Why We Do It

The Green Bay Trail is a pedestrian path running parallel to the Metra Union Pacific North commuter railway passing through the North Shore communities (from south to north) of Wilmette, Kennilworth, Winnetka, Glencoe and Highland Park. It was created in 1965 on the abandoned right-of-way of the former North Shore Electric Railway.

Five decades later, it had become a dark tunnel of buckthorn and other scraggly trees, weeds and invasive plants causing stagnant pools of water and collapsing bluffs—crowding out native the prairie plants, insects and animals that had maintained a healthy habitat.

The Friends of Green Bay Trail was founded in 2010 by a few starry-eyed neighbors seeking to improve a portion of the trail. Today, that small group has expanded into a volunteer-managed 501(c) non-profit organization that has raised over a half-million dollars to improve the trail running north from Scott Avenue to South Avenue—a nearly one mile portion of the trail in the heart of Glencoe.

Where once this section of the trail was used irregularly as a path between towns, it is now used by hundreds of families each week—biking, walking and enjoying the flowers, butterflies, and native plants.

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