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April 24, 2015 - April 26, 2015
Take a Spring Vacation that Makes a Difference— Sign up for McHenry County Conservation District’s Weekend of Restoration VII: Spirit of the CCC and Aldo Leopold Get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life and come to Glacial Park, one of the premier natural areas of the Chicago Region for a weekend you’ll never forget! Take part in McHenry County Conservation District’s award-winning “Weekend of Restoration” VII: Spirit of the CCC and Aldo Leopold on April 24–26 at Glacial Park, in Ringwood, a program that allows you to help restore an ancient landscape while learning about the history and ecology of our region. Over a span of less than ten years during the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps employed young men to plant almost three billion trees across the country. Our task will be a little smaller, our demographics a little broader, but our work will be in the same spirit and no less important! Together we will restore a hillside to its former oak barrens vegetation, and at the same time learn about the history of conservation in the age of the CCC and Aldo Leopold. Much of conservation as we enjoy it and understand it today grew from ideas planted at this time. Be part of a unique and exciting experience of recreation, learning, and doing—a vacation that makes a difference! Added bonus: Camp at Glacial Park for FREE exclusively for this event.* Group size limited to 30, so register early: deadline April 17. Open to ages 16 and up. Cost: $70 / Seniors (60+) $50 / Students (16+) $35 / Register with a Friend Discount: receive $20 off second registration. (Fee includes meals). *Participants also have the option to camp at Glacial Park for free, exclusively for this event, (indoor restrooms and showers available; bring your own camping equipment). For more information or to register, contact Tom Simpson at (815) 678-4532 x8218 or Witness the activities and results of prior Weekends of Restoration on Facebook:
April 26, 2015
8:00am - 10:30am
Bring your binoculars for a Birding 101 lesson and walk at this site just north of downtown Highwood on Lake Michigan. Experienced birders will help find and identify birds with you. This is a moderate walk along some asphalt and bark trails. Mostly wheelchair accessible. It is a moderate grade down path to lake. While children are welcome, this walk is best enjoyed by those who are old enough to use binoculars. Please bring binoculars. None will be provided.
April 26, 2015
9:30am - 3:30pm
Workshops are held from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This workshop will give you an opportunity to learn monitoring skills or to refresh your skills for the new season. We ask any monitors who have never been to a workshop, including new volunteers, to attend. Registration is required, and is free of charge. A confirmation will be sent after registration and directions will follow shortly before workshop date. Register on-line after February 1, or contactRachel Goad, Manager of POC:; (847-835-6927). What the workshop provides An introduction to Plants of Concern, a rare plant monitoring program for Chicago Wilderness Training in the basics of monitoring techniques, including outdoor activities measuring and mapping populations and using a GPS unit. A chance to meet landowner representatives who will highlight monitoring opportunities. Opportunities are available throughout northeast IL, southeast WI & northwest IN. An opportunity to meet seasoned monitors who will share their experiences. Bring a lunch. Dress for the weather for outdoor activities. Morning refreshments served.
April 26, 2015
1:00pm - 2:00pm
Join district naturalists for a fun and interactive series of gardening programs. Participants will learn about the natural and cultural impact of plants species that can grow in our gardens. Following an informative discussion, participants will be provided with a pot, materials and plants to create their very own arrangement to take home. Fee: $10/garden. Advance registration is required. Please call 630-444-3190 or e-mail to register.
April 26, 2015
2:00pm - 3:00pm
A nature experience – Children’s Story Time with McHenry County Conservation District Enhance your sense of wonder by introducing fiction into your nature experience. Join McHenry County Conservation District for a Children’s Story Time on Sunday, April 26 from 2–3 p.m. at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Enjoy part of your Sunday afternoon listening to Some Babies are Wild by Marion Dane Bauer, taking an exploratory hike, and making a craft to take home based on the story. All ages welcome. Registration is not required. For more information call Prairieview Education Center, (815) 479-5779 or visit
April 26, 2015
4:30pm - 6:00pm
Would you like to hear the magic of the marsh? This beginning program will introduce you to the sights and sounds of marsh life with games, activities, and a short hike. We’ll make our own animal “instrument” so we can join in on the chorus. Fee: $0 County resident/ $5 Non-resident. For Adults and families. Registration deadline: April 28. Visit the McHenry County Conservation District’s website at to view the program in greater detail.
April 29, 2015
7:00am - 8:00am
The Alliance for the Great Lakes sponsors regular beach cleanup events at various sites along the shores of Lake Michigan. Visit for details.
April 30, 2015
9:00am - 1:00pm
Plant trees with Openlands: Plant, water, and mulch trees throughout Independence Park! We will be supporting our urban forest while beautifying and maintaining this important neighborhood greenspace. 3945 N Springfield Ave Chicago, IL 60618 Register at:
April 30, 2015
6:30pm - 9:00pm
Thursday, April 30, 6:30 – 9 p.m. and Saturday, May 2, 7 – 10 a.m. In spring, myriad backyard birds start singing, while migratory birds begin to join them in northern Illinois. Learn why birds sing and ways to identify the birds you see and hear in your back yard and at local forest preserves by plumage and song. In the evening session, we’ll discuss key identification marks and learn the songs of some common and not-so-common spring migrants found in back yards and forest preserves. During the walk on Saturday, we will look and listen for birds such as the American robin, song sparrow, eastern towhee, gray catbird, and other early migrant songbirds. Led by Sheryl DeVore, author, Birds of Illinois, and chief editor, Meadowlark, journal of the Illinois Ornithological Society. Brushwood. $99 ($79 Brushwood Center or CBG members). To register, contact Chicago Botanic Garden at 847.835.8261.
May 1, 2015
7:00pm - 8:00pm
Celebrate spring with the Conservation District and McHenry County Storytelling Guild! Bring family and friends for an evening of tales and legends in a scenic setting. The show will go on rain or shine. If weather is fair we will gather under the oaks on Prairieview’s patio. If weather is foul we will gather inside Prairieview’s beautiful vista room. Registration required. Visit our website at or call (815) 479-5779 for information. $0 r/ $5 nr Min/Max: 12/100
May 2, 2015
7:00am - 9:00am
Migrating birds are abundant for this introduction to bird watching at Bliss Woods Forest Preserve. We see common birds such as Red-winged blackbirds and woodpeckers and perhaps some colorful warblers along with many other interesting species. Bring binoculars and a bird guide.
May 2, 2015
Our Initiatives


We are providing the places and programs for generations of families to connect with nature.


We are developing strategies to mitigate climate change through land and water conservation action.


We are making significant improvements in the ecological health of the region’s lands and waters.


We are creating a region where healthy ecosystems contribute to a high quality of life for all residents.



Recent News

For Earth Day and through May 4, Crain’s Chicago Business will donate 5% of each new subscription to Chicago Wilderness. Make a difference. Get your all access digital subscription for just $39 and go green with Crain’s Chicago Business.

Join Chicago Wilderness members WRD Environmental and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County to restore Fabyan Woods, a rare oak woodland, as part of the Chicago Wilderness Corporate Council Service Program.

Read about our alliance' most recent accomplishments in our annual report.


What is Chicago Wilderness?

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A regional alliance that connects people and nature. Our more than 300 nonprofit and Corporate Council member organizations work together to restore local nature and improve the quality of life for all living things by protecting the lands and waters on which we all depend.

Chicago Wilderness Magazine Archives

Published from 1997 to 2009, Chicago Wilderness magazine celebrated the rich natural heritage of this region through profiles, in-depth articles and ideas for fun weekend adventures.