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September 20, 2014
Join this 24-hour scientific study! Attend nocturnal programs about bats and moths on Friday evening. Saturday, beginning at 9am, attend programs throughout the day presented by scientists and experts in the field. Presentations will include bluebirds, bird banding, reptiles, birds of prey, arachnids, singing insects and more. Pitch a tent and camp Friday night! (Advance registration required.)
September 21, 2014
8:30am - 4:30pm
The Arboretum’s annual Native Gardening Conference will be September 21, 2014. Join experts and fellow gardeners for a day of workshops, demonstrations, and tours for anyone who wants to use native plants in their home landscapes. Connect, learn, and go home with a wealth of tips, information, and inspiration. For all experience levels. Keynote speaker: Doug Tallamy, author of Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife with Native Plants. The all-day conference runs from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Advanced registration is required by September 15, and lunch is included as part of the conference fee. More information and online registration
September 21, 2014
9:00am - 11:00am
Bike the Burnham Greenway from the Green Lake Aquatic Center to Calumet City Prairie and back (about 4.2 miles). We'll stop along the way at Sand Ridge Prairie and Wentworth Prairie. Ages 14 and under must wear a helmet. Free; register by Sept. 17 at
September 21, 2014
9:30am - 11:00am
Learn skills to explore and appreciate the living things in our urban wilderness. Participants will go home with resources to continue exploring urban nature. Suited for adults or families with children ages 7 and up (children must be accompanied by an adult). Cost: $10/members, $15/non-members. Call (773)755-5100 for more information.
September 21, 2014
10:00am - 4:00pm
Watch artists as they paint along the trails. Listen to live music, view additional artwork for sale and vote for your favorite artist. Adults and kids, learn to create your own artwork-materials and instruction provided.
September 21, 2014
10:00am - 1:00pm
If you love being outdoors but are not sure how to truly observe all the intricacies of nature, join us for a morning of exploration. Discover strategies and equipment for observing and enjoying nature, learn techniques to observe the plants and animals that live with our trees, and test them out during field exploration on the Arboretum grounds. We’ll focus less on memorization of facts and more on how to become attuned to your surroundings and how holistic approaches to viewing nature can aid identification and understanding. Instructor: Renae Frigo, naturalist Notes: Held entirely outdoors. Please dress for the weather, including sun protection and be prepared for walking over uneven terrain. Limit 20 Supplies: Please wear long pants, sturdy close-toed walking shoes, and carry a water bottle, snack, and materials for writing in the field. Certificate information: May be used as a Naturalist Certificate, WSP Elective (3 hours) Prerequisites: No previous experience required. Course number: N104
September 21, 2014
2:30pm - 4:00pm
Did you know turtles have existed for over 215 million years? Learn about the different turtle species native to Lake County, and restoration projects initiated by Lake County Forest Preserves to increase the population of native turtles. Meet live turtles including an endangered species.;section_id=3282
September 23, 2014
8:00am - 12:00pm
Cruise on a bus to Lake County birding hotspots and hike to search for some feathered friends. The bus tour will depart and arrive at the Visitor Center. For ages 18 and older. Cost: $25.00 per adult (Lake County Residents), $30.00 per adult (Non-Residents) Registration Deadline: September 22, 2014 Registration Options: Register online, by telephone at 847-968-3321 or by mail or fax using this form:;section_id=3283
September 23, 2014
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Ten sculptors, including Margot McMahon of Oak Park, worked through Chicago Sculpture International and teamed with the Chicago Park District to keep dead trees from being removed by sculpting them. Meet Margot and see the birds she carved that are now part of this innovative project on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Oak Park Public Library, 834 Lake St., Oak Park, IL. Learn more about this project:
September 24, 2014
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Join us to investigate different habitats and look for native animal tracks. We'll play games, hike and create our "own" tracks using a print-making process. Call the Forest Preserves of Cook County at 708-771-1010 to reserve a spot.
September 24, 2014
5:30pm - 8:30pm
On Wednesday, September 24, Friends of the Parks is leading a lakefront happy hour trolley tour to give Chicagoans a front-row view of our City’s public open spaces along the lakefront that would be impacted by pending development proposals including the Lucas Museum. Stops along the tour will include Navy Pier, DuSable Park, Soldier Field South Parking Lots (the proposed site of the Lucas Museum), Grant Park, Northerly Island, 31th Street Harbor and a few others! Join us and help shape the future of Chicago’s lakefront public open space. Friends of the Parks’ supports the building and expansion of museums, attractions, schools, senior housing and other institutions in the City of Chicago. However, it is a troubling trend that these facilities are increasingly proposed within our valuable parks and public open spaces. Given the established health, recreation and quality of life benefits associated with natural and open spaces, Chicagoans need to work together to protect our parks and public open spaces.
September 27, 2014
9:00am - 4:00pm
Dig into the fascinating world beneath our feet and explore the forces that shaped our local landscape and how it affects life above ground today in Geology and Soil: Glaciers, Mud, Gravel, Sand, Soil, and other stuff, part of McHenry County Conservation District’s People and Nature Program, on Saturday, September 27 from 9:00 a.m.–4 Preregistration required. The prairies and oak savannas of Glacial Park are a beautiful covering on top of an ancient palace built by tropical seas, glaciers, wind, water, and eons of time. Students will examine this underworld both for its own beauty and interest and to understand how this knowledge can help us to be better stewards of our natural heritage. Most of the class will be outdoors; dress for the weather and bring a sack lunch and something to drink. Designed for adults and interested students 14 years and older. Registration deadline is September 23: $40 County resident/ $45 Non-resident. Register online at; drop off at Glacial Park Lost Valley Visitor Center, Route 31 & Harts Rd., Ringwood; or drop off or mail in to Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Rd., Crystal Lake.

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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.


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.

Recent News

New Audubon report says half of North American birds are being affected by climate change. What we're doing and how you can take action.

Attention wildlife managers: you'll want to attend our September 25 conference on living with and managing cougars, wolves and bears.



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.