The Centennial Volunteers conduct ecological restoration projects in the Chicago and Calumet river basins at nine locations. One of the main goals of the initiative is to engage 6,000 volunteers, inspiring individuals to become dedicated site stewards and volunteers for the Forest Preserves.
The group was established in 2014 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Forest Preserve District. The Centennial Volunteers was formed by a coalition of organizations including Friends of the Chicago River, Audubon Chicago Region, North Branch Restoration Project, Friends of the Forest Preserves, and the Forest Preserve District.
In the 14th District, the North Branch Restoration Centennial Volunteers remove invasives such as buckthorn and garlic mustard, helping the rich understory of this ecosystem to thrive. In addition to restoring the beautiful oak woodland and sedge meadow ecosystem, volunteers help to repair gullies that carry excess stormwater to the Chicago River as well as contribute to sedimentation in the river.
Interested in learning more or volunteering yourself? Learn more and see the schedule!