The Evanston Ecology Center is a City of Evanston Facility, striving to foster a greater appreciation, awareness and knowledge of the natural environment and our interdependence with it through educational programs and services.
The Evanston Environmental Association (EEA) helps supports the Evanston Ecology Center, the Center's educational programs, and the Ladd Arboretum. Learn more about these programs.
Classes are offered year-round for children, adults, families, schools, and organized groups such as scouts. For more information, check out Evanston Life Magazine.
Ecology Center Program Opportunities include:
- Nature themed summer camp programming for ages 3-14
- Four community gardens with plots available for rent to Evanston residents
- School field trip and outreach programs covering a variety of topics and themes.
- Scout badge programs for Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts
- Guided Birthday Parties in our animal classroom starting at age 4 on available Saturdays and Sundays. Please complete an online Birthday Party Request Form or call the Ecology Center at 847-448-8256 for availability.
- Educator loan boxes are available for free for two week periods and cover a variety of Illinois natural history information
Free "Access to Fishing" youth program at Lovelace Park. Drop by every Saturday, June through August, from 10am–1pm, at Lovelace Park. Kids under age 16 years don't need a license, but must be accompanied by an adult.Equipment and bait provided.
The Evanston Ecology Center's Multi-Purpose Room is available to host your next event!
For more information and to request a reservation, view and complete the online Rental Contract Application Form.
Snowshoe rentals are available Monday thru Friday, 9am to 3:30pm and Saturday from 8a-12p, December - February as long as there is at least 3 inches of snow. Dress warmly and wear flat-bottom winter boots.
The City of Evanston offers residents 220 plots for rent from March through mid-November. Returning gardeners have first priority to renew their contracts, so each year there is a limited number of plots available. A lottery is now used to allocate the available plots.
James Park Gardens,
Twiggs Canal Gardens
In 2014, the Evanston Ecology Center celebrated its 40th anniversary. The video above highlights the center's history and the great impact it has had on the community.