) and Damen Ave. (meet at tree stump circle north of Pershing on Damen)

2023 Dates TBA

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 and to RSVP, email Community Steward Nicholas Efrosinis at mkpgarden@gmail.com.

Montrose Beach Dunes in Lincoln Park
Montrose Ave. and Montrose Harbor Dr. (southeast end of Montrose Beach)

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • March 25
  • April 22
  • May 21
  • June 25
  • July 22
  • August 19
  • September 30
  • October 21 - joint workday with Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary volunteers

Meet at the southern end of Montrose Beach Dunes, which begins along the stone wall at the far southeast end of Montrose Beach. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Mark Kolasa at montrosedunesnaturalarea@gmail.com.

Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary in Lincoln Park
Montrose Ave. and Montrose Harbor Dr. Dr. (east of the harbor)

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • April 1
  • May 13
  • June 3
  • July 8
  • August 5
  • September 10
  • October 21 - joint workday with Montrose Beach Dunes volunteers

Meet at the entrance to the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. Traveling east on Montrose, pass Lake Shore Drive, as the road turns north, make a right at the bait shop. Travel to just before the harbor parking lot, look for Community Stewards on the right. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Alycia Kluenenberg at akluenenberg@gmail.com.

Nichols Meadow
54th St. between Kimbark Ave. and Kenwood Ave.

2023 Dates TBA

Meet in the natural area on East 54th St. at the end of the cul-de-sac off S. Kimbark Ave. It is a small space and easy to find people. Dress in clothing appropriate for working in brush, including close-toed shoes. Tools and gloves will be provided, or bring your own if you prefer.  Please bring a signed waiver to your first workday of the season. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Stewards Dan Brown djpbrown@yahoo.com or Dave White at dmwhite01@yahoo.com.

North Park Village Nature Center 
5801 N. Pulaski Rd. - follow signs to Nature Center

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. every Wednesday and Sunday (year-round)

Work in the woodland, wetland, and prairie communities in the natural area. Activities include planting native species and invasive species control. Registration is required.  Contact the Nature Center at 312-744-5472 to RSVP.

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

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • April 22

  • May 6

  • May 20

  • June 3

  • June 17

  • July 15

  • July 29

  • August 12

  • August 26

  • September 9

  • September 23

  • October 7

  • October 21

Join the Lincoln Park Conservancy’s North Pond Gardeners. Help us improve our natural areas by pulling weeds and removing litter. North Pond is located west of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. For more information or to RSVP, email Community Steward Maeve Callaghan at mcallaghan@lincolnparkconservancy.org.

Osterman Beach Dunes
Ardmore Ave (5800 N) and Lakefront Trail entrance

2023 Dates TBA

Join friends and neighbors to help clean up and restore the natural area at Kathy Osterman Beach (also known as Hollywood/Ardmore Beach).  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 an afternoon at the beach afterward. Meet on the south side of the beach house, off of Hollywood Ave. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Renee Patten at ostermanbeachnaturalarea@gmail.com.

Palmisano Park 
Halsted. and 29th St. (Across from the McGuane Park Field House)

Monthly on Saturdays, March through October (times vary)

  • March 25 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • April 29 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • May 20 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • June 24 – 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

  • July 29 – 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

  • August 26 – 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

  • September 30 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • October 28 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

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, hat. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Carla Lents at stearnsquarry@gmail.com.

Ping Tom Memorial Park 
Wentworth Ave. and 19th St. (along the Chicago River)

2023 Dates TBA

Join the Shedd Aquarium for restoration and cleanup workdays through the Shedd Aquarium Action Days. Enter the park on 19th St., just west of Wentworth Ave., make a right at the pagoda, then walk north along the river and meet near the Urban Kayaks boathouse. For more information and to RSVP, email ActionDays@sheddaquarium.org.

Portage Park Nature Garden
5424 W. Irving Park

9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays

  • April 30

  • May 28

  • June 25

  • September 24

Join Community Stewards and help care for the garden. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Renata Listopad at renatalistopad@yahoo.com.

Rainbow Beach Dunes 
77th St. and Lake Michigan (cars enter at 79th St.)

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • April 22

  • May 27

  • June 24

  • August 26

  • September 23

Join neighbors and friends for habitat restoration workdays. Volunteer tasks vary each month and 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 more information and to RSVP, contact Community Steward Jacob Klippenstein at https://rainbowbeachdunes.wordpress.com/rsvp/

Rutherford-Sayre Natural Area
2200 N. Newland Ave.

2023 Dates TBA

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 and to RSVP, email Community Steward Tom Drebenstedt at chilstedt@sbcglobal.net.

South Shore Nature Sanctuary 
7059 S. South Shore Dr. (south of the beach)

2023 Dates TBA

Meet behind the South Shore Cultural Center, south of the beach house. Volunteers should bring a water bottle and wear weather-appropriate clothing. Tools and gloves will be provided. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Susannah Ribstein at susannahbet@gmail.com.

Washington Park
Southwest of Payne Dr and 57th St, south of the comfort station

9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays

  • April 22

  • May 27

  • June 24

  • July 22

  • August 26

  • September 23

  • October 28

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 and to RSVP, email Community Steward Jackie Smith at washingtonparkstewardship@gmail.com.

West Ridge Nature Park
5801 N. Western Ave.

2023 Dates TBA

Join the West Ridge Nature Park Advisory Council for volunteer activities, which may include invasive species removal, native seed collection and dispersal, and litter cleanup.  Gloves and tools will be provided. CTA Bus #49B. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Tom Murphy at tjmurphy4@comcast.net.

Wooded Island in Jackson Park
North of Hayes Dr. (also known as 63rd St.) and east of Cornell Dr.

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays

  • March 4

  • April 15

  • May 20

  • June 17

  • July 15

  • August 19

  • September 16

  • October 21

  • November 18

Meet at the north bridge, just south of the Museum of Science and Industry. Street parking is available on Stony Island and 59th Street depending on surrounding construction. There is also a Metra stop and a CTA bus stop near 59th and Stony Island. For more information and to RSVP, email Community Steward Jerry Levy at sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.


For additional information about the Community Stewardship Program, please contact stewardship@chicagoparkdistrict.com.

Documents

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Community Stewardship YOUTH Liability Waiver.pdf278.09 KB 278.09 KB