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Chicago outdoors: Beach cleanups this week North to South in Chicago

Chicago beach cleanups are going this week ahead of International Coastal Cleanup Day on Saturday.

An earlier cleanup at Ping Tom Memorial Park. Photo credit: ©Lucy Gomez-Feliciano
An earlier cleanup at Ping Tom Memorial Park.
Credit: ©Lucy Gomez-Feliciano

National Public Lands Day is Saturday, but events are limited because of the pandemic. However, the 35th International Coastal Cleanup Day is also Saturday and the Shedd Aquarium is hosting a weeklong cleanup of Chicago shorelines.

The beginning one Monday was at Loyola Beach on the North Side.

The final one is Saturday at 63rd Street Beach.

With the pandemic, groups are limited, so signups are required by emailing:

Here is the release from the Shedd.


Socially Distant Cleanups Honor 35th Anniversary of International Coastal Cleanup Day

WHAT: Shedd Aquarium, in partnership with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Chicago Park District, will host a week-long cleanup of Chicago’s shorelines this week in honor of the 35th anniversary of International Coastal Cleanup Day on September 26. Cleanups like these are important for keeping local waterways healthy but have been in short supply due to COVID-19-related safety concerns. The volunteer efforts will prevent pollution from reaching Lake Michigan and the Chicago River and protect aquatic wildlife as part of Shedd Aquarium’s Action Days program.

The cleanups begin today at Loyola Beach and will wrap up on Saturday at 63rd Street Beach, stopping at four other coastal locations along the way. Volunteers will pick up debris on beaches and at parks, sort the litter for recyclable materials and document what they pick up. Information collected will be added to a database of materials found during cleanups across the Great Lakes, which is used to inform decisions for effective coastal management and policies that prevent pollution in the first place.

Space is limited to ensure volunteers and staff can maintain social distancing at cleanup locations, so registration is required. Those interested can sign up by emailing For more information about Shedd Aquarium’s Action Days program, visit

In addition to joining an upcoming Action Day, the public can support the aquarium’s efforts to protect wildlife and local natural spaces by purchasing a ticket to visit the aquarium, as ticket prices help fuel vital animal care and conservation work, and by making a contribution—both of which help offset the financial impacts of COVID-19.

Here is the schedule (adjusted for this formatting):

Monday, 9/21: Loyola Beach,1230 W. Greenleaf Ave., 10-11:30 a.m.

Tuesday, 9/22: Foster Ave Beach, 5200 N. Lake Shore Dr., 10-11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, 9/23: Ping Tom Memorial Park, 1700 S. Wentworth Ave., 10-11:30 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m.

Thursday, 9/24: La Rabida Beach, 6501 S Promontory Dr., 10-11:30 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m.

Friday, 9/25: Calumet Park Beach, 9801 S. Avenue G, 10-11:30 a.m.

Saturday, 9/26: 63rd St Beach, 6301 S. Lake Shore Dr., 9-10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., 2-3:30 p.m.