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October 2, 2014
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Join Patricia Miller, Regional Coordinator for Monarch Watch, as she discusses the life, needs, and status of our State Insect-the beloved Monarch butterfly. Pat will display a rich volume of images of Monarchs and their preferred plants, and will offer resources and ideas for assisting in their recovery in our area. Registration required at 312-744-5472.
October 3, 2014
9:00am - 3:00pm
$35/$25 student. Location: Law Offices of Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C - 330 North Wabash Avenue, 21st Floor, Chicago, IL. Continental breakfast and lunch included. Please join us for Friends of the Chicago River's 10th River Summit. At this special event, regional and national leaders in this field will answer questions like: -What sort of impact does rewilding have on restoring the functionality of ecosystems? -What type of expectations should we have for how rewilding can be supported in an urban environment? -What steps are currently being taken to strengthen the Chicago River ecosystem? Information at:
October 3, 2014
9:00am - 1:30pm
Garfield Farm Museum is currently taking reservations from school groups for its annual Student Harvest Days event on Friday, October 3rd. During this event, children will have the opportunity to connect with their rural heritage through period demonstrations of common farm activities, such as candle dipping, flailing wheat, shocking and shelling corn, and making apple cider. Harvest Days provides children and adults an opportunity to learn about the realities of our rural heritage. The historic demonstrations of 1840’s household and farm skills remind us of the incredible amount of effort it took to survive in a non-mechanized world. They also stimulate young minds to be creative in problem solving. Their imaginations are even catered to by the words and tall tales of Reid Miller, Teller of Tall Tales, whose traditional yarns and songs fit the historic setting of Garfield Farm. Tours of the 1846 brick inn illustrate typical farm and tavern life. Tours of the museum’s prairie reconnect visitors to nature and its resilience, as the last prairie flowers bloom and go to seed. Reservations are required for Student Harvest Days and can be made by contacting the museum at (630) 584-8485 or email Students are $5 each and chaperones are $4 each. Space is limited.
October 3, 2014
10:00am - 11:00am
Enjoy an hour of fun including a game, craft, snack and other educational activities all based around the special theme of the day. Fee: $0 County resident/ $3 Non-resident.Ages 2–6, accompanied by an adult. Registration deadline: September 29. Visit to view the programs in greater detail or sign up to receive the seasonal magazineLandscapes. Registration is accepted online, by phone (free programs only) at (815) 479-5779, by mail-in and drop-off at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road in Crystal Lake, or drop-off only at Lost Valley Visitor Center, Route 31 and Harts Rd. in Ringwood, IL.
October 3, 2014
7:00pm - 9:30pm
Fee: $3/person. Join a park interpreter to discover the mysteries of nocturnal creatures and the magic of a fall evening at Spicer Lake. Enjoy apple cider and donuts after the program. Registration is required by September 29. (Min. 5; max. 15).
October 4, 2014
8:00am - 11:00am
Saturdays & Sundays, 8:00 a.m., September 6, 20; October 4, 19 Our bird walks go through prairie restorations, woodlands, old fields, marshes and of course Volo Bog itself. Visit to explore the latest sightings. Bring binoculars and field guides, or borrow from our leaders. Walk is approximately 3 miles and takes from 2 - 3+ hours with weather and luck in birding. Adults and attentive kids ages 6 and older are welcome. Meet in the main parking lot. Registration is requested at 815-344-1294 or Group size is limited - Walk-ins welcome if space allows but walk may be cancelled if minimum registration is not met 24 hours prior. Co-sponsored, and led by members of, McHenry County Audubon. Visit them at
October 4, 2014
9:00am - 12:00pm
Join The Wetlands Initiative and welcome fall by helping to collect native seed in the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge’s beautiful restored prairies and wetlands. All are welcome; no experience is needed! The seed harvested by volunteers will later be cleaned, sorted, and planted over the winter in less diverse areas of the Refuge. This is an important and easy way you can participate in restoration and help enhance biodiversity at this Wetland of International Importance. Bring a water bottle; snacks, tools, and gloves will be provided. Please wear appropriate clothing for fieldwork (e.g., long pants, closed-toe shoes). Children 16 years old or younger must be accompanied by parents or other chaperones. Please email if you plan to attend. Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the parking lot by the observation tower. Visit here for a map and driving directions:"
October 4, 2014
9:00am - 12:00pm
We'll leisurely ride from Dan Ryan Woods to Whistler Woods, stopping occasionally. At Whistler, we'll participate in the effort to make the woods healthy again before riding back. Total riding distance is about 12 miles. Ages 14 and under must wear a helmet. Free; register by Oct. 1 at
October 4, 2014
9:00am - 3:00pm
Space to Grow needs you! After months of planning and construction, our four Space to Grow pilot schoolyards are almost complete. Come spend a day (or two!) digging in the dirt with us. We're looking for volunteers to spend a few hours planting bulbs and grasses and spreading mulch in gardens. These schools and communities will greatly benefit from your time and help! Healthy snacks and water will be provided. Register and get more details at: Volunteers should dress appropriately for the weather and be prepared to come rain or shine. For questions or to register a group of 10 or more people, please contact Meg Kelly, Space to Grow Project Manager, via email or at 312-419-1810.
October 4, 2014
9:00am - 10:00am
One-hour guided nature hike in the Lake County Forest Preserves. Explore a new preserve each month. Meet at the boat launch. Where: Fox River (Port Barrington) Who: Adults Cost: $1 residents, $2 nonresidents
October 4, 2014
10:00am - 1:00pm
More information on this and other events at:;jsessionid=521B328068F57827E126266FAA38FF44.worker_registrant?llr=4iirhtoab&oeidk=a07e9ua9kfbf340826c
October 4, 2014
1:00pm - 2:30pm
Join us for an interesting program to learn about some common autumn mushrooms, then enjoy a short mushroom hunt in the woods to find some local examples. For adults and interested teens; free; please register by 10/2. Contact: 708-366-6530.

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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

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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.

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.