Why we do it

The answer is as clear as a sunny afternoon on the trail. See the dozens of joggers, bikers, and children walking with parents—all surrounded in natural beauty. You’ll understand.

Native Plants

naturally good neighbors
Over centuries, native plants evolved together with birds, butterflies and other species to create a balanced, healthy environment.

Alien Invasion!

Not little green men, but little green plants from across the seas—often beautiful, but frequently evil. Many are brought here as decorative ground cover. Sometimes they arrive as hitchhikers.

Monarch Hatchery

Observe, both in the wild or at our children-friendly hatchery, the monarch butterfly growing from egg to caterpillar, caterpillar to chrysalis, and chrysalis to majestic monarch.

Volunteer and Support

We need your help. The Friends of the Green Bay Trail is an entirely volunteer organization. Join us when you can.

Green Bay Trail Day Returns!

Saturday, July 31, 8 am – Noon

Free music, food, prizes and activities for all ages.

Free stuff!  Breakfast treats, courtesy of Charles Schwab.  Coffee and nibbles  from Hometown Coffee and Juice. Dog treats from Noah’s Ark. Tote bags, bug catcher boxes, and note pads  from the Friends of the Green Bay Trail. And more!

Relax and Restore: Stroll the trail. View its blooms, birds, and butterflies. Take photos. Watch the plein air painters at Mary St. Park. Visit the butterfly hatchery.

Feeling lucky?  Enter the Charles Schwab drawing for a Picnic Set valued at $200. Try your luck at the Book Stall’s raffle for a bag of books.

Activities:   Put your bee pin on the Pollinator Garden map, Get bike maintenance tips from Green Bay Cycles. Learn how to prevent and treat running injuries with Illinois Bone and Joint Institute. Enjoy scribble stones and purchase pollinator plants from Go Green Winnetka. Compost and harvest veggies with the Community Garden. Brush up on trail and local  history with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and the Winnetka Historical Society. Take a look at the Bookstall’s suggested nature and ecology books. AND more!

Green Bay Trail Day is sponsored by the Friends of the Green Bay Trail with generous support from Charles Schwab.


Upcoming Events

Wed 28
Sat 31

Green Bay Trail Day

July 31 @ 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Aug 14
Aug 28

Friday Fun Facts – Did you know?

Spring ephemeral – Spring Beauty

Spring beauty corms were dug up and eaten by Native American children who called them underground “candy.”


Monarch caterpillars rule all the realm they can see. And they can see a lot, because they have 12 eyes! On each side of their head, they have 6 tiny eyelets, called stemmata, arranged in a semi-circle.

2020 - What a Year It Was!

2020 marked FGBT’s 10th anniversary of restoring the Green Bay Trail. With the arrival of COVID, trail use surged as visitors turned to it for exercise and respite. Users enjoyed a wide variety of recreational pursuits in its safe environment. With dedicated volunteer and donor support, we accomplished far more than could have been forecasted.


  • 23 safe socially distanced trail work days were held with support of our growing volunteer base.
  • More than 3,800 volunteer hours supported trail work and activities.
  • Four seed cleaning events produced 31 lbs of seeds, representing 55 native plant species and 15.3 million seeds, to spread on the trail.
  • With grant support from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, two permanent interpretive signs featuring biodiversity and bees were installed on the trail south of South Ave.
  • The Monarch Hatchery remained a favorite site to witness the metamorphosis of butterflies. 31 butterflies were hatched and released.
  • Three community programs featuring bats, coyotes, and Biomimicry were held prior to the COVID shutdown, but we had to cancel our annual summer and winter Solstice events and the 10th anniversary Buckthorn Barbecue.
  • A Photo Contest featuring the trail’s beauty and safe recreational environment yielded 279 photos submitted by 128 photographers. More than 1,600 votes were cast to select the 12 winners. View the beautiful photos on the FGBT website.
  • A trail video and slide show were produced to feature the trail’s restoration and opportunities to “Refresh, Relax and Restore”.
  • Stewardship continues from South to Scott Aves. with the professional guidance of a restoration ecologist.

We continue to strive to keep the trail a natural site for recreation, exploration and enjoyment. We look forward to returning to our much-enjoyed annual programs and events. Explore our website, Facebook, and Instagram sites for updated information.

New Videos!

We are pleased to showcase two videos in the Gallery – “A Summer’s Day on the Trail” and “Scenes from the Trail.”

What we do

We are environmental stewards of the Green Bay Trail, restoring a natural,  prairie eco-system. Our goal is to make the trail a national example of the healthy intersection of nature and culture that inspires community and individual well-being. LEARN MORE

About Native Plants

From the Field Museum

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