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 2021 (July 31)

See all photos here

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

Friday Fun Facts – Did you know?

A Bone to Pick

Deer are the only animals that can regenerate bone—their antlers. The horns of other animals like goats and sheep do not fall off. They grow throughout the animal’s life. Deer shed their antlers, and then grow them back.

A Path Oft Traveled

Traffic on the Green Bay Trail was heavy—tons heavy—even 12,000 ago. It is believed that Woolly Mammoths used the trail for migration during the Ice Age.

Spring ephemeral – Spring Beauty

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

A Trail for All Seasons

Volunteers make it happen

Volunteers are the foundation of the Green Bay Trail’s restoration. This year volunteers gave more than a thousand hours of their time engaged in trail restoration, community programming and outreach.

The Trail’s restoration, stewardship and programming needs vary seasonally and offer diverse volunteer opportunities year-round, on and off the trail. This year volunteers…

  • Assisted at 17 Trail Work Days, 5 Seed cleaning days;
  • Removed invasive weeds and plants to prevent their spread;
  • Hand watered young plants and trees until roots were established;
  • Restored pathways with wood chips and mulched trees;
  • Performed soil restoration and planted native plants to enhance the trail’s wildlife habitat;
  • Monitored and released monarch butterflies from the trail’s butterfly hatchery;
  • Engaged in community outreach by sponsoring 10 community programs and events, including the Friends’ Green Bay Trail Day.

Throughout the fall volunteers harvested native plant seeds weekly. The seeds were then sorted and cleaned at September and October Seed Cleaning  Days.  The convivial events were described as “Shake, Rattle and Roll” gatherings due to the methods used to release seeds from their dried seed heads. A portion of the seeds require a sustained period of cold temperatures to germinate. These seeds will be broadcast following the first snow fall.  Such annual seed collections provide substantial savings that allow funds to  be used to purchase more native plants and support other trail stewardship needs.

Many thanks to our volunteers and supporters! It is only with their generous support and time commitment that the Trail has become a valuable recreational resource and a supportive wildlife habitat.

Enjoy the Trail’s seasonal beauty.
It is a trail for all seasons.

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

About Native Plants

From the Field Museum

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