Our Mission

Friends of the Parks is a 42-year old non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, protect, improve, and promote the use of parks and open spaces in Chicago for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors.

Friends of the Parks is a strong voice for the protection, preservation, expansion and improvement of the city’s 8,100 acres of parks and playgrounds. Your membership to Friends of the Parks will help support our neighborhood parks and playground projects, environmental education, advocacy and volunteer programs throughout the city and Cook County. Click here to become a member.

We’re hiring!

Friends of the Parks is hiring a Summer 2018 Earth Team Instructor.

The Earth Team instructor will lead FOTP’s 2018 Earth Team summer program, an After School Matters (ASM) apprenticeship program that leads 15-18 teens in stewardship and project development work for 6-weeks at the 25-acre Dunning Read Conservation Area on the city’s northwest side. The Earth Team Instructor will work under the Director of Environmental Education & Neighborhood Parks.

Click here for the full job description and to apply!


Friends of the Parks’ Key Programs

  • Neighborhood Parks: helping make parks safer

  • Planning, Policy and Research: protecting our lakefront from encroachments

  • Education: training our next generation of stewards

  • Volunteer: cleaning and greening our precious public land


 Friends of the Parks’ Initiatives

  • Collaborating with the Chicago Park District on Chicago Plays! to replace 300 playgrounds over the next 5 years

  • Partnering with Chicago Public School teachers to provide environmental education to 800 students

  • Throughout the year, we organize and support nearly 6,000 volunteers on work days to improve 140 parks and preserves

  • Planting 200 trees in Chicago’s parks and mulching hundreds more


 Friends of the Parks’ Support of Park Advisory Councils (PACs)

  • Awarded over $120,000 in Seed Grants to PACs, since 2003

  • Assist PACs in raising over $3 million for new playgrounds

  • We support more than 200 park advisory councils and partner with over 50 organizations throughout the city providing technical assistance and workshops and developing new park advisory councils

  • Organize quarterly PAC networking meetings