Chicago EcoFlora Project


Now more than ever we need to understand urban flora-both native and invasive species. The Chicago EcoFlora project is collecting observations of plants in Cook County, Illinois to learn more about local plant life and contribute to conservation planning. With your help, we will collect data on the important native species and troublesome new invaders that call our city home. This project will inform Chicago Park District, the Forest Preserves of Cook County, and other land managers about native plants that need protection and invasive species that need control. Each month we will post an EcoQuest, where we ask you to find and report particular species of interest.

Become an observer!

It's easy to participate!

  1. Create your Budburst account or login to get started with the Chicago Ecoflora Project.

  2. Report your phenology observations on any plant or search for targeted species highlighted in the monthly EcoQuest below. Submit your Phenology Observation using your handheld device or record your observations on a field report form (downloadable from your plant's webpage and the bottom of this project page) and post your findings later. Learn more about how to submit an observation here.

  3. Snap a photo.

  4. Submit your data!


Anywhere in Cook County, Illinois! If you are visiting select Chicago Parks or Forest Preserves of Cook County, you can check out an activity backpack with our EcoQuests, plant ID guides, datasheets, and more.

Want to learn more about a specific plant? Search our database of Budburst plants here.

This Month's EcoQuest

Chicago EcoFlora is modeled after the New York EcoFlora project and funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Phenology Observation Forms

Wildflowers and Herbs - Phenology Observation Form

Deciduous Trees and Shrubs - Phenology Observation Form

Conifer Trees and Shrubs - Phenology Observation Form 

Broadleaf Evergreens - Phenology Observation Form

Grasses - Phenology Observation Form