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.

Congratulations to the 2022 Photo Contest Winners!

Website visitors cast 767 votes to select the winners in four categories.

Thank you to all the photographers for sharing their Green Bay Trail experiences, to the voters for their review and time, and especially to Phototronics for its support and contributions to the contest.

Click here to see the winners.

A Trail for all Seasons

Upcoming Events

Fun Facts – Did you know?

Fast Eaters

A Monarch caterpillar doesn’t like to talk while they are an eating. They can wolf down an entire milkweed leaf in 5 minutes.

Orange Migrants

Illinois Monarchs are only here on temporary visas, but they stay for generations! There are 4 generations of Monarchs each year. The first 3 generations live for 2 to 6 weeks. The last generation is the one that migrates back to Mexico, where it lives 6 to 8 months.

Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel can be seen on the Green Bay Trail in Glencoe. Its branches were once used to search and find underground sources of water and minerals.

The Green Bay Trail is on the Map!

The Green Bay Trail has met the Homegrown National Park challenge. The Trail’s restoration showcases results achieved by implementing practices advocated by the Homegrown National Park initiative.

Homegrown National Park cofounders Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home, and Michelle Alfandari, advocate using public and private spaces to support and expand biodiversity; “In the past, we have asked one thing of our gardens: that they be pretty. Now they have to support life, sequester carbon, feed pollinators, and manage water.”

83% of U.S. land is privately owned. Tallamy and Alfandari challenge property owners to select ecologically effective plants, shrink lawn size and remove invasives on these sites. These efforts will significantly restore the needed diversity to offset increasing climate change impacts.

*Accept the challenge. Start this fall and view the results next spring.

Get on the Map
Become a Homegrown National Park

Extreme Terrain Grant

Friends of the Green Bay Trail is a fortunate recipient of a grant from Extreme Terrain’s
Clean Trail Program. We will use the funds for sowing seeds this fall and winter.

Views from the Trail 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

Native Keystone Plants for Wildlife

Garden for Wildlife

About Native Plants

From the Field Museum

Keep Informed

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