Help Monitor our Wildlife Projects

To support our wildlife projects and evaluate their success, Friends of the Chicago River trains volunteer wildlife monitors to observe and report on the progress of targeted habitat initiatives. Friends has restored habitat for three river-dependent species: osprey, bats, and turtles; and we need your help to monitor them. 

Upcoming trainings will provide all of the necessary information and expectations for interested volunteers to monitor these animals and their habitats. Groups and families are encouraged to participate and no experience is required. Children under 18 must monitor with an adult.

We ask volunteers to commit to at least one habitat location and to be able to monitor at least twice per month during the breeding season, from May to August. Habitats are located to the north (Glencoe, Winnetka, Northfield, and Morton Grove) and south (Midlothian, Riverdale, Thornton and Chicago Heights). We are especially interested in volunteers willing to monitor the southern sites.

Training sessions will take place in person. Pre-registration is required. Please register for only one session. All sessions cover the same information.

Saturday, March 11, 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Ford Calumet Environmental Center, located in Big Marsh Park, 11555 S. Stony Island Ave., in Chicago

Thursday, March 30, 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Sunday, April 2, 10:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m., Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 N. McCormick Blvd.

To register, please email Mark Hauser, Ecology Outreach Manager at