Open 9 am - 5 pm
A woman works with a ranger on habitat restoration, planting native plants in Indiana Dunes.

Protecting our Great Lakes and other local waters

Together, we all can take actions to protect the Great Lakes from the threats of pollution, invasive species and loss of wetland and shoreline habitats. Our team of policy experts works closely with elected officials and conservation partners to advocate for science-based solutions to our lakes' problems.

Our field biologists and other conservation experts recruit teams of citizen scientists—like you!—to assist with short- and long-term projects, from collecting and documenting beach litter to restoring coastal and wetlands habitats. These collaborations are improving our Great Lakes "neighborhood" for wildlife and people alike.

Get involved in a Great Lakes Action Day activity near you!

Community workdays and locations

for individuals and families

Ping Tom Memorial Park
Monthly (April-October), second Saturday
10 a.m. to noon

63rd St. Beach
Monthly (April-October), third Thursday
10 a.m. to noon

North Shore Channel
9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sept. 26, 27

Canal Origins Park
Saturday, October 5th
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

12th St. Beach
Monthly (April-October), second Wednesday
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Bob Mann Woods
Monthly, second Saturday and third Thursday
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Skokie Lagoons
Monthly, first Saturday
9 a.m. to 12 p.m.


Four teens in windbreakers and hoodies stand on a great lakes beach in the bright afternoon sun, the blue lake visible behind them as they hold up large blue plastic bags of trash collected from the beach.

Beach cleanups

We hosts beach cleanups at sites along the Lake Michigan shoreline through the Alliance for the Great Lakes Adopt-a-Beach™ program. Volunteers work in teams, combing the beach for litter and recording data on their findings to support effective coastal management.

Two volunteers wearing life vests stand in the shallow edge of a local river, digging in the sand and slurry. A nearby canoe holds several native plants in pots ready to be planted.

Habitat and wildlife monitoring

To measure the impact of our work on local wildlife, participants can strap on waders to assess water quality in local streams and monitor threatened and endangered plant species.

A volunteer wearing a windbreaker and jeans crouches in a local wood to cut down an invasive tree with a hacksaw. In the background, another volunteer tends a brush fire.

Invasive plant removal

Make a positive difference for local wildlife, from frogs to migratory birds, by taking action to prevent the spread of harmful ecological invaders. Participants will learn about natural habitats near Chicago as well as the impact of invasive plant and animal species.

A group of people wearing tee shirts and light jackets poses energetically as they stand in a local forest after a habitat restoration trip.

Amphibian habitat restoration

Blue-spotted salamanders and chorus frogs are among the native amphibians in our local woodlands and wetlands. We work with the Forest Preserves of Cook County to restore local amphibian habitats, a project that combines land-management expertise with a deep knowledge of amphibians' needs.

More Informatin

Age and Requirements

All ages. Individuals, families and groups up to 100 people can be accommodated.

What to Bring

Reusable water bottles, snacks and sunscreen, and weather-appropriate outdoor clothing and shoes

Possible Activities

  • Beach cleanup
  • Habitat and wildlife monitoring
  • Invasive plant removal
  • Habitat restoration

What to Know

• All events are weather-dependent.
• Transportation is available for select school and youth groups.
• Participant waivers are required.

Corporate Opportunities

Corporate group GLAD opportunities are reserved for current corporate partners. Email to learn more.