Featured Event! Neighborspace Howard Area Community Garden Workday, 5/19, 9AM

Explore Urban Agriculture
Neighborspace Howard Area Community Garden Workday
Saturday, May 19th
9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
1715 W. Juneway Terrace
Join volunteers from Neighborspace, Openlands, and Chicago Cares for an exciting workday at this Rogers Park community garden, one of the oldest commmunity gardens in the city.
There are 50 vegetable plots housed in this garden and maintained by local gardeners.  They need help preparing vegetable beds, fixing a fallen fence, mulching pathways, turning compost and other garden-related tasks.  Gloves and tools are provided, however bringing your own tools would also be helpful (be sure to put your name on your items).  Bring snacks and water and wear clothes that can get dirty.

Chicago River Day 20/20 still has many events before River Day!

Twenty years ago, Friends of the Chicago River started Chicago River Day with 25 volunteers who dragged shopping carts, mattresses, and plastic bags from its banks. Today, this inspiring event has grown to 4,000 volunteers at 65 locations along the Chicago River.

Celebrate this amazing milestone through Chicago River Day 20/20 – 20 days of events and activities that commemorate this milestone and get people involved. There is something for everyone so scroll through the calendar on the website and see what you can do.  Events include lectures, tree planting, tours and, of course, Chicago River Day.

Earth Day is Just Around the Corner, but You Can Celebrate Every Day

Celebrate Earth Day by attending one of the many upcoming stewardship events coming up soon!   Can’t make it?  Check out our Event Calendar, which will be updated with exciting opportunities from stewardship events to festivals and everything in between to celebrate Earth Day all year long.


Explore Stewardship Across Chicago
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than to get outside and clean up Chicago?  Events occur all month long. Register, if requested, with the event host and send any questions to the event contact.  Most sites offer gloves, bags and other necessary materials.  Please bring your own snacks and water bottle.  Be sure to dress appropriately for the weather and activity.  Comfortable shoes that can get dirty are recommended.  All events are kid-friendly – feel free to bring the whole family!


Saturday, April 21st
9 a.m. – Noon
Locations Across Chicago
Register at the website.
Saturday, April 21st
10 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Humboldt Park & Little Village
Saturday, April 21st
9 a.m. – Noon
5531 S. King
Contact wpconservancy@gmail.com
Saturday, April 21st
Times Vary
Locations Across Chicago
Contact 311 to Register


Saturday, April 28th
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Halsted and 144th
Contact Eileen at 773-238-4221
Saturday, April 28th
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
4055 N. Kenmore
Contact adelorenzo@chicagocares.org
Saturday, April 28th
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
6401 N. Stony Island
Contact Jerry at 773-955-6384

The Chicago Conservation Corps Six-Year Report

Check out the Chicago Conservation Corps’ six-year report here. We have come a long way since 2006 and we want to share the memories and impacts with you.

It has been an amazing 6 years and we look forward to many more years of grassroots community development and environmental stewardship throughout Chicago.

Want to join our environmental leadership network? There is still space available for our Spring 2012 Environmental Leadership Training Series. During the training, you’ll learn from community and environmental leaders about urban environmental challenges and opportunities for change; then you’ll lead an environmental service project in your community with C3 support and resources.

To apply for the C3 Leadership Training Series, you must be a City of Chicago resident and attend one orientation. The Spring 2012 training will be held at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd, on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m. on April 25, May 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30. Attend an orientation in April to learn more.

  • Tuesday, April 10, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N Sacramento Blvd
  • Wednesday, April 11, 12 p.m. – 1 p.m., City Hall, 121 N La Salle St
  • Thursday, April 12, 6 p.m. – 7 p.m., Washington Park Fieldhouse, 5531 S. Martin Luther King Dr.

To sign up for an orientation or for more information, visit www.conservationcorps.org or contact C3 at (312) 743-9283 or conservation@cityofchicago.org. A $75 fee covers course participation and project support. Financial assistance is available upon request.

We are now accepting applications! www.surveymonkey.com/spring2012leaderapplication Remember that you must also attend an orientation listed above to participate.

Are you a teacher or know a teacher at a CPS School?  Then consider our Student Clubs program!

Club projects include recycling, worm composting, water conservation, and anti-idling campaigns. Teachers involved receive a stipend, materials, project guides, training and other resources.  Learn more about the program here.

Attend one of the orientation dates below to learn more:

Tuesday, April 10th
Chicago Center for Green Technology
445 N. Sacramento Blvd (near Sacramento and Lake)
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Accessible by #94 bus; near California Green Line.
Parking in back lot.
Wednesday, April 11th
Amundsen High School
5110 N. Damen (near Damen and Foster), Room 321
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Accessible by buses #92 and #50; near Damen Brown Line.
Parking in back lot.
Thursday, April 12th
University of Chicago Lab Schools
5823 S. Kenwood Ave., Sunny Gym
4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Metra Electric Line
Parking available.

For questions or to reserve a seat, please contact (312) 743-9283 or conservation@cityofchicago.org.

To apply you must be a Chicago Public School teacher (6th – 12th grades) and attend an orientation.  If you are accepted into the program, you must attend three workshops in the 2012-2013 school year, held on Tuesday evenings at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd, Chicago, IL 60612.

We hope you will join us!

Chicago Park District Rainbow Beach Workday, 3/24, 10AM

Explore Dune Restoration

Chicago Park District Rainbow Beach Workday

Saturday, March 24th

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. (Note New Time)

77th St. and the Lake (Meet at the entrance to the Nature Area, southeast end of the beach.)

Contact the steward at alison.anastasio@gmail.com for more information or to register.

In the mid 1990s, beach ridges began to form naturally in the eastern section of Rainbow Beach. Soon, dune species began to colonize the newly formed beach ridges. Recognizing the site’s potential to form a natural dune ecosystem, the Chicago Park District installed protective fencing in 2001 to protect this developing nature area from excessive foot traffic. Attend this workday (the first one of the year!) and help this unique and young habitat thrive.  Please dress for the weather and bring water. Gloves and other materials will be provided.

Restoration Workday at North Park Village Nature Center, 3/18, 9AM

Explore Garden Stewardship

Restoration Workday at North Park Village Nature Center

Sunday, March 18th

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

5801 N. Pulaski

No registration necessary. Call 312-744-5472 for more information.

Enjoy a day in the woods of the North Park Village.  Help remove invasive plants like buckthorn; plant and/or remove trees; and learn about native landscapes.  Tools, gloves, and refreshments will be provided.  Be sure to check out the Nature Center after the workday for kid-friendly activities and educational information.

Dirty Hands at Working Bikes Cooperative

Content Creator, including photographs: C3 Blogger Tom from www.letUbeU.com

Working Bikes Cooperative is a non-profit organization in Chicago devoted to the motto: Reduce Reuse Recycle. They collect neglected bikes and tune them up to reuse & sell. The revenue is used to ship the remaining bikes to different corners of planet earth so that a poor person in Tanzania, Guatemala, or Peru can get to work and make money to feed his family.

Stored in a warehouse, they appear as a sea of bikes. There are old bikes, and older bikes. Rusty bikes, and dirty bikes. Bikes without wheels, and bikes with banana seats. Some bikes are blue, others have a white basket. Everywhere you look…bikes, bikes, bikes.

On Tuesday January 31, two trainees with the Chicago Conservation Corps (myself & Ben) attended Volunteer Night, which happens every Tuesday night. We immediately noticed the benefits of volunteering at Working Bikes, including:

Chicago Conservation1. Free food

2. Learning the skills to fix my own bike

3. Finding inspiration from the numerous posters (left)

Ben and I removed axels from tires for 2 hours while other volunteers fixed chains, polished metal, and attached pedals. All of these bikes are on their way to helping a good cause. Unfortunately, the demand for bikes is much higher than the rate at which they can be repaired, so volunteers are in high demand. Volunteering is simple. Go to the store or call during business hours and notify a staff member that you wish to lend a helping hand.

We want to warn you though, being kind can sometimes be dirty. Bike repair is accompanied by oil & grease, so wear appropriate clothing and prepare for dirty hands. Thank you for reading, and don’t forget, Reduce Reuse Recycle.

Conservation is simple

Working Bikes Cooperative Volunteer Night, Jan 31st, 5PM

Explore Bike Maintenance

Tuesday, January 31st

5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Working Bikes, 2434 S. Western Ave

No registration necessary.  For more information, contact volunteer@workingbikes.org.

Come out and learn about bike maintenance at Working Bikes, a local non-profit that diverts bicycles from the waste stream by repairing them for sale and charity.  Have a fun-filled night and learn how to keep any bike running smoothly.

Featured Event! Friends of the Parks MLK Jr. Service Day at Whistler Woods, Jan 16th, 9AM

Explore Outdoor Stewardship

Monday, January 16th

Whistler Woods, S Halsted St & W 134th St.

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

RSVP to Mary Eileen Sullivan at sullivanme@fotp.org.

Join Friends of the Parks and Calumet Is My Backyard (C.I.M.B.Y.) at Whistler Woods to celebrate Martin Luther King Day by providing stewardship work.  Volunteers will be doing various outdoor stewardship activities to restore the woods.  Dress in layers and be prepared to get your hands dirty.

C3 Leader Tameka Flowers: Getting 2 Know Green 101- Clean Up and Workshop, July 30

Getting 2 Know Green
Saturday, July 30
Meet at 13th and Homan
RSVP required: paperwerx4you@gmail.com

Join neighbors and organizations from the North Lawndale Community for Getting 2 Know Green 101.
Provide a clean up to the area near the Douglass Branch Library, 13th
Street Play Lot, CYC Community Center, and Village West Housing
Development. Win a free paper recycling bin designed by artists from Paperwerx Inc. and Neuro Kitchen Arts Collaborative.
Free Lunch and Discussion….All Ages Welcome!!!
Find us on Facebook

Volunteer at the North Avenue Beach Clean Up and Join Forces with Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Global Alliance of Artists, Saturday, July 23, 9:00-11:00 am

Saturday July 23, August13, and September 10, 2011

What We Worry About: Chicago Writers on Protecting Our Beaches

Beach pollution caused 18,682 closings and swimming advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches in 2009. You can help! Take action through these beach clean-up events and hear the inspirational readings of Chicago writers about the importance of our beaches. Clean-ups will occur on Saturday, July 23rd, August 13th, and September 10th. Attend one or all events from 9:00-11:00 am at North Avenue Beach.

If you would like to participate, please RSVP at with Catherine Game at catherine.game@gmail.com. For more information visit www.globalallianceartists.org.

Explore the Dunning Read Conservation Area, Saturday, July 9

Photo credit: Chicago Wilderness

Saturday, July 9
Dunning Read Conservation Area Restoration Workday
Southeast corner of Oak Park Ave and Irving Park Ave
9:00 am-12:00 pm

Join Friends of the Parks and neighbors from the Dunning area for an exciting stewardship event in this beautiful nature oasis located in the heart of Chicago’s northwest side. Be prepared to remove invasive plants, build a trail and spruce up the conservation area. A nature hike will be offered at 10:00 AM. Tools and gloves will be provided. Dress appropriately for the weather.

RSVP Required. Email Mary Eileen Sullivan at sullivanme@fotp.org

Make Your Conservation Efforts Count! Document Your Work With STEW-MAP

The United States Forest Service is reaching out to environmental stewardship groups (formal and informal) throughout the region to find out about them and where they are working. There is a long history of stewardship in the greater Chicago region but this is the first effort to try to pull together information on every environmental group or organization. We will create a region-wide map that shows who is working where.

Why participate in Chicago Stew-MAP?

Ø Promote your stewardship work by putting your group’s website/contact info on the stewardship map for potential volunteers, funders, and others to see;
Ø Make sure your group or organization gets credit for the environmental stewardship work you are doing;
Ø See where stewardship is occurring—and where it isn’t;
Ø Find out about and connect with other stewards;
Ø Help us understand the groups and organizations that are doing environmental stewardship in our region.

C3 and CSI talk with WBEZ about Hegewisch Marsh

Joann Podkul of CSI

Check out this great coverage of C3 and Calumet Stewardship Initiative volunteers working in vernal pools at Hegewisch Marsh over the weekend. Michael Puente from WBEZ joined us to help uncover the great restoration and open space preservation work happening in the area.

Greencorps Calumet

This work would not be possible without the dedicated investment and leadership from community leaders (who are also C3 leaders) like Joann Podkul and Kevin Murphy of the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, Sharon Rolek of the Calumet Ecological Park Association and many more. Thank you to everyone that helped to make the day a great experience for all!

Vernal pool planting

To get involved in stewardship opportunities throughout Chicago in unique and beautiful nature areas right in your backyard, visit the C3 event calendar

Featured Event! Restoration Workday at Hegewisch Marsh-Saturday, June 11

Photo credit: Ryan Wilson

Saturday, June 11
9:00 am -12:00 pm
Meet at 13250 S. Torrence
RSVP: Jerry Attere, 312-744-9136

Dress in work clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting a bit soggy and muddy.

Did you know that the Calumet Region is one of the most bio-diverse locations in our region and home to an astounding – 2,250+ species of plants and animals including threatened species like the black crown night heron and pie-billed grebes ! That’s more species diversity than Brookfield Zoo, the Shedd Aquarium, and Lincoln Park Zoo COMBINED!

Please join the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, the Department of Environmental and C3 for a unique restoration workday at Hegewisch Marsh. We will be helping with vernal pool planting, an opportunity only available in early summer. If you have yet to be a part of a workday in Calumet, please do not miss this opportunity to protect and support one of the most lovely and unique region in our fair city.

This is a great opportunity for students, families and nature lovers alike to gain hands-on experience in a beautiful nature area. Please join us!

Featured Event! NHS Chicago NeighborWorks Day tomorrow. Come out to Humboldt Park for an added bonus- Sustainable Backyard Demos!

Photo courtesy of NHS Chicago

Volunteer for a NeighborWorks Day project on Saturday, June 4!
Join in the fun during NHS’ 24th Annual NeighborWorks Day on Saturday, June 4. Volunteers are needed to paint, plant, clean vacant lots, landscape and garden.

During National NeighborWorks® Week, tens of thousands of volunteers, businesspeople, neighbors and friends will be volunteering across the country in a week of neighborhood change and awareness.

Come on out to the NeighborWorks site near you! Breakfast, lunch and a NeighborWorks t-shirt will be provided. RSVP to Lindsey Hammond lhammond@nhschicago.org or (773) 329-4133

Dreaming for Drake- West Humboldt Park
8:15 AM: 500 and 600 blocks of North Drake Ave. – Volunteers needed to paint porches, perform small repairs, plant vegetable, flowers and bushes, spread mulch and grass seed.

12:30 PM: Attend a Free Sustainable Backyard Workshopat the NHS Chicago WHP Neighborhood Center 3601 W. Chicago Ave. This program offered in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Environment and Chicago Conservation Corps volunteers provides instruction and demonstration on the use of Rain Barrels, Compost Bins, Planting a Rain Garden and more. Prizes & Rebates for up to 50% on Rain Barrels, Compost Bins, Trees and Native Plants will be available.
RSVP for workshop: cstewart@nhschicago.org or 773-329-4127

Living History – North Lawndale- Village West between 3400 & 3500 block W 13th Street near Homan- Beautification and Community Garden Enhancement – North Lawndale is home to more than 20 community gardens. Work will be done in one of the most famous, the African Gardens. Murals and plaques commemorating moments in North Lawndale’s history will be created and installed. Volunteers and residents will paint fencing around Village West Homes and plant flowers and plants around the walkways. There will be a cookout in the African Garden for all the residents and volunteers to celebrate the finished project.

Community Canvas – Back of the Yards/Garfield Boulevards- 2200 to 1700 W. 49th Street- Community Mural – Volunteers from local community organizations and residents will prepare this area for a new community mural. We will prime the surfaces with white primer, clean the debris in front of the wall and replace it with mulch. Murals will be painted during the course of the summer.

Roseland: A Neighborhood in Bloom – Roseland- 0-40 W. 108th street block- Beautification Project -We will work side-by-side with residents to beautify this block. Join us for painting fences and porches, cleaning a vacant lot and planting flowers. Stop by the Open Houses for our newly rehabbed NSP properties on the block.

Block by Block – West Englewood- Resource Fair and Beautification -NHS will host a resource fair and flower planting at a local church within the growing Block Club Network. Join us for planting flowers and small shrubs in the triangles at the corners of each participating block club network and for seniors who need assistance. Help us celebrate two newly formed Block Clubs!

Neighborhoods of Promise: A Showcase of Homes – Chicago Lawn/Gage Park- St. Rita Church 6243 S. Fairfield & St. Mary Star of the Sea Church 6435 S. Kilbourn-These community institutions will hold a “Showcase of Homes” for sale in the neighborhood. There will be opportunities for interested people to visit high quality and affordable homes in a designated area in the parish. Volunteers will help with registration and helping to ensure the event runs smoothly.

Empowering Our Community – Auburn Gresham/Englewood- 449 West 79th Street- Housing Resource Sidewalk Fair -Volunteers are needed to help canvass the neighborhood with information about NeighborWorks Day 2012 and NHS. Everyone is invited to meet the “new” Neighborhood Director! Mini workshops will be offered as well as one-on-one counseling with NHS staff.

Winners of the C3 River Day Challenge Announced

C3 volunteers across the city came out in droves in support of the 19th annual Chicago River Day! Nearly 125 C3 leaders, teachers, students and staff worked on 10 different riverside clean-up locations to demonstrate their dedication to a healthy and functioning river ecosystem.

C3 volunteers from the north and south sides of Chicago organized their regions in a spirited stewardship competition. The region with the greatest C3 representation on River Day will go home the winner. An added bonus, one C3er from each region was entered into a raffle to win a prize generously donated from two local Chicago businesses.

And now, to announce the winners

The winning region of the C3 River Day Challenge is….
THE SOUTH SIDE REGION and all the participants from the following sites:
Origins Park
Riverside Mall
18th Street
Orange Line Ashland stop

The south side winner of the the FREE BIKE TUNE-UP from Blue City Cycles in Bridgeport is C3 leader: WYLANDA HARRIS!

The north side winner of a 50$ gift certificate from Crust Organic Eatery is C3 trainee in the most recent leadership training course: ANNA HUTTEL!


Thank you so much to all who participated in the event! A big thank you to Friends of the Chicago River for hosting a great event! An extra special thanks to Blue City Cycles and Crust Organic Pizzeria for the generous donations.