Indigenous Science Days
Indigenous Science Days are about engaging in the natural world around us. Community members, adults, children, & families are all welcome to join us on these days exploring and reclaiming traditional practices and knowledge about the Chicagos’ Indigenous Landscape.
Indigenous Science Days take place across different outdoor sites across Chicago. Participants will be able to partake in culturally relevant seasonal activities including harvesting, land restoration and management, invasive species removal, planting, etc.
Get to Know Our Outdoor Classrooms:
Angie Decorah Medicinal Garden
For millennia Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island have relied on various species of plants for food, medicine, industry and ceremonial life. As in the past, many members of the American Indian Community of Chicago still utilize these plants and traditions today.
Angie Decorah was a founding member of the American Indian Center of Chicago and dedicated herself to the betterment of the American Indian Community. Angie encouraged generations of “Urban Indians” to reclaim our traditional medicines here in Chicago and was a main inspiration of the Medicinal Garden at the AIC's long time home 1630 W. Wilson. She encouraged many to reconnect with the ancestral teachings of the land and that seed continues to grow within our community and within the work of the Education Department.
Dunning Read Conservation Area (DRCA)
DRCA is a 25-acre conservation easement located on the campus of the Chicago Read Mental Health facility where the AIC maintains a wet meadow restoration area, helps facilitate edible plant harvesting, control invasive plant species, and monitors wildlife within and outside of the conservation area. In 2013, AIC staff and community worked on restoration through phytoremediation (using plants to clean soil, water and air) and traditional land management practices such as prairie burning and seed spreading. The AIC manages around 2.5 acres of land at the site and utilizes the area as an outdoor classroom site for our Indigenous Science Days.
Metra Heritage Garden
The AIC has partnered with the Union Pacific to develop a Heritage Garden along the Metra train tracks on Ravenswood Avenue, along a block-long embankment between Sunnyside and Wilson. This garden location will foster plants from the AIC garden, as well as, serve as outdoor classroom site for Indigenous Science Days and other AIC programs.