About C3

Who are C3 Leaders?

The Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) empowers Chicagoans to complete neighborhood sustainability and environmental projects that impact and engage communities across the city.

Leaders participate in 20+ hours of training classes that equip them with a broad understanding of urban environmental challenges and opportunities. Local experts teach these classes, which cover environmental principles and skills in five subject areas: water, energy, green space, waste & community organizing.

Making a Difference
Following the classes, Leaders turn their learning into action by developing and leading environmental service projects in their communities with support from C3 Partners and staff. After the project is complete, the Leader is recognized at an annual Leader Graduation Celebration and is eligible to complete further Leader projects.

Inspired? Join Us!
As a C3 Leader, you’ll receive unmatched training and support through the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and our partners. Participants attend a series of classes that explore big picture issues and local solutions, network with peers and sustainability thought-leaders, and practice community organizing skills that empower Chicagoans to make difference.

    Conserve water, manage storm water, and improve water quality.
    Be a steward of Chicago’s open spaces and learn about our urban ecology.
    Recycle, reduce, reuse, and rethink the materials we use every day.
    Use active transportation and increase energy efficiency to lessen impacts on climate.
    Engage other people and groups in projects that bring out the best in your community.
    Complete a community asset map, manage a budget, make a plan, and carry it out.

Community Impact
All C3 projects have a measurable environmental impact, educational components, and require that you lead a community-based team of peers in planning and completing the project. After training, C3 Leaders develop and implement their own projects with support and professional guidance from Nature Museum staff members and up to $250 in materials to complete their project. Past projects range from community-based campaigns and workshops to outdoor stewardship workdays.

By the Numbers
As of November 2016 we have trained 674 C3 Leaders who along with their team members have:

  • completed 652 projects
  • engaged 87,881 community members in sustainability initiatives
  • contributed 60,944 service hours in their projects

Ready to do Something?

A training fee of $125.00 covers the eight-class course, project support and materials. Financial assistance is available upon request.

Learn more about upcoming orientations and training series by visiting the C3 page on the Nature Museum website. It will be updated as training and orientation dates become available.

Questions? Contact the C3 team.