Featured Event! Jackson Park Wooded Island Workday, 5/26, 10AM

Explore Park Stewardship
Jackson Park Wooded Island Workday
Saturday, May 26th
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Contact Jerry Levy at sjlevy@jeromelevylaw.com
Join Park District Steward, Jerry Levy for a fun day of stewardship and education at the Jackson Park Workday.  Volunteers will meet at the Darrow Memorial Bridge, just south of the Museum Of Science and Industry. Activities can include pulling invasives, planting and general site maintenance. Jerry will also talk about the history of Wooded Island and the surrounding community.  Work gloves and tools are provided. Bring your own snacks and water and dress appropriately for outdoor work.

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.

Growing Forward Insight Sessions at the 2012 Green & Growing Fair

Growing Forward Insight Sessions at the 2012 Green & Growing Fair

Saturday, April 28th, 12-4pm

Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N. Central Park Ave.
On behalf of GreenNet and all the community gardens that are so important to Chicago’s neighborhoods, you are invited to attend a special Insight Session for community garden leaders at this year’s Green and Growing Fair. At this 45-minute session, GreenNet wants to hear your thoughts on how together, we can make all of our community gardens more vibrant and sustainable.

The Insight Sessions are part of a larger initiative sponsored by GreenNet called Growing Forward, which is a year-long collaboration between gardens, gardeners, and garden support organizations across the City.

Diverse voices are wanted. To lend yours to this effort, please RSVP at http://growingforwardchicago.eventbrite.com
to share your insight about issues and opportunities facing Chicago’s gardens (and afterwards enjoy the fun at the annual Green and Growing Fair!).

The Insight Sessions are 45 minutes each and will be held at 12pm, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm at the Green and Growing Fair on Saturday, April 28th at the Garfield Park Conservatory.

For more information about Growing Forward, please visit http://www.greennetchicago.org/growing-forward.

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.

Spring Public Workshop for the Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor Grant Program, 3/13, 7PM

Want to help manage stormwater and prevent flooding in Logan Square? Interested in making green improvements to your property, no matter where you live?  Join us at the first public workshop for the Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor grant program!


March 13, 2012, 7–9 pm
Hairpin Lofts, Logan Square Arts Center 2800 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago

Learn how the grant program works and get free consultation from design professionals on the kinds of projects – a green roof, rain garden, permeable paving – that make sense for your home or business.  Check to see if your property is in the corridor at www.logansquareh2o.org.

Why should you come?

  • Learn about the Milwaukee Avenue Green Development Corridor grant program
  • Learn about stormwater management and green infrastructure
  • Learn about other City of Chicago programs you can use
  • Get free design ideas for green infrastructure projects on your property
  • Have fun and meet your neighbors!

What should you bring?

Please bring aerial photos, blueprints or other schematics of your property to discuss with our designers.  Aerial images printed from Google Earth, Google Maps, or something comparable are sufficient.

Questions? Contact Josh Ellis at jellis@metroplanning.org

This workshop is free and open to the public, and no matter where your property is, you can benefit from attending.  Please note, however, only properties within the designated corridor are eligible for grant funding through this program. To be eligible for a grant, applicants must attend a program workshop, which will take place every three months, or until all grant funds have been awarded.  Additional workshops will occur at the same time and place on June 12 and Sept. 11.

The event is free, but please register.

Homegrown Chicago Accepting Applications

The HomeGrown Chicago community food garden network, sponsored by Openlands, is a training program that focuses on fostering neighborhood groups to assess, plan for, and build long-term stewardship for community-managed green spaces.

The objectives of the program are to promote increased growing and consumption of healthy and affordable local food, establish productive uses for vacant lots, build personal connections among neighbors, and reinforce a citywide network of local gardeners for the exchange of ideas and experiences.

HomeGrown Chicago provides participants a series of four workshops (see schedule below) annually that focus on:

  • Finding and securing land,
  • Establishing a sustainable organizational structure,
  • Designing a garden and growing food organically, and
  • Building garden structures.

The program also provides customized workshops for garden groups; offers a program manual; donates lumber, soil, seeds, and other materials; and encourages participants to share advice and seeds at the beginning of each growing season.

  • Workshop 1-  March 24, 2012 – 9:30  a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Meet successful allotment gardeners and learn the history of this movement.  Learn how to find, test and secure land for your garden.
  • Workshop 2- March 31, 2012 – 9:30  a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Learn how to establish a healthy organization as the first step to ensure that the garden is run effectively, cooperatively and sustainably.
  • Workshop 3-  April  7, 2012 – 9:30  a.m.-12:30 p.m.   Designing the garden, and growing vegetables organically.
  • Workshop 4- April 14, 2012 – 9:30  a.m.-12:30 p.m.  Hands-on demonstrations of building & installing garden structures such as raised beds & trellises in a garden.

Workshop participants will receive a manual, garden materials,  technical assistance and membership in the HomeGrown Chicago Food Garden Network.

Registration: HomeGrown is for groups, not individuals. A minimum of 4 people from each garden is suggested. Tuition for the program is $150.00 for four members and four classes. Registration is limited and starts January 13, 2012 , ends March 10, 2012. For an application contact Julie Samuels (312.863.6256) or click here.


Tropical Treat Night at Garfield Park Conservatory, February 15th, 3PM

Explore Plant Education

Tropical Treat Night at Garfield Park Conservatory

Wednesday, February 15th

3 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. (stop by anytime)

300 N. Central Park

For more information, contact 312-746-5100.

Enjoy a tasty treat while learning about the “sweet plants” of the Conservatory. Fact and flavor stations will be staffed by educators throughout the Conservatory, featuring chocolate, chicle, vanilla, cinnamon, chewing gum, banana and more. Come taste your way through the tropical paradise.  Hands-on activities, including homemade paper ukuleles, Valentine’s day cards and more.

Chicago Cares Workday at Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse, February 11th, 9AM

Explore Garden Stewardship

Chicago Cares Workday at Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse

Saturday, February 11th

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Kilbourn Park Organic Greenhouse

3501 N. Kilbourn

For more information, contact 773-685-3359.

Kilbourn Park is home to the Park District’s only organic facility. There is a large greenhouse and a variety of gardens to work in. You will help plant, create new beds, and maintain the indoor and outdoor areas. Projects are held inside of the greenhouse during inclement weather.  All necessary tools will be provided.

Shedd’s Sustainable Seafood Cooking Class for Kids, February 9th, 7:30PM

Explore Sustainable Seafood

Shedd’s Sustainable Seafood Cooking Class for Kids

Thursday, February 9th

7:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.

Dirk’s Fish and Gourmet Shop

2070 N Clybourn

For more information, contact bhavlik@sheddaquarium.org.

Did you know your seafood choices can have a big impact on the health of our waters? Everyone can make a differe

A New Years Resolution: Recycle Paper

When you check your mail later and the box is jammed with catalogs and other miscallaneous junk mail, don’t trash paper, RECYCLE PAPER. According to the Draft Waste Characterization Study, 29.5% of what Chicago residents & businesses throw away is paper. Paper is recyclable.

Chicago paper recyclingRecycling paper achieves a significant reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions based on life-cycle analysis. Basically this means we do not want paper sitting in a landfill.

recycle paper

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle PAPER. Thanks for reading! :)

Content Creator: C3 Trainee Tom from www.letUbeU.com

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 Featured Event this Saturday! Dan Ryan Woods Workday, 9am

Saturday, December 10th

9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

87th and Western

meet at the parking lot on the north side of 87th St. two blocks east of S. Western Ave.

Register at 773-398-1178 or benjamin@fotfp.org

Join the Friends of the Forest Preserves for an exciting workday tomorrow!  Get some fresh air as trained leaders show you how to identify invasive plants that don’t belong in Chicago and demonstrate how to safely use hand tools to remove them.  All the necessary tools and work gloves are provided. Worried that you will be cold?  No problem.  Volunteers will be burning large brush piles and staying active – you will be warm in no time.  Work days have also been known to end with some tasty treats.

All participants should be dressed for a day of outdoor work. Please wear covered shoes (hiking boots or tennis shoes). Clothing should be made of natural fibers such as cotton or wool (no synthetic clothing) as workdays often have brush pile burns and stray embers can “burn” synthetic clothing and melt through to your skin – ouch. Please wear comfortable clothes that can get dirty and dress in layers. Please bring your own drinking water.

Don’t be discouraged by the weather – this is an excellent time to see these woods in their winter glory.  We hope you can make it!

C3 Partner, Faith in Place, will sponsor Winter Farmers Markets Throughout Chicagoland

Faith in Place sponsors indoor Winter Farmers Markets throughout the Chicagoland area. These markets provided small, local farm producers with additional venues to extend their income beyond the growing season. Hosted by many different congregations and also open to the public, these markets offer consumers an opportunity to purchase cheese, meat and poultry, soap, syrup, honey, wool, raw fibers, vinegars, dried fruits, milled flours, sauces and salsas, preserves, cider, and fresh produce as available.

For the farmers, there is no fee to participate, but they donate 10% of what they take in at the market (after a threshold amount) via Faith In Place to an Illinois Farmer Crisis Fund modeled after Wisconsin’s Harvest of Hope Fund which, for almost 20 years, has been giving monetary gifts of up to $1,000 to farmers in crisis due to illness or unexpected expenses.

When and Where?

Their markets run from November through March

Sunday November 6, 12:00pm-3:00pm
Faith Lutheran Church
3801 Madison Ave. Brookfield, IL 60513

Saturday, January 28, 10:00am-2:00pm
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
205 N. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, IL 60068

Sunday, November 13, 12:00pm-3:00pm
Unitarian Universalist Church of Elgin
39W830 Highland Ave. Elgin, IL 60124

Sunday, February 12, Time TBA
Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
303 Dodge Avenue Evanston, IL 60202

Saturday, December 4, 10:00am-2:00pm
North Shore Unitarian Church
2100 Half Day Rd. Deerfield, IL 60015

Saturday, February 18, 9:00am-1:00pm
Glenview New Church
74 Park Dr. Glenview, IL 60025

Sunday, December 11, 11:30-3:00pm
First Evangelical Free Church
5255 N. Ashland Ave. Chicago IL 60640

Sunday, February 19, 10:00am-1:00pm
St. John’s Episcopal Church
3857 N. Kostner Ave. Chicago, IL 60641

Saturday, December 17, 10:00am-2:00pm
Church of St. Benedicts
909 Lily Cache Ln. Bolingbrook, IL 60440

Saturday, February 25, 10:00am-2:00pm
Bethany Evangelical Lutheran Church
9147 S. Jeffery Blvd. Chicago, IL 60617

Saturday, January 14, TBA
Unity Temple UU
875 W. Lake St. Oak Park, IL 60301

Sunday, March 4, 8:30am-1:00pm
St. Giles Parish
1025 Columbian Ave. Oak Park, IL 60302

Saturday, January 21, 9:00am-1:00pm
Lake Street Church
607 Lake St. Evanston, IL 60201

Sunday, March 11, TBA
The Center 12700
Southwest Hwy. Palos Park, IL 60464

Sunday, January 22, 10:00am-2:00pm
Countryside UU
1025 N. Smith St. Palatine, IL 60067

Saturday, March 24, 9:00am-1:00pm
Euclide Avenue United Methodist Church
405 Euclid Ave. Oak Park, IL 60302

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

Treat Yourself to a Rain Barrel and Compost Bin at the next Sustainable Backyard Workshop, July 26

Sustainable Backyard Workshop
Tuesday, July 26
Chicago Center for Green Technology
445 N. Sacramento
RSVP: rainbarrel@cityofchicago.org or 312-743-9283

The Chicago Sustainable Backyard Program has received a lot of great attention, and more importantly, participation this summer. We are happy to share with you that the program was recently featured in Gapers Block, thanks to a great article by Chicago’s favorite gardening blogger, Mr. Brown Thumb

The Sustainable Backyard Program provides rebates on resources and tools that will help you transform your back, front and side yard into a sustainable and ecologically diverse landscape. So go ahead and treat yourself to that rain barrel or compost bin you have been meaning to install. The Department of Environmental will reimburse you up to 50% for your effort.

While you’re at your local garden center, check out the lovely range of native plants that will attract a range of beneficial critters to your yard, creating a diverse habitat and sustainable ecosystem-right in your backyard!

Rebate forms are available to Chicago residents for up to 50% off their next local purchase of:

TREES (up to $100 back)

NATIVE PLANTS (up to $60 back)

COMPOST BINS (up to $50 back)

RAIN BARRELS (up to $40 back)

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