2020 Goal: Active stewardship of every park and preserve

The Nature Conservancy

Removing invasive species, cleaning up litter and planting new vegetation are important roles of a Park Advisory Council.

By establishing a Park Advisory Council (PAC) or stewardship group dedicated to every riverfront park and preserve, Chicagoans will demonstrate their pride in and responsibility for clean, healthy and safe parks that support native vegetation, wildlife and active recreation.

A PAC consists of community members who marshal financial resources and broader neighborhood support for managing and maintaining park infrastructure. A volunteer stewardship program is another approach, with members committed to trash-free shorelines, invasive species management and thriving native ecosystems.

Making it happen

  • The Chicago Park District and Friends of the Parks, which have had good success in seeding and supporting PACs and some stewardship programs, and the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Friends of the Forest Preserves, which have active stewardship groups, should collaborate to share practices and cultivate more civic ownership of open spaces.
  • Expand the Centennial Volunteers to include more groups along rivers, including the Des Plaines.

Key players

Chicago Park District, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Friends of the Parks, Friends of the Forest Preserves, Friends of the Chicago River, Field Museum, aldermanic offices, community organizations, individuals

Our rivers, our role

  • Does your neighborhood riverfront park have an active Park Advisory Council? If so, join! If not, consider starting one with other engaged neighbors.
  • Is there an active stewardship group in a park or forest preserve that you love? If so, sign up to help with an upcoming event.
  • Does your favorite riverfront space have an established site leader for Chicago River Day? If not, can you be that person?

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