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March 29, 2015
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Shed off winter and enjoy a march into the woods to look for signs of springtime. We'll search for early wildflowers re-sprouting, tree buds unfurling, returning migrant birds, animals emerging from hibernation, choruses of frogs, and tender green shoots peeking through last year's dead leaves.
April 1, 2015
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Spring is here! It's time to start planning and ordering for this year's garden. Find out how using native plants around your home is better for the environment and provides benefits for you as well. The McHenry County Conservation District will discuss how native plantings are used throughout the District. In addition members of the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee will share information about their "Native Garden in Your Yard" program. This program encourages and assists homeowners in transforming traditional lawn and garden spaces to native gardens. Applications also will be available for the WPPC 2015 mentor match up. Fee: $0 r/ $6 nr Registration required, visit OR call (815) 479-5779 for information.
April 2, 2015
10:00am - 11:00am
Seniors are invited to join District naturalists each month on a pleasant stroll in our natural areas. Each month we visit a different site, learning about the natural and cultural history of the area. The strolls begin at 10 a.m. and last about an hour, with social time and refreshments following the walk. No registration required.
April 4, 2015
8:00am - 12:00pm
The Lake County Audubon will partner with us to guide your viewing of nesting herons, cormorants and other waterfowl.
April 4, 2015
9:00am - 12:00pm
The photography of James P. Rowan: Planet of the Arthropods On exhibit March 7- May 3 at Prairieview Education Center. Visit our website at OR call (815) 479-5779 for hours and information. Numbering over a million species, the arthropods constitute 80% of all animal life on earth. They live in every possible niche of every biome on the planet—from the highest mountains to the deepest oceans, from deserts to tropical rainforests. They live under logs, in the soil, in the air, and in our homes. They feed on plants, animals, and on each other. They are everywhere! Planet of the Arthropods offers a glimpse into this miniature world around us. Come face-to-face with wolf spiders and jumping spiders whose large eyes help them locate prey, grasshoppers and katydids camouflaged to avoid predators, and butterflies and crustaceans whose colors rival the most beautiful birds and flowers. Further, Planet of the Arthropods hopes to impress upon the viewer that these often maligned creatures are worthy of our interest and protection. Like blue whales, cheetahs and rhinos, they are part of the scheme of things that make up the earth’s ecosystem.
April 4, 2015
1:00pm - 3:00pm
Illinois may be known as the Prairie State, but we’ve got some awesome trees as well as grasses! You can help discover and document the giants as part of The Illinois Big Tree Registry. This state-wide program encourages area residents to appreciate, record and report the largest native trees. Learn how to get involved during this workshop led by Forest Preserve District Naturalists Valerie Blaine and Josh Libman. We’ll begin with approximately 1-hour of classroom instruction covering tree identification, the history of the Big Tree program, and citizen involvement. Then, we’ll head outdoors to practice measuring trees. Advance registration is required. Call 630-444-3190 or email to register.
April 7, 2015
6:00pm - 8:00pm
Green Drinks is a monthly meetup that hosts discussions and presentations on a range of environmental topics. Save the Dunes is starting a new Green Drinks chapter in Gary to be held the first Tuesday of every month at 18th Street Brewery. February's topic is the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. The National Park Service staff and Save the Dunes will present on the ongoing oak savanna restoration project occurring in Miller Woods, Tolleston Dunes, and the State Park. Green Drinks attendees will also hear about upcoming stewardship and educational events at the park. Details at:
April 7, 2015
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Amphibians and Climate Change The Calumet region is home to stunning amphibians like the leopard frog and tiger salamander. Biology professor Joseph Milanovich explains what we stand to lose as weather patterns shift. The Kickapoo and Whistler Woods Allies, in partnership with the Blue Island Public Library, host this talk as part of a series of free talks by expert naturalists called “Wildlife in Your Backyard.” The talks will occur on the first Tuesday of the month from February through May, at 7 p.m. at the Blue Island Public Library, 2433 York Street in Blue Island. All talks are free and open to the public and will conclude with a question-and-answer session.
April 7, 2015
April 9, 2015
10:00am - 11:00am
This program series is specially designed for home school families with children ages 5-10 although all ages are welcome. Each month we cover a new topic at a different forest preserve, with lots of hands-on activities and plenty of fun. At this program, we will be learning about fabulous frogs! Fee: $2/person. Advance registration is required. Please call 630-444-3190 or e-mail to register.
April 9, 2015
10:30am - 11:30am
St. Charles Public Library staff bring books, finger plays, songs, and more for this fun program for children, infant through age 5. All are welcome to enjoy the interactive exhibits in the Nature Center following the program. FREE. Registration required. Please sign up for only one story time per month. Registration required. Please call 630-444-3190 or email to register.
April 9, 2015
7:00pm - 9:00pm
WILD ONES PROGRAMS Wild Ones is a group of folks who enjoy natural areas and native plant gardens. We meet once per month to attend a lecture or tour a natural area or garden. Join us anytime. Call Bob for more information at (312) 744-5472. THE FATHER OF LANDSCAPE ARTCHITECTURE Thursday, April 9th, 7 pm: The Jackson Park Natural Areas Project: An Ecological Restoration Designed in the Olmsted Style. Join Lauren Umek, Project Manager for the Chicago Park District, as she discusses how a team of ecologists, landscape architects, engineers, planners and historians worked together to restore Jackson Park. Originally designed by the renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted and home to the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the restoration of this park combines historic preservation, as well as native habitat restoration principles to create a high quality experience for humans, plants and animals as well. Meet at the North Park Village Nature Center at 7:00 pm.
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

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

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.

Celebrating the best of Chicago Wilderness: congratulations to the 2014 recipients of the Excellence in Ecological Restoration accreditation and the Conservation and Native Landscaping awards!

Chicago Wilderness serves as a model for collaborative conservation in Australia.

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.