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Out and About Uptown's Coast

Join us for the full series!

Urban Ecology: Native ecology including wildlife habitat in Uptown’s coastal zone

Rides to Transform Communities: Using bike rides to benefit health, reclaim public space, and improve access to the coast

Urban Agriculture: Farming as infrastructure for human and coastal health

Underutilized Community Spaces: Discover underutilized spaces on Uptown’s lakefront

Transit: Transportation infrastructure and how it impacts accessibility of the coast

Mental health: Explore the therapeutic benefits of nature-based recreation

Historic Preservation: Connect past and present through the history of coastal Uptown

Eco-Justice: Citizen participation in community security within the coastal zone

Green Infrastructure: Building by design to blend structure and nature

May 21st Urban Ecology Session Recap


ICA launched the Out and About Uptown series on Sunday, May 21st, focusing on Urban Ecology. Local partners Susan Ask of animalia project, Melanie Eckner of the Uptown Coastal Initiative, and Ted Jindrich of the Chicago Park District Natural Areas stewards shared their collective expertise covering Uptown’s past, present, and future. Following the presentations, the group walked to the Montrose Beach Dunes and Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary to take a tour and learn about ongoing opportunities to help preserve and provide stewardship for the natural marvels along Uptown’s coast.


Stay tuned for the announcement of upcoming summer sessions of the Out and About Uptown series -- join the mailing list at to be the first to know!







Photo credit: Weiss Memorial Hospital  

One highlight from the presentations was a look at Uptown’s unique urban fauna, the family of geese that annually resides at Weiss Memorial Urban Rooftop Farm. For three years, the geese have nested until the goslings are big enough to walk to Montrose Harbor, an event endearingly named the Weiss Waddle. During the guided tour of the Montrose Beach Dunes, participants found themselves walking in a similar single-file fashion to maintain the trails!



About Out and About Uptown's Coast 

Out & About Uptown's Coast aims to raise awareness of Uptown's lakefront and parks through nine experiential, educational sessions that offer attendees rich opportunity for meaningful engagement with the ecology and culture of this Great Lakes coastal community.

The project hopes to connect residents, workers, and visitors, and strengthen links between the well-being of the coastal ecosystem and the health and well-being of those who live, work, and visit Uptown’s coast.

Highlighting local expertise and creating a space for diverse attendees to learn about and explore the area together, each session’s unique lens will target different subjects and circle back to universal accessibility to and stewardship of Uptown’s coast across a spectrum of disciplines.

At the close of Out & About Uptown's Coast, a toolkit highlighting the different approaches taken and lessons learned will be created to help inform future programming as well as participant stewardship and engagement around sustainability in the coast.


For more information about Out and About Uptown's Coast, contact