Spring Lake Forest Preserve, Cook County. (Patty Wetli / WTTW News)

Created back in 1994, the day is meant to celebrate the connection between people and the green space in their community. 

Some assembly required. Chicago's first Motus tower, during installation at Big Marsh Park. (Edward Warden / Chicago Ornithological Society)

The radio antenna, positioned at Big Marsh Park on the Southeast Side, helps fill a Chicago-sized gap in a growing network of receivers that's tracking the movement of migratory birds and other animals.   

Monarch butterflies roosting in Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. (Courtesy of Ron Kapala)

Large numbers of monarch butterflies are making a pit stop at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie during their annual fall migration. That’s just one of the ways to enjoy and explore nature this weekend.

(WTTW News)

The industrial history of Chicago’s Southeast Side has drawn criticism for its impact on the environment and residents’ health. Some say it also makes it difficult for residents to get around by foot or bike. How one South Deering program is working to change that.

(Courtesy Friends of Big Marsh)

The projects, proposed by Mayor Lori Lightfoot at Wednesday's City Council meeting, would largely be funded through Tax Increment Financing dollars.

Lauren Umek of the Park District and research assistant Alifya Saify at Big Marsh Park. (Courtesy of Chicago Park District)

Portions of Big Marsh Park were once heaped high with waste from the area’s now defunct steel mills. The soil has since been remediated, and now the Chicago Park District is working to find out if native plants can grow and thrive there.  

Warblers are among the birds people can expect to see at Big Marsh. (Skeeze / Pixabay)

The all-day event Saturday will take advantage of a sweet spot in the migratory timeline, with organizers expecting to record outgoing and incoming species.

(Courtesy Friends of Big Marsh)

A grant from the state will help fund creation of the Chicago Park District’s first campground and a fully accessible 3-mile trail at Big Marsh, a natural area rising up from the waste of big steel on the city’s Southeast Side.

A Fowler’s toad (Courtesy Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum)

By tracking the types, frequency and intensity of frog mating calls, experts hope to gauge the success of conservation efforts in an area commonly referred to as the city’s dumping ground. 

(Friends of Big Marsh / Facebook)

Grant funding will be used to restore wetlands and improve water flow at a 278-acre park that opened last year at a former industrial site on Chicago’s Southeast Side.

A BMX biker performing a wheelie. (Andrey Marshak / Wikimedia Commons)

Billed by the city as the first park of its kind in the Midwest, Big Marsh Bike Park will open this winter at a former industrial site that's now part of a 270-acre habitat restoration project.