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October 25, 2014
8:00pm - 9:00pm
Gather around the campfire for an evening of scary stories told by master storytellers A. Denise Farrugia and Donna Detman of the St. Charles Public Library. This program is exclusively for children (grades three and above) and adults. Registration required. Please call 630-444-3190 or email Saturday, Oct. 25, 8–9 p.m. Creek Bend Nature Center, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, 37W700 Dean St., Saint Charles, IL FREE
October 31, 2014
9:00am - 4:00pm
Did you know that Benedictine University has gone to all-natural lawn care on campus? Learn more at the Healthy Lawn Symposium, where we will discuss the scientific, public health, ethical, and cultural implications of this decision and brainstorm ways to make further change on the issue of environmental chemicals.
October 31, 2014
10:00am - 12:00pm
Friday, October 31 from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. at Prairieview Education Center, 2112 Behan Road, Crystal Lake. Parents and tots are invited to experience the fun and learning available at the Family Exploration Station at Prairieview Education Center. Play with nature puzzles, games, puppets and more. Interested participants can join us for a guided hike at 11 a.m. A craft table will be set up throughout the program. If you will be hiking, dress for the weather. And, wear your favorite nature-themed Halloween costume! Fee: $0 McHenry County resident/ $3 Non-resident. Ages Infant–5, accompanied by an adult. Registration deadline: October 27. Visit the District’s website at to view the programs in greater detail or sign up to receive the seasonal magazine and program guide Landscapes. 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.
October 31, 2014
12:00pm - 1:30pm
How do you find the “greatest opportunities” in the city of Chicago? Engage with three Chicago organizations that are in the process of doing just that. The Plant is an incubator for sustainable and food businesses, a research/education space, and home to several farm businesses. Blacks in Green is a national green community economic development network based in West Woodlawn, which authored and teaches The 8 Principles of Green-Village-Building and “The City of Villages” paradigm. The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit organization that conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, garden, and open space, with recent work on The 606/Bloomingdale Trail redevelopment. After a short presentation by each organization, there will be a moderated panel discussion with questions and answers. RSVP required to attend. Lunch will be provided, and the session is registered for 1.5 AIA learning units.
November 1, 2014
12:00pm - 4:00pm
Do you want grow your own food in a garden you share with friends and neighbors? Are you a part of a community garden that you think could be improved so that more people would participate, share work and resources, and manage the garden together? GardenKeepers is an interactive, hands-on introduction to Community Gardening focused on Earth friendly, chemical free methods conserving natural resources. Participants will learn how to organize and run a successful, long-lasting, community allotment garden together with friends and neighbors. GardenKeepers is designed to help both an existing garden that may need this broad range of information and support as well as a garden that is in the “We Wish We Had a Garden!” stage. The classes are held at the McKinley Park Branch Library and are taught by gardening experts and experienced community garden organizers. In addition to the class, participants will receive: - A manual that will help guide them through the process of organizing, designing, and maintaining their garden - A modest GardenKeepers sign to post in the garden. - Membership in the GardenKeepers Community Food Garden Network, which includes a regular, emailed newsletter providing information on gardening issues and ideas as well as networking with other gardeners to share experiences, ideas, and info. - Free Continuing Education Classes to supplement the class presentations and help gardeners work out problems as they sprout in the gardens. - Help with lumber, soil, and other materials, if resources are available, through an application for a GardenKeepers’ Mini-grant. GardenKeepers is presented twice a year. It is designed for groups, not individuals. A minimum of 2 people from each community garden is required and space is limited; however, more garden members may attend if space allows. For more information, please contact
November 1, 2014
2:00pm - 3:30pm
Are you looking for something the whole family can do for free on a Saturday afternoon? Join us for a Lost Valley Venture on Saturday, November 1, 8, or 15 from 2–3:30 p.m. at Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Rt. 31 and Harts Rd., Ringwood. This family exploration program includes a nature lesson, game, and activity based around this month’s topic: White-tailed Deer. If the weather allows, guests will also go for a short outdoor exploratory hike with staff, so dress for the weather and walking. No registration required. All ages are welcome. Topics change monthly: December–Winter Birds, January–Animal Tracking, February–Terrific Trees. This program is intended for families and cannot accommodate organized groups. Youth groups should contact Prairieview Education Center at (815) 479-5779 to schedule a program for their group.
November 1, 2014
2:00pm - 3:00pm
Most people recognize John James Audubon as the self-taught artist who painted some of the world’s most compelling images of birds, depicting them as living beings, rather than two-dimensional creatures. But few know about the man himself and the struggles he had in getting those drawings accepted and appreciated in America, said William Souder, author of the critically acclaimed “Under A Wild Sky: John James Audubon and the Making of the Birds of America.” Souder will discuss the life of Audubon and what he learned after nearly two years of research writing the book at a free talk at 2 p.m., Nov. 1, at Brushwood Center in Ryerson Woods. The book, published by Milkweed Editions, earned the Minnesota resident numerous awards and was named a Pulitzer Prize finalist. Space is limited, so registration is recommended. After the event, he will autograph books, being sold by the Lake Forest Book Store. For more information and to register, call 847-968-3308 or visit
November 1, 2014
3:00pm - 7:00pm
Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area, Depart 3pm: Bendix Woods County Park Nature Center. Fee: $8/person. This trip is designed for women who want to learn about the life cycle of the sandhill cranes and their massive fall migration. Bring a sack lunch for an evening meal and save room for homemade baked goods! Registration and payment are required by October 27. (Min.10, Max. 20).
November 2, 2014
9:00am - 12:00pm
Hike as long as you like as we visit our wetlands to see what waterfowl flew in.
November 6, 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: November 2. Visit the District’s website at to view the programs in greater detail or sign up to receive the seasonal magazine and program guide Landscapes. 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.
November 6, 2014
10:00am - 11:30am
Seniors are invited to join Forest Preserve District of Kane County naturalists each month on a pleasant stroll through forest preserves. Each month, we visit a different site and learn 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. In the event of severe weather, call Creek Bend Nature Center at (630) 444-3190 for cancellation information. Wear sturdy shoes and bring insect repellent and sunscreen. Donations are welcome to cover the cost of refreshments. Thursday, Nov. 6; 10-11:30 a.m. Tyler Creek Forest Preserve, 401 Davis St., Elgin, IL FREE
November 6, 2014
6:00pm - 8:00pm
This Green Drinks will feature a talk by Zhanna Yermakov from Chicago Park District.

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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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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.