The Elmhurst Great Western Prairie is located within Wild Meadows Trace just north of the Prairie Path between Spring Road and Salt Creek. This area is the oldest living environment in Elmhurst. Left by chance, the existence of the prairie adds a very special ecological dimension to the community. Learn more about the history and preservation of the prairie.
Volunteers are needed to help restore a part of our past to its former beauty.
Below are the eleven planned volunteer work dates for 2020. Note that they are usually the third Saturday of each month (plus an extra in June), March through November, 9 a.m. until Noon. In addition, we may add a few special work days for larger groups (schools, service organizations, corporate projects) wanting to do service projects:
We meet on the west side of Berkley Avenue at the Illinois Prairie Path (Prairie Path Lane). That is three blocks south of St. Charles Road, four blocks west of Spring Road and six blocks east of Rt. 83 (view map). On volunteer days, we might be working anywhere in the mile long stretch between Spring Road to the east and Salt Creek to the west, but the bench at the halfway point at Berkley Ave is our home base and parking is easy there. Always fun and a full body workout, and more worthwhile than a couple hours at the gym! Sometimes after a few hours work, we grab a burger together at a local beanery!
Upcoming 2021 Dates:
- July 24
- August 21
- September 18
- October 16
- November 20
A few pointers for volunteers
- Volunteers should wear durable work clothes: Long sleeved shirt, long jeans, closed-toed shoes (boots are best), and a hat. If you have work gloves, please bring those as well, but we can provide. You will get dirty and might find a few seed passengers attached to your clothes.
- Sunscreen and mosquito repellent are advised depending on the season. There is no drinking water on site, so please bring some refreshment.
- Neighboring Grace Bible Church has kindly offered us use of their restrooms.
- Most of our work involves cutting brush, so if you have loppers, bring them along. No power tools are permitted.
- Hazards to be aware of include: Thorns and sharp-edged plants, trip hazards, sun exposure. There are currently no known poison ivy or ticks in the EGWP, but the possibility of exposure cannot be ruled out.
- Children over 12 years old can be very helpful, but will require direct supervision by their sponsoring organization. Children under 12 will require one-on-one supervision during work days.
- Groups of more than four new volunteers are encourage to contact Eric Keeley (see below). Our regular volunteers can happily arrange special volunteer work days and educational walks on days other than our usual monthly dates for corporate, school and community groups.
Questions and further information
Michelle Karabetsos (Elmhurst Park District Horticulturalist) at mkarabetsosepd [dot] org or (630) 993-8909
Eric Keeley (EGWP Steward Volunteer) at keeley [dot] ericgmail [dot] com or (630) 336-1852
Keith Olson (EGWP Steward Volunteer) at keitholsonusa [dot] net or (630) 834-7357