The Issue: Rare Natural Wetlands Suffer from Neglect
The Dunning-Read Conservation area was founded in 2005 to give city residents access to a natural space with a thriving ecosystem of native flora, birds, and insects, and to restore a landscape impacted by industrialization and urbanization. Among its woodlands and meadows, the area houses several remnant wetlands, which are rare in urban environments. Since 2007, volunteers have worked to restore the health of this ecosystem by clearing invasive plants and removing trash. They have cleared a walking trail for the public to escape the sounds of the city and plan to build a small rain garden and plant nursery on the site.
The Campaign: Dunning-Read Conservation Area Cleanup
If this Grassroots campaign raises $600, then Friends of the Parks can fund supplies for 50 volunteers to clean up Dunning-Read Conservation area at a community event this September. Each additional $12 raised will fund materials for another volunteer to help clean. Volunteers regularly work in groups on Saturday mornings to clear away invasive species and trash and help native species flourish. The cleanup event requires a variety of supplies including rakes and shears, pitchforks, mulch, and native tree saplings to add to the natural canopy. Those who wish to join Friends of the Parks on volunteer day can sign up here.
You can follow the progress of this and other Grassroots campaigns at the Groupon Grassroots website.
See more Groupon Loves Chicago deals here.
Friends of the Parks
Friends of the Parks was born of a specific need more than 35 years ago. At the time, Chicago's city parks and recreational areas existed in shambles. Partnering with volunteers, park-advisory councils, policy experts, governmental officials, and schools, Friends of the Parks sought to establish the parks and forest preserves as public spaces where neighbors could explore and admire the outdoors. They surveyed park conditions and gradually improved the green spaces.
Currently, Friends of the Parks preserves, protects, and promotes the use of public spaces through programs that range from cleanup events for Earth Day to educational field trips for public-school children. The organization actively works to restore the forest preserves and Lake Michigan shoreline and provide public tours and summer internships in natural areas.