Digital Earth Day & Month
Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day 2020 is the 50th global anniversary and 36th year that Friends of the Parks has organized Earth Day in Chicago. This year it looks different due to COVID-19. And as there are many different ways to be engaged with parks, we are offering a variety of ways to participate in Earth Day.

We hope that you and your family find at least one activity that suits you, and that you’ll share your action with us at

Our featured Earth Day action is to push back against the
toxic waste site next to Lake Michigan

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Send this letter to your elected officials.
  2. Find out more on the CDF (confined disposal facility), which threatens all of our drinking water. With rising water levels and conversations of equity, this action touches upon the Earth Day 50th anniversary theme of Climate Action and our mission of equity.

If you’d like to do more, here are some other Earth Day activities:

For the hands-on type, do a mini cleanup and capture it in photos

  • For the hands-on type and those that still have the desire for direct action you can do your own mini cleanup: Being extremely careful you can cleanup your backyard or the green areas in front of your home, taking CDC precautions seriously when going outdoors. Only do this strategy if you can do it safely. We are not in a position to help gloves and masks, so make sure you take appropriate precautions at your own risk.
  • Share your before and after photos with us sending them to or post them on social media using the hashtags #EarthDay2020 #IsolationInspiration #HealthyParksHealthyChicago #ParksAreOurFriends

For the artist in you, pay homage to your beloved Chicago parks

  • We know this crisis has given us all a new found appreciation for parks and being outside. Draw your favorite park, write a poem about what parks mean to you, or create a nature mandala (one of FOTP’s staff’s favorite thing to do).  So even if we can’t clean them on Earth Day, we can pay homage to them in other ways.
  • Share your artistry with us sending them to or post them on social media using the hashtags #EarthDay2020 #IsolationInspiration #HealthyParksHealthyChicago #ParksAreOurFriends

For the global activist & citizen scientist, take part in the worldwide Earth Day Challenge: 

2020 theme of Climate Action & how it relates to parks:

In 1970, millions of people stood to protect our planet. 50 years ago Earth Day prompted the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

For over 30 years, Friends of the Parks has mobilized community members to take action by volunteering for the Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-Up.

While we can’t go out and take part in a massive Cleanup and Celebration, we want to highlight the international theme of Climate Action and how caring for our parks is a climate solution. As the National Recreation and Parks Association shares:

“While the impacts of climate change are daunting, there is growing recognition that parks can be part of the climate solution. Parks reduce harmful carbon pollution that is driving climate change; they protect people and infrastructure from increasingly severe storms, sea-level rise [or lake-level rise], heat waves and droughts; and they also directly reduce some of the primary public health challenges that are exacerbated by climate change.”


Even though we can’t do what we have done for 35 years, we can do our small part and in the meantime, educate ourselves on the fact that Chicago’s parks are a solution against climate change among the many other benefits they bring us and our city.

Saturday, April 18 Cleanup & Celebration
Postponed Indefinitely

We are so sorry that we aren’t able to provide the same type of support that we usually do with gloves, organization, etc… And with the uncertain future, we are not able to determine a postponement date. We will continue to gauge that; however, it may not make sense for the Earth Day Cleanup and Celebration to happen in 2020. We are leaving up the below information as a reference for the Site Captains and parks that signed up this year.

A note from Friends of the Parks as of March 18, 2020:

After discussing with our valued Earth Day partner, the Chicago Park District, and the Centers for Disease Control recommendation and announcement by Governor Pritzker to cancel events with 50 people or more, our annual Earth Day Clean-Up and Celebration is being postponed indefinitely.

Please stay abreast of the latest information on COVID-19 by visiting:

We are shifting with the global Earth Day Network to hosting the first Digital Earth Day on the actual day—Wednesday, April 22. 

Friends of the Parks’ 50th Global Anniversary of Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean-Up is done in partnership with the Chicago Park District, the Forest Preserves of Cook County and many community groups across Chicagoland.

  1. Volunteer as a Site Captain (Postponed Indefinitely)

    Site Captains are special volunteers who take on the leadership role of organizing and implementing Earth Day events at their local park. They are passionate and dedicated members of their communities, who are always willing to lend a helping hand. Site Captains commit to responsibilities before, during and after the Earth Day event. Look at the “2020 Earth Day Site Captain Packet to learn more. *Site Captain registration closes Friday, March 20, 2020


    Sorry. This form is no longer available.

    1. Become an Earth Day Volunteer. Click on your park and sign up to volunteer! 
      (Postponed Indefinitely)

      If you don’t see your park listed or another park you want to join, sign up here for updates on Earth Day to see which parks become available for Earth Day.

      63rd Street Beach
      A. Montgomery Ward Park
      Adams (George and Adele) Playground Park
      Arcade Park
      Berger Park
      Blackhawk Park
      Brands Park
      Cedar Playlot Park
      Chase Park
      Churchill Field Park
      Clarendon Park Community Center
      Clybourn (Archibald) Park
      Columbus Park
      Commercial Club Park
      Cotton Tail Park
      Dubkin Park
      Dvorak Park
      Douglas Park
      Eckhart Park
      Eugene Field Park
      Evergreen Park
      Fellger Park
      Garfield Park
      Gross Park
      Hadiya Pendleton Park
      Harrison Park
      Heritage Green Park
      Humboldt Park
      Jackson Park
      Jacob Park
      Jane Addams Memorial Park
      Jefferson Memorial Park
      Kelly Park
      Kilbourn Park
      Kosciuszko Park
      La Follette Park
      Lake Shore Park
      Lane Beach Park
      Lincoln Park
      Mary Bartelme Park
      Mary Jones Richardson Park
      Mayfair Park
      McKinley Park
      Millennium Park
      Montrose Beach
      Montrose Dog Beach
      Mozart Park
      Ping Tom Park
      Printer’s Row Park
      Portage Park
      Privet Park
      Railroad Junction Playlot Park
      Revere Park
      Richard Clark Playlot Park
      River Park
      Rutherford Sayre Park
      Shedd Park
      Seward Park
      Skinner Park
      Snowberry Playground Park
      Sunken Gardens Park
      Touhy (Patrick) Park
      Touhy Herbert Park
      Trumbull Park
      Unity Playlot Park
      West Chatham Park
      West Ridge Nature Preserve
      Wicker Park
      Vittum Park



  1. Become an Earth Day 2020 sponsor!

    View our sponsor opportunities Earth Day 2020 Sponsor Packet.

    Friends of the Parks has been cleaning and greening Chicago’s parks and preserves since 1975.  Now your company can benefit from sponsoring Friends of the Parks’ Earth Day Parks & Preserves Clean Up! This is the Midwest’s largest Earth Day parks clean up, with 5,000 volunteers who “act locally” on Earth Day by cleaning and sprucing up their neighborhood parks, playgrounds and forest preserves.  Our volunteers make a big impact on the quality of life in their own neighborhoods and highlight the importance of Earth Day to our global environment.You can show your company’s commitment to our local environment in 2020 by sponsoring Earth Day! This event highlights the importance of Earth Day as a way to build “Healthy Parks for a Healthy Chicago.” Companies can also join in with teams to volunteer the day of the event.

    For more information on how to become an Earth Day Sponsor contact Kevin Winters at (312) 857-2757 ext. 1 or

Forest Preserves of Cook County

(Postponed Indefinitely)

Current Volunteer Opportunities: View the calendar here

Want to schedule your own clean-up time in the Forest Preserves during “Earth Week” or anytime of the year? Choose your date, time, and place anywhere in the Forest Preserves of Cook County! Bring your family and friends. Please contact Forest Preserves staff by visiting HERE.

Chicago Parks

(Postponed Indefinitely)

Participating parks for Earth Day 2019 included: 63rd Street Beach; A. Montgomery Ward Park; Adams (George and Adele) Playground Park; Anderson (Fred) Park; Anderson (Louis) Park; Arcade Park; Arthur Ashe Park; Austin Town Hall Park; Berger Park; Bessemer Park; Blackhawk Park; Buffalo Park; Burnside Park; Buttercup Park; Calumet Park; Cedar Park; Clarendon Park; Churchill Dog Friendly Area; Clark (Richard) Park; Clybourn Park; Commercial Park; Cotton Tail Park; Davis Square Park (April 20th); Dunning Read Conservation Area; Eckhart Park; Ellis Park; Elm Park; Euclid Park; Evergreen Park; Fellger Park; Foster Park; Franklin Park; Golden Gate Park; Gompers Park; Grand Crossing Park; Gross Park; Hadiya Pendleton Park; Hayes Park; Honore Park; Horner Park; Humboldt Park; Indian Ridge Marsh Park; Jacob Park; Jane Addams Memorial Park; Jefferson Memorial Park; Kathy Osterman Beach; Kells Park; Kelly (John H.) Park; Kelly (Edward) Park; Kelvyn Park; Ken-Well Park; Kilbourn Park; Kosciuszko Park; Lake Meadows Park; Lake Shore Park; La Villita Park; Langley Park; Levin Park; Lincoln Park; Lucy Flower Park; Mamie Till-Mobley Park; Mary Bartelme Park; Mary Richardson Park; Mayfair Park; McGuane Park; McKinley Park; Midway Plaisance Park; Montrose Beach; Montrose Beach Dunes; Montrose Dog Beach; Mozart Park; Oak Street Beach; Ogden Park; Park #514; Park #535; Park #540; Ping Tom Park; Prairie Pointe Park; Privet Park; Pullman Park; Railroad Junction Playlot Park; Rainbow Beach Park; Ravenswood Manor Park; Revere Park; Riis Park; River Park; Rowan Park; Rutherford Sayre Park; Scottsdale Park; Seneca Park; Seward Park; Simons Park; Skinner Park; Smith (Joseph Higgins) Park; Snowberry Playlot Park; South Chicago People’s Park; Steelworkers Park; Sunken Gardens Park; Superior Park; Tilton Park; Touhy Park; Unity Playlot Park; Vittum Park; Walsh Park; Washington Square Park; West Chatham Park; West Lawn Park; West Ridge Nature Preserve; Wicker Park (April 6th); and Wildwood Park.

Enjoy these pictures from our previous Earth Days


We’re thrilled to partner this year with the Chicago Park District, the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Friends of the Forest Preserves, Openlands and many local community partners to organize another successful Earth Day event for Chicago’s parks and preserves!

The Forest Preserves of Cook County has “Stewardship Volunteer days” scheduled every week of the year in Chicagoland, including “Earth Day!” Please see the online calendar to register for these volunteer days at this website: