Volunteer in Lincoln Park. The Chicago Park District is looking for volunteers in Lincoln Park. Get out into the great outdoors, help the CPD and the Lincoln Park Conservancy and it’s all free.
Volunteer Docents at the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool or Lincoln Park Conservatory
The Lincoln Park Conservancy and the Chicago Park District are seeking volunteers to join our docent program. Docents walk with visitors and share stories about the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool. Docents can volunteer on Friday afternoons, Saturdays, and Sundays. Tours are available to the general public and organizations.
Training classes take place each spring and fall on six mostly-consecutive Saturday mornings (8:30 a.m. to Noon). Each class features an expert on Lincoln Park history, architecture, plants, wildlife, the art of interpretation, and landscape design. We’ll teach you how to guide a tour and you’ll receive weekly tours from our experienced docents.
After training, we offer continuing education, field trips, and social activities. Be an ambassador for the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool or Lincoln Park Conservatory and meet visitors from around the world. We offer training twice a year, once in the Spring and once in the Fall.
Our Spring docent training for the Lincoln Park Conservatory & Gardens and the Alfred Caldwell Lily Pool begins March 30, 2019. Registration deadline is March 23. Contact Rebecca Conant for more information.
Greeter/Concierge at Lincoln Park Conservatory
About Lincoln Park Conservatory
The Lincoln Park Commission constructed the Lincoln Park Conservatory in phases between 1890 and 1895, replacing a small greenhouse that dated from the 1870s. Nationally renowned architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee designed the Conservatory in collaboration with architect Mifflin E. Bell.
The park includes a second example of the work of each architect. Silsbee designed the Carlson Cottage, a ladies comfort station southeast of Café Brauer, and Bell designed the Rustic Pavilion, located west of the North Pond, at Lakeview Ave. and St. James Place near Stockton Drive.
During the early nineteenth century developments in iron and glass building technology led to the construction of conservatories in cities throughout Europe and the United States. Later in the century, as people were increasingly concerned about the ill effects of industrialization, they became fascinated with nature and interested in collecting and classifying plants.
Large conservatories with display and exhibit rooms gained popularity, and Lincoln Park’s small greenhouse no longer seemed sufficient. Architects Silsbee and Bell were commissioned to design a much more substantial building.
Rendered in an exotic style, the new structure included palm, fernery, orchid, and show houses. A “paradise under glass,” the Conservatory supported “a luxuriant tropical growth, blending the whole into a natural grouping of Nature’s loveliest forms.”Historically, aquatic plants propagated in tanks in the Conservatory were planted outside, in artificially-heated lily ponds.
The exotic plants were so popular that in 1897 the Egyptian government requested seeds from Lincoln Park’s water lilies. The rocky-edged ponds once meandered along what is now the fence line of the Lincoln Park Zoo.