An Interpretive Field Guide to Chicago

Do you have a favorite park or green space in the city? From the pathways of Humboldt Park and the nestled grasses of Palmisano Park to the tree lined streets of Hyde Park and the sands of Rainbow Beach, Chicago is home to varied plants, insects, and animals. What catches your eye? What makes it special?

Maker-in-Residence Katelyn Patton is creating an Interpretive Field Guide to Chicago and she needs your help to gather inspiration from all across the city. Join her throughout the summer with workshops reinterpreting native flora and fauna and discussing native plants. Try making your own with her downloadable guides, or reinterpret nature using found materials around the house like fabric, paper, and cardboard.

Then, submit a photo of the plant, insect, or animal that inspires you and a photo of the interpretation you created, to be included in the digital Field Guide to Chicago. Patton’s residency will conclude with an exhibition on display at the Harold Washington Library Center in the fall.

Submission Guidelines

Who: Anyone in Chicago

What: Submit two original photographs and a brief description of the photos. Submit one entry per species.

When: Submit your photos between now and August 31. 

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  • About You

  • Name * Required
  • Email * Required
  • Your Submission to the Field Guide

    Please upload a species photo and an interpreted object photo. Files should be a .jpg, .png, or .pdf. Maximum file size is 5MB. By submitting this photo, you authorize Chicago Public Library to post your work on our website, social media channels and in the physical branches using your first name and last initial.

  • Please submit a photograph of the species.
    Accepted file types: pdf, jpg, png.
    Maximum file size - 5 mega bytes.
  • Please submit your artistic interpretation of the species. This could take the form of a drawing, a poem, a collage, a sculpture, anything you imagine. This submissions will be utilized in a collaborative field guide map of people's impressions to be displayed at Harold Washington Library later this year.
    Accepted file types: pdf, jpg, png.
    Maximum file size - 5 mega bytes.
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