Volunteer Opportunities



Remember that book / film / musical, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn?

Well now an orchard grows in Logan Square!

(or at least the potential for one, marches toward realization…)

We have blogged about the Chicago Rarities Orchard Project (CROP) before. Its a great opportunity for urban greenspace revitalization. Click here for that introductory post.

Here is the latest development as an announcement from CROP…

Since the last big community meeting in August all us CROPsters have been looking forward to this day:

Chicago’s Department of Housing and Economic Development will host the…

Second-Stage Community Meeting Presenting Proposed
Logan Square Community Orchard Project

Wednesday, April 27th

at the Logan Square Auditorium
2539 N. Kedzie Blvd.

Please join us to see how your ideas and suggestions from the last meeting have been incorporated into the current plan. CROP could never have come as far as we have in the last two years without the support of our community. We need your voices now more than ever.

Let’s end this lot’s four decades as a forgettable patch of gravel and build our own community orchard. This space has the potential to become a haven for biodiversity, a living testament to the local food chain, and an utterly unique classroom. In addition it will provide all the social and economic benefits of programmed public space.

You can make this vision a reality by participating in this meeting. All you have to do is be present and ready to share your thoughtful opinion.

If you have any questions about the project or the meeting, please check out our website at www.chicagorarities.org

Thanks for your support thus far, and we look forward to seeing you in April!


Your Neighbors at

The Chicago Rarities Orchard Project

Protect Lake Michigan from Sewage Contamination!

Action Needed Now: by April 8, 2010
Comment on Chicago-area sewage plant permits

April 8, 2010 is the final day for the public to submit their concerns about state permits that govern sewage plants responsible for sending billions of gallons of sewage combined with stormwater into Lake Michigan from the greater Chicago area.

In Chicago, the stormwater collection system is connected to the sanitary system and, during periods of heavy rain, sewage treatment plants are overwhelmed and must release untreated wastewater in what is known as a combined sewer overflow (CSO). Even though past work on the comprehensive Tunnel and Reservoir Plan (TARP) to serve as a temporary holding reservoir for raw sewage when it exceeds existing capacity has reduced the frequency of CSOs going into Lake Michigan, it still happens, including three events in 2009 that sent 413 million gallons of combined stormwater and sewage through the locks into Lake Michigan. In 2008, two events sent more than 11 billion gallons. We need to stay focused on eliminating these discharges.

Permit renewals are now proposed for three Chicago-area sewage treatment plants; the Stickney Water Reclamation Plant (WRP), the Calumet WRP, and the North Side WRP, each of which must address how to properly dispose of excess stormwater and sewage. Amazingly Chicago still doesn’t disinfect its effluent—a common practice at almost every other WRP in the country!

CSOs pose a significant health risk because bacteria and viruses are present in much greater concentrations in untreated sewage. While pollution from Chicago-area CSOs usually flows away from Lake Michigan, during very heavy rain events, locks can be opened that send millions of gallons of sewage combined with rainwater into Lake Michigan. This health risk is so serious that Chicago beaches must be closed to protect the public from becoming sick from bacteria in the water during these events.

In addition to addressing the problem of sewage overflows into Lake Michigan, hastening the completion of the tunnel and reservoir plan would reduce the frequency of lock openings that could allow invasive Asian carp into Lake Michigan.

Action Needed:
Ask Illinois to ensure the treatment plant permits do more to protect Lake Michigan from sewage contamination

    Points to make in comments include:

  • The permits should require that the public be notified when locks are opened releasing sewage into Lake Michigan during heavy rains;
  • The permits should require installation of equipment to disinfect wastewater and remove harmful bacteria;
  • Plant operations should be improved to maximize the flow to the plants to reduce the amount of sewage going into the water during CSOs.
  • As the Stickney WRP has had a steady decline in treatment capacity in recent years, the Stickney WRP permit should define flow maximization, include enforceable conditions to ensure it occurs and require the problems causing decreased treatment capacity to be addressed;
  • The permits must include deadlines for TARP completion and interim benchmarks to measure progress. Specifically, the permits should require completion of the Thornton Composite Reservoir and Stage 1 of the McCook Reservoir before the permit expiration in 2015;
  • All these measures must be enforceable, rather than simply voluntary.

E-mail comments to:
E-mailed comments must specify “MWRDGC NDPES Permits” in the subject line of the e-mail and be received by midnight April 8, 2010.

Mail comments to:
Hearing Officer Dean Studer
Mail Code #5      Re: MWRDGC NPDES Permits
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
1021 North Grand Ave. East
P. O. Box 19276
Springfield, IL 62794-9276.

Comments must be postmarked by April 8, 2010.

For more information visit www.greatlakes.org/mwrd
or contact Lyman Welch at 312-939-0838 ext. 230 or lwelch@greatlakes.org.

Also please feel free to share this alert with your friends, family and contacts.

Posting sponsored by the Alliance for the Great Lakes. If you have any comments or questions about this e-action alert, please contact Frances Canonizado at fcanonizado@greatlakes.org.

Looks like Spring has sprung; and with it comes a wide array of opportunities to get involved, meet folks and participate in healthy, community, fun, topic-based events. Read on if you are looking for things to do or groups to get involved with…

You Care. Do Something. We’ll Help.

The following is a list of events coordinated by C3 Leaders, as well as volunteer opportunities facilitated by C3 Partners.

For a full listing of events, visit http://chicagoconservationcorps.org/blog/c3-project-calendar

Events and Opportunities
April 3: Chicago Park District: Burnham Nature Sanctuary Stewardship Day
April 10: Chicago Park District: Jarvis Bird Sanctuary Restoration
April 10: Friends of the Forest Preserves: Dan Ryan Woods Restoration Day
April 13, 14 and 15: C3 After School Clubs Teacher Orientations
April 17: Celebrate Earth Day and Volunteer! Sign up for stewardship opportunities listed below.
April 24: Earth Day continues and so do the volunteer opportunities – sign up now!

Show your support for C3 and join us on facebook and twitter

April 3, 2010, 9am-12pm
Chicago Park District: Burnham Nature Sanctuary Stewardship Day

47th and Lakeshore Drive
Jump into spring through habitat restoration, brush clearing, and debris removal in preparation for spring planting. Contact Pam Holy at 773-275-2228.  ____________________________________________________________________________________

April 10, 2010, 9am-12pm
Chicago Park District: Jarvis Bird Sanctuary Restoration

Lincoln Park at Lake Shore Drive and Addison
Collect and plant native seeds and remove invasive plants at Jarvis Bird Sanctuary. There should be great spring bird watching and lots of spring flowers available to spruce up the event. Tools and goodies like hot chocolate and sticky buns will be provided. Remember to dress in layers. Contact Charolette Newfeld at 773-327-5053 – please register prior to the workday. www.jarvissanctuary.com

April 10, 2010, 10am-1pm
Friends of the Forest Preserves: Dan Ryan Woods Restoration Day

Meet in the parking lot two blocks east of Western and 87th
Yes, there are woodlands right here in Chicago and you can be a part of its preservation! Activities include clearing brush, seed planting, removing invasive plants and more.  Later you can venture out to the Major Taylor Bike Trail that connects to Whistler Woods and make a day out of it. Contact Ben Cox to register at 773-398-1178. Carpooling is available.

April 13, 2010, 5pm-6pm
C3 Student Clubs Teacher Orientation

Chicago Center for Green Technology 445 N. Sacramento

April 14, 2010, 4:30pm-5:30pm
C3 Student Clubs Teacher Orientation

Vaughn Occupational High School, 4355 N. Linder

April 15, 2010, 4:30pm-5:30pm
C3 Student Clubs Teacher Orientation

Neil Elementary, 8555 S. Michigan

The Chicago Conservation Corps (C3) is now recruiting teachers to attend one of three orientations in anticipation of the 2010-2011 school year. At the orientation, you will learn how you can start and run an after-school environmental service club for 8th-12th grade CPS students through the C3 program. Club projects include recycling, worm composting, water conservation, and anti-idling campaigns. Teachers receive a stipend, materials, project guides, training and other resources from the Chicago Department of Environment. To apply you must be a Chicago Public School teacher (8th-12th grades) and attend an orientation. More information is listed here.

April 17, 2010, 11am-2pm
C3 Leader, Cynthia Smith: Washington Park Consortium Earth Day Celebration

KLEO Center 55th and Michigan
Join C3 Leader, Cynthia Smith for this special Earth Day event. Activities include garden preparation, organic food demonstration, rain barrel raffles and more!  It will be a fun, educational and family oriented event.

April 17, 2010, 10am-2pm
C3 Leader, Kathleen Boyle: Rain Barrel Demo/Northwest Housing Resource Fair

Falconer School, 3020 N. Lamon
Unveil the mystery behind rain barrels at this Department of Community Development Resource Fair. C3 Leader, Kathleen Boyle will provide rain barrel demonstrations, tips for installation and best of all — rebates for your very own discounted rain barrel.

April 17, 2010, 9am-1pm
Openlands: Earth Day Tree Planting in Humboldt Park

Humboldt Park Boat House, Sacramento and Division
What better way to celebrate Earth Day than by planting trees. Join Treekeeper, Jim Dehorn for this grand day of planting and restoration. To register, contact Jim at 312-863-6259.

April 17, 2010, 9am-12pm
Friends of the Forest Preserves: Powderhorn Marsh Restoration Day

2700 E Brainard and 13000 S Burnham
Did you know there are cacti and sand dunes in Chicago! Come and see for yourself at this special restoration workday in one of Chicago’s most unique habitats. Contact Alice Brandon to register at 312-286-6937.

April 24, 2010, 10am-2pm
C3 Leader, Morgan Conlon: Rain Barrels and Restoration in Portage Park

Portage Park Field House, 4100 N Long
Join Friends of Portage Park for this fun-filled day of conservation and community. Park restoration activities run from 10-1pm.  Join C3 Leader Morgan Conlon for a Rain Barrel Demonstration and Raffle. Morgan could use some volunteers at the event so please get contact C3 immediately to get involved. www.friendsofportagepark.org

April 24, 2010, 10am-1pm
Friends of the Parks: Whistler Woods Restoration Day

134th and Halsted
Do your part during Earth Month to contribute to Chicago’s precious woodlands. This workday is focused on Oak rescue and brush cutting. Contact Rebecca Blazer to register at 773-972-8080.

April 24, 2010, 10am-1pm
Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: Dragonfly and Damselfly Monitoring

2430 N. Cannon Drive
Learn about being a monitor while discovering dragonfly and damselfly life history, ecology, and identification of over 90 Chicago-area species. Monitors, potential monitors, and all interested parties are welcome. Light breakfast will be provided. Contact Craig Stettner at cstettner@harpercollege.edu or (847) 925-6214.
To be removed from the Chicago Conservation Corps email list, please send a request to conservation@cityofchicago.org with subject line “remove.”

Chicago Conservation Corps (C3)
You care. Do something. We’ll help.
website: http://www.cityofchicago.org/Environment/C3
blog: http://www.chicagoconservationcorps.org
email: conservation@cityofchicago.org
phone: (312) 743-9283

Photo of “Gage Park C3 Club building a vermicompost bin” from the CCC blog.

Dear Empirical Operans-

We have to take a moment to heartily endorse this  workshop.

It’s educational presentations and trainings cover sustainability efforts in Land, Water, Air, Energy and Community. It connects you with excellent, motivated, and resourceful citizens committed to activist projects. And it connects you with resources from the City of Chicago’s Dept. of the Environment and Chicago Center for Green Technology.

Check it out; orientation sessions happening this week!

Spring 2010 Leader Training

C3 Outreach info listed below and flyer linked here

Chicago Conservation Corps (C3)
You care. Do Something. We’ll Help.

Spring 2010 Environmental Leadership Training Series
The Chicago Conservation Corps is now recruiting for its Spring 2010 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.

Attend one of the orientations listed below to learn more. For questions or to reserve a seat, please contact (312) 743-9283 or conservation@cityofchicago.org.

Thursday, March 25 – 7pm – 8pm
South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 S. South Shore Dr., Chicago, IL 60649

Saturday, March 27 – 1pm – 2pm
Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd., Chicago, IL 60612

Monday, March 29 – 12pm – 1pm
City Hall 11th Floor, 121 N. Lasalle, Chicago, IL 60602

To apply for the C3 Leadership Training Series, you must be a City of Chicago resident and attend one orientation. The Spring 2010 training will be held at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd, Saturdays, April 10, 17, 24, and May 1 from 9:30am – 1:30pm.  A mandatory field trip will take place on Saturday, May 8.  A $75 fee covers course participation and project support. Financial assistance is available upon request.

For more information about the Chicago Conservation Corps Leadership Training Course, the Chicago Conservation Clubs, or to learn about other volunteer opportunities, visit http://www.chicagoconservationcorps.org.

Promoted by E.O. member, Jason Greenberg (2009 Chicago Conservartion Corps Leader)

As a ‘graduate’ from this program, I can tell you it was a great experience and it supports a valuable social mission: literally the empowering of the individual (YOU) to make a difference in your community.

Kids! Adults? Kidults!?!!

Join the Kidical Mass Ride

Saturday, March 20, 2010 from 9am to 10:30am

Nothings more fun that riding side by side with your kids on an exploring adventure using your bikes to see the city. The “Emerald Necklace” system of Chicago’s Boulevards provides an interconnected series of lush, landscaped bike routes throughout the neighborhoods that are especially safe and protective of kids. Their side access streets are physically separated from the primary flow of car traffic and move at a much slower pace (usually just local residents looking for parking spaces). And being at the sidewalk frontage they are a great way to connect with and see the local homes, shops, parks and people.

Quik Descrip: Slow easy going fun group ride for families, children of all ages.

Times: Sat. March 20, gather 9 AM for 9:30 AM departure, ride til 10:30 AM.

Meeting Place: Starts & ends at “the bunny park” playground in Palmer Square.

Location: The park in the middle of Palmer Boulevard between Kedzie & Humbolt Boulevards. Map It

Coincidentally: March 20th is the Vernal Equinox, official start of Spring; night and day equal length; sun 06:02-18:11. Lets usher in Spring with a great kid-focused event!!

To Volunteer: We could use some tour helpers/safety observers. Interested? See our planning discussions: http://www.thechainlink.org/group/kidicalmass or reply to the E.O. at artworksdesign@ameritech.net

Dear Friends and Biking Enthusiasts-

Hi! Can you smell that fresh air wafting this way? The thaw is in and more Chicagoans will be waking up to the joys of getting outside and on their bikes. We want to help them do it!

We thought you might like to be involved in an advisory capacity in the planning of an upcoming day of bike advocacy and a Green (Bike) Tour of various sustainable institutions and community based projects within the Humbolt Park & Logan Square neighborhoods.

Below are preliminary details of the events (as currently developed) but we are looking to you for your expertise and experience in the biking community and sustainability fields. This is a flat-out request for you to join in the planning and implementing of this workshop & ride.  Obviously the perspectives and experience of the volunteers will be what makes this event a whopping success.

Spring Green Bike Tour

May 1st- save that date!

We are looking for individuals:

  • comfortable with biking/leading/assisting tours on Chicago’s city streets
  • with basic knowledge of bike repairs, maintenance and bike safety  issues
  • with ideas about “green institutions and locations” to visit on the route of our tour
  • who may not have the above backgrounds but would like to get involved in supporting a great community-based social event in our neighborhoods…

Please respond to me if you would like more info about the event (this would not yet mean you are making any solid commitments, just getting details) and we can trade info and ideas and see if you’d like to get more involved.

More details about the Tour Ride is at the tour homepage. Or join our chainlink forum for the latest organizing discusssions.

Or, please RSVP if you’d like to join our first planning meeting which will be:

Info Meeting:  To Be Determined: Late March /Early April

At the meeting we will make decisions about the event planning and see how folks would like to be involved. Hope you can make it and would love to have you be a part of this event.

Also feel free to sign up now- we have capped the tour at 35 reserved slots!
Just email me back if you want your space reserved on the tour.

Let me know if you are interested in attending the info meeting on the 25th!



Jason Greenberg

a.k.a. Professor Greenbike
Chicago Conservation Corps Leader (class of 2009)
Spring Green Bike Tour Coordinator
All around Bike-centric

Pen it in red in your calendar:

The Chicago 2010 Spring Green Bike Tour is coming to town on May 1st!

We are looking for volunteers and bike tour assistants. Let us know if you have the biking bug and want to get involved.

More info will follow soon… meanwhile learn more or voice your two cents in the planning and discussions on the ride’s chainlink forum.

Next Page »