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


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 litter pickup, trail mulching, invasive plant removal, native plant installation, as well as nature-based activities like birding and plant identification walks. ​​​​​​

Come join us!

 

 

Thank you for your interest in volunteering. To have the best experience please review the following list:

  • Dates and times are subject to change and capacity varies by location. Please contact the Steward at the site listed to confirm your attendance.
  • All participants must sign a liability waiver before beginning work (available at the workday).
  • Wear closed toe shoes
  • Dress for the weather and wear comfortable clothes that can get dirty
  • A water bottle and hat are recommended
  • If you have a favorite pair of work gloves, bring them; however we do provide gloves
  • Avoid wearing perfume as it may attract insects
  • Site 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.


2022 Community Stewardship Workdays

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

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • April 30

  • May 21

  • June 18

  • July 16

  • August 20

  • September 17

  • October 15

  • November 19

Join the Shedd Aquarium for restoration and cleanup days through the Shedd Aquarium Action Days. Space is limited; RSVP at ActionDays@sheddaquarium.org.

Bobolink Meadow in Jackson Park 
63rd St. Just West of Lake Shore Drive (Next to Driving/Golf Range)

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

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

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. Space is limited; RSVP with Community Stewards Norm Bell and Gail Parry at normwbell@gmail.com.

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

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • March 5

  • April 2

  • April 23

  • May 7

  • June 4

  • July 9

  • August 6

  • September 10

  • October 1

  • November 5

  • December 3

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. Space is limited; RSVP with Community Steward Kathleen Taylor at taylorkathl@aol.com.

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

9:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. on Saturdays

  • April 23

  • May 21

  • June 25

  • Aug 27

  • Sept 24

  • Oct 22

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. Space is limited; RSVP with Community Steward Laura Brentner at lbrentner@luc.edu.

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

Workdays: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays

  • April 23
  • May 21
  • July 23
  • August 4
  • September 24
  • October 22

Nature Walks: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays

  • July 7
  • August 4

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. Space is limited, RSVP with Community Steward Carol G. Johnson at wkshps2017@gmail.com.

Leone Beach
1222 W. Touhy (East of Sheridan)

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

  • April 24

  • May 22

  • June 26

  • July 24

  • August 28

  • September 25

  • October 23

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. Space is limited; RSVP with Community Steward Ann Whelan at dune.steward@gmail.com

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

9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays

  • April 16

  • May 21

  • June 18

  • July 16

  • August 20

  • September 17

  • October 15

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). Space is limited; RSVP with 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)

9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. on Saturdays

  • April 23

  • May 21

  • June 25

  • July 16

  • August 20

  • September 17

  • October 15

  • November 19

Volunteer tasks vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up.  Space is limited; RSVP with Community Steward, Nicholas Efrosinis at nefrosinis@gmail.com.

Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary
Montrose and North Simonds Dr. (east end of the harbor)

9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • April 2

  • May 14

  • June 4

  • July 9

  • August 6

  • September 11 (Sunday)

  • October 15

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. RVSP with Community Steward, Alycia Kluenenberg at akluenenberg@gmail.com.

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

3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. on Sundays

  • March 20

  • April 10 (Easter)

  • May 15

  • June 12 (Father’s Day)

  • July 3

  • July 17

  • August 21

  • September 18

  • October 16

  • November 20 (weather permitting)

Contact the Community Stewards (Dan Brown/djpbrown@yahoo.com or Dave White/dmwhite01@yahoo.com) with any questions, to confirm the workdays, or to be informed of changes in the schedule or cancellations (due to weather or other circumstances). Meet in the natural area (not that big of a space, so it is easy to find people), on East 54th St. at the end of the cul-de-sac off S. Kimbark Ave. 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.

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 nature preserve. Activities include planting native species and invasive species control. Registration is required.  Contact the Nature Center at 312-744-5472.

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

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • May 7

  • May 21

  • June 4

  • June 18

  • July 9

  • July 23

  • August 6

  • August 27

  • September 10

  • October 8

  • October 22

  • November 5

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 west of the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. Meet on the plaza in the front of North Pond Restaurant. RSVP at Volunteer@lincolnparkconservancy.org.

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

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Sundays

  • April 24

  • May 22

  • June 26

  • July 31

  • August 28

  • September 25

  • October 30

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. Contact Renee Patten at ostermanbeachnaturalarea@gmail.com with questions.

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

Monthly on Saturdays, March through October (time vary)

  • March 26 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • April 23 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • May 21 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • June 25 – 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

  • July 23 – 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

  • August 27 – 7:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.

  • September 24 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • October 22 – 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. Space is limited, RSVP with Community Steward Carla Lents at stearnsquarry@gmail.com.

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

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • April 9

  • May 14

  • June 11

  • July 9

  • August 13

  • September 10

  • October 8

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. Space is limited; RSVP at 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. RSVP with 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 23 

  • June 25 

  • July 23   

  • September 24


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. Space is limited; RSVP at https://rainbowbeachdunes.wordpress.com/rsvp/.  

Ronan Park
Argyle St. (5000 N) west of the Chicago River

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • April 9

  • May 14: Chicago River Day 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

  • June 11

  • July 9

  • August 13

  • September 10

  • October 8

  • November 12

Join neighbors and friends to help enhance the Ronan Park Natural Area. Volunteers should bring a water bottle and dress in weather-appropriate clothing. Tools and gloves will be provided. Space is limited; RSVP at ronanparkstewards@gmail.com

Rutherford-Sayre Natural Area
2200 N. Newland Ave.

Sundays; time varies

  • March 20 – 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

  • May 22 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • July 17 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

  • Sept 18 – 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Volunteer tasks vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up. Space is limited; RSVP with Community Steward Tom Drebenstedt at chilstedt@sbcglobal.net.

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

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. on Saturdays

  • March 19

  • April 16

  • May 21

  • June 18

  • July 16

  • August 20

  • September 17

  • October 15

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. Space is limited; RSVP with 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 23

  • May 28

  • June 25

  • July 23

  • August 27

  • September 24

  • October 29

Volunteer tasks vary each month but might include trail maintenance, planting, pruning, weeding, controlling invasive plant species, seed collection or trash pick-up. Space is limited; RSVP with Community Steward Jackie Smith at washingtonparkstewardship@gmail.com.

West Ridge Nature Park
5801 N. Western Ave.

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

  • February 19

  • March 19

  • April 16

  • May 21 – “It’s Your Park Day” 12:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

  • June 18

  • July 16

  • August 20

  • September 17

  • October 15

  • November 19

  • December 17


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. Space is limited; RSVP with 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

  • April 30

  • May 21

  • June 18

  • July 16

  • August 20

  • September 17

Meet at the south bridge, just north of the parking lot along Hayes Drive (63rd St.) For more information and to RSVP, email Jerry Levy at sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com.

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