Stewardship workdays take place weekly at multiple sites year-round across the City of Chicago. Workday 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 fun nature-based activities like birding and plant id walks. Participants can volunteer at stewardship workdays as often as they like and tailor their volunteer experience according to their own schedules and interests.

Dates and times are subject to change. Please contact the site’s listed contact for weather related cancellations. Youth volunteers under 18 require parental consent, and must have a parent or guardian sign the Park District's liability waiver prior to the event. Students looking to complete service learning for school must RSVP with the site's listed contact prior to attending a workday to receive hours.

 

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.

 

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

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

  • April 3, 10
  • May 16
  • June 20
  • July 11
  • September 5

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.)

Select Saturdays from 10 a.m.  1 p.m. 

  • March 16
  • April 20
  • May 11
  • June 8 - Nature trail maintenance
  • July 26 - Sunset Moth and ID training (meets at Indian Ridge Marsh) 7 pm-9 pm
  • August 4 – Thismia hunt event (meets at Indian Ridge Marsh) 9 am-1 pm
  • September 14 - Seed collection at Birds, Bikes, and Beats
  • October 19 - Seed collection (meets at Hegewisch Marsh)
  • November 9 – Seed processing day, contact Stephen (below) to RSVP and for meeting details
  • December 7 - Brush cutting and end of season bonfire (with smores!)

Meet at the main parking lot at 11559 S. Stony Island Ave, near the bike park.  Join us as we restore native habitat and improve 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 details, and to register, please email Center Director Stephen Bell at stephen.bell@chicagoparkdistrict.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.

  • February 9, 23
  • March 9, 23
  • April 13, 27
  • May 11, 25
  • June 8, 22
  • July 13, 27
  • August 10, 24
  • September 14, 28
  • October 12, 26
  • November 2, 16, 23
  • December 14

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. Hayes Dr. and S. Lake Shore Dr.)

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

  • March 9
  • April 13
  • May 11
  • June 8
  • July 13
  • August 10
  • September 14
  • October 12
  • November 9
  • December 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 2
  • April 6, 20
  • May 4
  • June 1
  • July 6
  • August 3
  • September 7
  • October 5
  • November 2
  • December 7

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. 

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

  • February 3 – Winter Long Walk
  • March 24 – Spring Equinox Walk
  • May 5 – Spring Long Walk
  • June 23 – Summer Solstice Walk
  • August 4 – Summer Long Walk
  • September 22 – Autumn Equinox Walk
  • November 3 – Autumn Long Walk
  • December 22 – 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.

Columbia Basin (Jackson Park, south of Museum of Science and Industry)

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

  • August 24
  • September 14

Team up with fellow community members to restore a natural edge to the Columbia Basin in Jackson Park! Meet behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Workday activities can vary by season but typically include brush removal, litter pickup, invasive species removal, and native plantings. For more information and to RSVP for a workday, email Nancy at  joseph2008@aol.com.

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

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

  • April 13
  • April 27 - Bioblitz (part of city challenge)
  • May 11
  • June 8
  • August 10
  • September 14
  • October 12

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)

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

  • April 6 Now April 20
  • June 8
  • September 14
  • October 26

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 - Select Thursdays from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

  • March 23 - 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • April 13 - 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • May 25 - 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • June 27 - 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m
  • July 18 - 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m
  • August 15 - 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m
  • September 25 - 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m

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

Gompers Park (4222 W Foster Ave)

Select Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m., unless otherwise noted.

  • March 9
  • April 20 – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • May 11 – 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
  • June 8
  • July 13
  • August 10
  • September 14
  • October 12
  • November 9
  • December 14 – Annual volunteer gathering, no work!

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)

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

  • May 18
  • June 15 Now June 22
  • July 20
  • August 17
  • September 21

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.

Indian Ridge Marsh (Pratt Avenue & Lake Michigan)

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

  • March 23
  • April 27
  • May 25 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.)
  • June 22
  • July 26 (7 p.m. - 9 p.m.)
  • August 4 (9 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
  • September 7
  • October 12 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) - Birdwalk
  • November 9 (9 a.m. – 12 p.m.) - Off-site; more information to follow
  • December 14

Join Audubon Great Lakes, The Wetlands Initiative and Chicago Park District to restore ecological health and integrity in prairie, savanna, wetland, and hemimarsh habitats at Indian Ridge Marsh in South Deering, Chicago. Work days will include introductions to habitat restoration, including: nature hikes, cleaning-up the site, native plant ID, invasive plant removal, native plug planting, seed collecting and seed processing. All ages and experience levels are welcome! 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! For more information or to RSVP for a workday, contact Teri Valenzuela at tvalenzuela@audubon.org.

Kathy Osterman Beach (Ardmore and Lake Front Trail entrance)

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

  • April 28
  • June 9
  • July 28
  • September 8
  • October 13 Now October 12
  • November 17

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.

Loyola Beach Dunes (Pratt Avenue & Lake Michigan)

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

  • April 20
  • May 4 - Working up the beach at Leone
  • May 18
  • June 15
  • July 20
  • August 17
  • September 21
  • October 19

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.

  • March 31
  • April 28 [April 28 workday Cancelled]
  • May 26
  • June 30
  • July 28
  • August 18 [August 18 workday Cancelled]
  • September 29
  • October 27
  • November 24

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)

4th Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

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

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 30
  • April 27 [April 27 workday Cancelled]
  • May 4 [Newly added]
  • May 18
  • June 15
  • July 20 [July 20 workday Cancelled]
  • August 17
  • September 14
  • October 12 - Joint dunes/point workday

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. unless otherwise noted.

  • April 7 - Sunday
  • May 11
  • June 9 - Sunday
  • July 13
  • August 3
  • September 7
  • October 12 - Joint point/dune workday

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 31
  • April 14
  • May 19
  • June 9, 30
  • July 21
  • August 18
  • September 15 Now September 29
  • October 20 Now November 3
  • November 17

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.cm 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 20
  • May 18
  • June 1, 22
  • July 13, 27
  • August 10, 24
  • September 7, 28
  • October 12

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. unless otherwise noted.

  • March 16
  • April 27
  • May 18
  • June 15
  • July 20
  • August 24
  • September 21
  • October 19
  • November 16

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

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 from 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

  • May 11 Now May 4

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 18
  • June 22
  • August 17
  • October 21 [Bird Walk: 7 a.m. - 9 a.m.; Workday: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.]

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)

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

  • March 9
  • April 13
  • May 11
  • June 8
  • July 13
  • August 10
  • September 14
  • October 12  Now October 19th 
  • November 9

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.)

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

  • April 20
  • May 18
  • June 15
  • July 20
  • August 17 – Monarch Festival!
  • September 21
  • October 19

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 Jerry Levy at (312) 832-1616 (day), or (773) 955-6384 (evening).

Walking Stick Woods (Near 5801 N Pulaski Rd.)

Select Weekdays from 10:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

  • Spring workdays postponed. Please stay tuned for updates for future workdays.

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 about the meeting location, or to RSVP, email forestplayschooloffice@gmail.com.

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 20
  • May 18
  • May 30 - Nature hike
  • June 15
  • July 20
  • August 17
  • September 15 - Nature hike Now Saturday, September 14
  • September 21
  • October 19

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.)

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

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

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).

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

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

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

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.)

Third Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

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

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.