North Shore Channel Planting

Tags: Volunteers

Friends of the Chicago River is now recruiting volunteers to assist with our planting project in the North Shore Channel. We will be working on June 6, June 7, July 18 and July 19 to install 4,500 plugs of water willow and lizard’s tail along the banks of the river in Evanston and Skokie. These plants will help provide habitat for small fish and other aquatic life, will provide protection against flooding, and improve channel aesthetics.  

Volunteers will use canoes to access our planting sites along the riverbank. The planting sites are narrow and will require volunteers to stand in the water wearing waterproof waders in order to work. Once at a planting site, volunteers will work in teams to dig holes and install the plugs of plants. Friends of the Chicago River and Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff will be on-site to provide training and oversight for volunteers.

Friends will supply all necessary equipment, including canoes, paddles, personal flotation devices, waders, and planting supplies. We will also provide lunch for all project volunteers.  Volunteers should expect to be on-site from 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. each day with an option to work a half day or full day. Volunteers are welcome to join us for one day, or more than one!

Volunteers should be comfortable working in outdoor conditions, including potentially hot, cold, sunny or rainy conditions. Frequent bending and digging will be required. Volunteers must be comfortable accessing sites by canoe and wading in the river with waterproof waders. Restrooms will only be available sporadically during the day.

This project is weather dependent. If water levels are high or predicted to rise within a few days of our planned dates, we will need to reschedule to give the plants the best chance to establish. 

Volunteer waitlist now available.

Questions? Want to register? Contact Maggie Jones: (312) 939-0490 ext. 18 or