Sustainable Backyard Workshops

The Sustainable Backyard Workshops are offered by the City to encourage water conservation, stormwater management and waste reduction. Learn about discounted rain barrels and compost bins. Sign up to be added to their mailing list.
(312) 743-9283;


The environmental volunteer program of the City of Chicago’s Department of Environment, in collaboration with partners across the city. C3 recruits, trains, and supports a network of volunteers to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods and schools through environmental service projects that protect our water, clean our air, restore our land and save energy.

Chicago Conservation Corps (C3)

C3 has three tracks:


  • C3 Leaders: community members who receive training and resources to develop and lead environmental service projects in their neighborhoods.

  • C3 Student Clubs: offer an opportunity for students and teachers to become environmental leaders in their schools.

  • C3 Explorer Track: allows residents to get involved with short-term environmental volunteer opportunities and events throughout Chicago, with the help of partner organizations and C3 Leaders.


For more information on C3, visit their blog>>, email or call (312) 743-9283.

Urban Heat Island Map

The urban heat island effect is caused by the tendency of hard, dark surfaces, such as roofs and pavement, to be measurably hotter than natural areas. It can raise a city’s temperatures 4 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit on hot summer days. The City of Chicago conducted research on the impacts of the urban heat island effect. The City mapped Chicago's hottest spots and is targeting its cooling and energy efficiency efforts, such as the cool roofs and green roof grant programs, to those areas. In addition, the City overlaid a map of 311 and 911 calls regarding heat-related emergencies to assess the correlation between urban heat islands and heat stress-related issues. During the past 15 years, Chicago planted more than 500,000 trees and achieved a City-wide tree count of 4.1 million trees. The City plans to plant approximately 1 million new trees by 2020. Learn More >>

Extreme Weather Operations Plan

As a result of climate change, Chicago could experience an increase in extreme weather events. The City's Extreme Weather Operations Plan is designed to be scaled as circumstances demand, and individual portions can be put into action depending on information from the National Weather Service, such as the issuance of a heat watch or heat warning. When the plan goes into effect, City agencies carry out their prescribed responsibilities, including actions to inform residents of health risks, opening buildings to act as cooling centers, and monitoring at-risk populations to ensure their safety.

Stormwater Management Ordinance

Water that runs off a site into storm sewers can stress Chicago’s sewer system and pollute our waterways. The City of Chicago Stormwater Management Ordinance requires developments of a certain size and density to control the volume of stormwater and the rate at which it leaves the site. Specifically, the Ordinance requires a development to capture the first ½ inch of rain on-site.

Green Alleys

Made of porous pavement, green alleys absorb stormwater into the ground instead of sending it to the sewer system for treatment. More than 40 green alleys have been completed. The City has made green alley components part of our standard practices. Learn More >>

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