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Dunning Read Conservation Area Beautified By Nearly 400 Volunteers

By Quinn Ford | September 13, 2014 10:23am | Updated on September 15, 2014 8:29am
 The "major impact event" was held Friday by Astellas, a suburban-based pharmaceutical company.
Dunning Read Conservation Area Beatuified By Nearly 400 Volunteers
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DUNNING — Rain could not stop nearly 400 volunteers who came out to the Northwest Side Friday to help spruce up the Dunning Read Conservation Area.

Astellas, a suburban-based pharmaceutical company, teamed up with the open space advocacy group Friends of the Parks for the company's fifth annual "Changing Tomorrow Day."

Volunteers planted 68 trees, rehabbed walking trails, began building a shelter and donated artwork to the nearby Chicago-Read Mental Health Center.

Unfamiliar with Dunning and the former site of an insane asylum? Heather Cherone with the background info:

The event was aimed at promoting health and wellness for the northwest side community and patients at the health center by beautifying the open space.

The 23-acre site depends completely on volunteers for maintenance, so the extra hands were definitely helpful, said Maria Stone, of Friends of the Parks.

"When else can you get 400 volunteers in one place?" she said. "To see all of this work happening at once, it was really cool."

And Stone said Friday's rain did not anyone down.

"We had a lot of wet volunteers," she said. "But they were happy."

Local and state law makers, including Ald. Tim Cullerton (38th), were on hand Friday morning. The site, which was established by Friends of the Parks and the State of Illinois in 2005, is open to the public from sunrise until sunset from March through November.

For more Northwest Side news from Heather Cherone, listen here: