Air and Natural Resources

Chicago is home to vibrant urban forests, prairies, and wetlands. Through continuous restoration, outreach, and research efforts, the city prioritizes protection of these natural areas. Mayor Emanuel recognizes that investments in such resources help improve people's quality of life, create jobs, and attract tourism. Explore the links below to learn more about Chicago’s air and natural resources and how you can help protect and conserve them.

Get Involved

  • Chicago Conservation Corps - Join this volunteer program for community members, leaders, and teachers and receive environmental leadership training to coordinate a community-based project.
  • Greencorps - Explore this community landscaping program that offers garden resources to qualified organizations and provides green job training for Chicago residents.
  • Rain Ready - helps neighborhoods fight flooding and keep homes and businesses dry. An initiative of the Center for Neighborhood Technology in partnership with the City of Chicago.

Learn More

  • Birds: Protecting and Enjoying - Learn about Chicago's nearly 300 bird species and how they can be protected.
  • Birds: Tweet Home Chicago - Explore innovative designs from this bird house design and building competition.
  • Chicago Nature and Wildlife Plan  - Identifies more than 4,800 acres of natural areas at 98 sites throughout Chicago and established a framework to protect and expand ecosystems for the benefit of wildlife and people.
  • Chicago Park District - Explore cultural and environmental programs in over 8,100 acres of Chicago's green space.
  • Chicago's Equitable Tree Initiative - Learn more about Chicago's equitable tree planting strategy and how to get involved.
  • Sustainable Development - Learn about initiatives that create and expand public open space systems and develop policies and programs to advance the sustainability of the City's buildings, businesses and urban form.
  • Urban Forest Agenda - Find out how you can help to protect Chicago's urban forest and what the city has done to expand our forest and green infrastructure.


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