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September 16, 2014
5:00pm - 7:00pm
Reap the benefits of exercising outside in nature. This workout includes heart rate monitoring, circuit and interval training, simple stretching tips, dance and more. All ages. Call the Forest Preserves of Cook County at 708-771-1023 to register.
September 17, 2014
7:00pm - 8:30pm
Chicago Wilderness is excited to welcome Dean Fischer (CEO, West Monroe Partners), and David St. Pierre (Executive Director, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago), in conversation with author George Marshall as they help us explore how our actions can drive climate solutions for the region. 7 - 8:30 p.m., Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Chicago Public Librarry, Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL. Free but space is limited. Register at
September 18, 2014
5:30pm - 8:00pm
This series in the Forest Preserves of Cook County explores nature, art and more. This month, enjoy the sounds of Steckman Studio, featuring Outloud After School Performers and Low End Theory. Jam with the musicians using instruments made out of natural and recycled materials.
September 20, 2014
9:00am - 1:00pm
The Chicago Park District is developing the Burnham Wildlife Corridor as a 100-acre ribbon of urban wilderness running through one of the city’s premier lakefront properties, Burnham Park. As designed, this area is comprised of existing and planned natural areas that are representative of the native prairie, savanna and woodland ecosystems of this region. When complete, the Burnham Wildlife Corridor will be the largest contiguous natural area along the Chicago Lakefront, stretching from McCormick Place in the north to East 47th Street in the south. It will be a vibrant, green space for people to enjoy and for wildlife, particularly the three million+ migratory birds that fly through Chicago annually, to forage and find refuge. On September 20th we will establish 8 distinct groves of native trees on the southern end of the wildlife corridor. We will be supporting the establishment of a woodland environment for both people and wildlife to enjoy. This planting is part of the CSX "Trees for Tracks" program in partnership with Alliance for Community Trees and City Year. WHAT TO EXPECT •Being outdoors digging, carrying trees, planting, mulching, and watering trees for several hours. •Working in an urban environment. Register at
September 20, 2014
9:00am - 12:00pm
Tired of finding plastic bags, food wrappers and other unsightly trash littering your favorite beach? Be part of the solution and join thousands of volunteers in cleaning Great Lakes shorelines during the Alliance for the Great Lake’s Annual September Adopt-a-Beach™ Event! Join Chicago Wilderness and their “Go Outside, Evanston” working group at Evanston’s Dempster-Greenwood Beach to help clean up! For more info. and to register for a cleanup online, visit and search for “Dempster-Greenwood Beach.” To inquire about volunteering, contact Sandy Carter at or 312-445-9752. Sponsors: Alliance for the Great Lakes, Chicago Wilderness, Leave No Child Inside, City of Evanston Location: Dempster-Greenwood Beach Age: All ages welcome Day/Date/Time: Sat., Sept. 20, 9am-12pm
September 20, 2014
9:30am - 11:30am
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie will be offering one of our newest tours, “Geology of Midewin.” 15,000 years ago, a one-mile thick glacial ice sheet moved over Illinois leaving its mark on Midewin. Environments in prehistoric times included tropical swamplands and subtropical oceans. View the rocks, hills and plains of Midewin that still bear evidence of it all. This tour will begin at 9:30 AM at our Welcome Center (the building with the 3 flag poles in front) and will be conducted via car caravan through the use of personal vehicles. We will travel over unimproved roads, including gravel and potholes. Plan to spend approximately two hours on this escorted tour, which takes you into areas that are normally closed to the public. Reservations are required by September 19, either by calling 815/423-6370 or via e-mail at You must use the underscore and an e-mail confirming your registration will be sent. Please include contact information in the event we need to notify you of any cancellations. For a complete listing of our Programs and Events for our 2014 season, please visit our website at and click on the Events Calendar under the quick links on the right-hand side.
September 20, 2014
9:30am - 12:00pm
Join the Joliet Park District and Huff & Huff, Inc. (a Chicago Wilderness member!) for a fun day of aquatic adventure. Volunteers are needed to serve as Bio Stewards and Citizen Scientists at this BioBlitz, a one-day effort to discover the number and kinds of species (biodiversity) living in the Hickory Creek watershed. BioBlitz scientists will team up with members of the public - Citizen Scientists – to sample and identify aquatic critters at a number of sites in the Hickory Creek and its tributaries. Then, the Bioblitz Scientists will complete the macroinvertebrates identification and calculate how many kinds of species are present. Volunteer Bio Stewards will welcome and register people at each site. It’s a fun way to meet new people and other creatures! Those volunteering as Citizen Scientists should wear waders or rain boots, gloves, and clothes that can get wet and dirty. Sign up today at
September 20, 2014
10:00am - 12:00pm
Perfect for beginners! The lake is clean and calm, surrounded by a beautiful forest preserve. Every participant gets a pair of binoculars to keep. Who knows what kinds of birds you may spot. Free; register by Sept. 17 at Limit of 24 people.
September 20, 2014
10:00am - 2:00pm
To celebrate the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's (MWRD's) 125th anniversary and to raise awareness about the importance of water and the water industry, MWRD's treatment facilities will be open to the public for guided tours from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20. The plants that will host tours include: · Calumet, 400 E. 130th St, Chicago, IL · Egan, 550 S. Meacham Rd, Schaumburg, IL · Hanover Park, 1200 Sycamore Ave, Hanover Park, IL · Kirie, 701 W. Oakton St, Des Plaines, IL · O'Brien, 3500 W. Howard St, Skokie, IL · Stickney, 6001 W. Pershing Rd, Cicero, IL The MWRD is opening its doors in conjunction with other utilities from across the country as part of a national effort designed to showcase utility infrastructure. The MWRD was created by an Act of the Illinois General Assembly in 1889 to protect Lake Michigan, the source of our drinking water. In addition to providing wastewater treatment and stormwater management for Cook County, the MWRD is working to become more sustainable and energy neutral within the next decade. Visitors will learn about ongoing environmental improvement projects and developing technologies for renewable energy generation. To learn more about the open houses or to schedule a private tour, contact the MWRD Office of Public Affairs at (312) 751-6633.
September 20, 2014
3:00pm - 7:00pm
Celebrate the fall season with McHenry Count Conservation District during Outdoor Fest – A Celebration of Green Healthy Living. Come out for a pick-up game of basketball or bags, take a disc golf lesson or a fly fishing clinic, search out a geocache or two, and stay for the food and enjoy live music. Visit with exhibitors for the latest in outdoor recreation equipment to ways to live a more environmentally-friendly life. Kick off your festival experience early with a 1 Mile Fun Run @ 2:30 p.m., on our shady, paved trail over gently rolling terrain. Get a boost of energy for the rest of the afternoon, enjoy the scenery, and take a sneak peek at the vendor displays. Plus, all Fun Runners will receive a gift for participating in this healthy lifestyle activity! Registration/Check-In opens at 1:45 p.m., all ages are welcome; youth ages 13 & under must be accompanied by an adult. Pre-registration is recommended. Call Prairieview Education Center at (815) 479-5779. For more information visit
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
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.

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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

Join Chicago Wilderness and author George Marshall for Climate on the Brain this Wednesday, Sept. 17, 7 - 8:30 p.m. at the Chicago Public Library. Free but space is limited. Register now!

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

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.