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.

A Trail for all Seasons

Fun Facts – Did you know?

Granting Immunity

The purple coneflower found on the Green Bay Trail, and in flower beds of many Glencoe homes, can stir more than your heart. As a member of the Echinacea flower species, they make great herbal tea, purported to help strength the immune system. An extract of these plants is available in capsule and tablet form available in pharmacies and health food stores.

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.

Politically Correct

Tooltip TextRabbits don’t like to be called mom and dad. They prefer to be addressed as does and bucks. And they call their young children kittens or kits. Their long ears can hear a sound up to 2 miles away. And their front teeth never stop growing.

Volunteers Make it Happen

Volunteers are the foundation of the Green Bay Trail’s restoration. In 2021 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. Last year’s 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;

With spring’s arrival, volunteers return to the trail to remove winter’s debris, mulch paths, prepare the site for migrating birds and emerging blooms. The Rest & Restore site at Mary Street offers an elevated view of trail from its recently installed wooden benches and seats made from fallen trees. Join the Friends at one of its Trail Work days, listed under Events and Programs .

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, a supportive wildlife habitat and 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

Native Keystone Plants for Wildlife

Garden for Wildlife

About Native Plants

From the Field Museum

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