Rose Belcik, one of the McKinley Park neighborhood's newest natives, helps her mom, Samantha Belcik, plant native wildflowers in McKinley Park at the Chicago Park District planting day on Saturday, May 15, 2021.

Native Wildflowers Ready to Bloom in McKinley Park with Help From Volunteer Stewards

Published May 16, 2021

The first park stewardship event since before the COVID-19 pandemic brought volunteers and Chicago Park District employees to McKinley Park to plant native wildflowers in the park's natural area on Saturday, May 15, 2021.

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A team of Chicago Park District employees, including seasonal employees for 2021, assisted volunteers from the community in planting thousands of native plants in McKinley Park's natural area, which surrounds the lagoon on the east end of the park.

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Event coordinator and Chicago Park District employee Lucy Gomez-Feliciano said around 4,000 plugs were going into the ground, including on the east end of the lagoon.

Hiring for the Season

Seasonal park district employee Geoff Hills said that the native plants like Ziziaurea going into McKinley Park would help keep out invasive species like wild parsnip and thistles.

Gomez-Feliciano noted that the Chicago Park District is still hiring seasonal employees for the Natural Areas Crew, which is responsible for ecological restoration and community engagement support across the majority of the South and Southeast Side natural areas.

Maxwell Street Market - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. first and third Sundays

Applications are still being taken through Friday, May 28, 2021, Gomez-Feliciano said. Click here for information and to apply to the Chicago Park District Natural Areas Crew.

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Maxwell Street Market - 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. first and third Sundays