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October 23, 2014
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Yes, your read that right, Snowshoes! Winter will be here before you know and who knows what’s in store for us this year. So, it’s not too early to start thinking about outdoor winter fun. Have you ever wanted to go snowshoeing after a winter snowfall, but didn’t have the gear? This year, be prepared and sign up for McHenry County Conservation District’s Make Your Own Snowshoes program. This three-session adult class will be held Thursday evenings, October 23 and November 6 and 20, from 7–9 p.m. at the Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Route 31 and Harts Road, Ringwood. In this interactive class, students will learn to make a fully laced workable pair of Ojibwe-style snowshoes. The history of snowshoes, techniques, and other useful information will also be discussed. Participants will need to do homework between sessions and purchase varnish to finish the shoes. A program fee of $140 for county residents, $175 non- resident, covers the cost of the frame, lacing, and bindings and must accompany registration. The registration deadline is Thursday, October 2 at 5 p.m. Registration is accepted online at MCCDistrict.org, 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 24, 2014
5:00pm - 8:00pm
Get up close and personal with your neighborhood nature center! Sample a variety of educational programs and crafts, chat with your local naturalists and get an up close view of our entire mammal furs and skulls collection. A rare "behind the scenes" program will show you how we prepare food for our live display animals. Light refreshments will be served. For adults and families; free. Location: Trailside Museum of Natural History 738 Thatcher Avenue River Forest, IL 60305 Contact: 708-366-6530
October 25, 2014
9:30am - 12:30pm
There’s still time to protect and restore the beach that was there for you all summer! Join the Alliance for the Great Lakes, students from Loyola University, Volunteer Site Steward for the Loyola Dunes and members of the local community for a beach cleanup and restoration work day at Loyola Beach. Help pick-up and record litter while learning about the impacts of trash pollution on the Great Lakes from Professor Tim Hoellein from Loyola University and representatives from the Alliance for the Great Lakes. Site Steward Ann Whelan will also lead volunteers in pulling invasive species out of the Loyola Dune Restoration Site. All volunteers are invited to participate in both activities and to take a guided tour of the restoration site! Loyola Beach Meet at the Dune Restoration Site (Between Pratt Blvd and Farwell Avenue, just east of the Tennis Courts) *Volunteers are not required to stay for the entire work day* *Tools and work gloves will be provided* Free Coffee and Donuts to All Volunteers! For more information or to RSVP, contact Sandy Carter at scarter@greatlakes.org or 312-445-9752.
October 25, 2014
10:00am - 1:00pm
Join Friends of the Forest Preserves and leisurely ride from Dan Ryan Woods to Whistler Woods, stopping occasionally. At Whistler, 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. Lunch is included. Register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1aajucp2_2Cg4NhTMIr2UB5TUfw88kXqW0MnwoodBeGI/viewform
October 25, 2014
10:00am - 1:00pm
Learn what it takes to restore diverse wildlife, trees, wildflowers, and health in our woodlands and our river system. Our goal is to grow a community of people who will become caretakers and stewards of these sites through on-going education and training. Centennial Volunteers is supported by the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Friends of the Forest Preserves, Friends of the Chicago River, and Audubon Chicago Region. Somme Woods East, IL Oct 12 - Seed collection. 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Join a group of volunteers who are interested in improving our local environment and having a good time doing it. No skills necessary, but please wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Join in, learn some ecology, and lend a hand. RSVP at www.fpdcc.com/CV. LaBagh/Hernandez Woods, IL Oct 18 - Brush cutting and seed collection. 1- 4 p.m. Join a group of volunteers who are interested in improving our local environment and having a good time doing it. Come No skills necessary, but please wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Join in, learn some ecology, and lend a hand. RSVP at www.fpdcc.com/CV . Kickapoo Woods and Prairie, IL October 25 –Restoration 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kickapoo Woods contains oaks hundreds of years old, but invasive brush prevents their acorns from sprouting. Come join a new volunteer crew that will cut back the invasive plants and improve the habitat at this preserve for plants, animals—and people. No skills necessary, but please wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Join in, learn some ecology, and lend a hand. RSVP at www.fpdcc.com/CV. November 22 – Restoration 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kickapoo Woods contains oaks hundreds of years old, but invasive brush prevents their acorns from sprouting. Come join a new volunteer crew that will cut back the invasive plants and improve the habitat at this preserve for plants, animals—and people. No skills necessary, but please wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Join in, learn some ecology, and lend a hand. RSVP at www.fpdcc.com/CV.
October 25, 2014
10:00am - 1:00pm
More information on this and other events at: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event;jsessionid=521B328068F57827E126266FAA38FF44.worker_registrant?llr=4iirhtoab&oeidk=a07e9ua9kfbf340826c
October 25, 2014
3:00pm - 7:00pm
Jasper-Pulaski Fish and Wildlife Area; Depart 3pm: Bendix Woods County Park, Nature Center. Fee: $8/person. Join park staff for a trip to Jasper-Pulaski! Bring a sack "lunch" for an evening dinner. You will see over a thousand birds dancing, eating and preening at dusk. Registration and payment are required by October 20. (Min.10, Max. 20). http://www.sjcparks.org/calendar.html
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 MCCDistrict.org 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 gardens@openlands.org.
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. MCCDistrict.org

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Our Initiatives

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We are providing the places and programs for generations of families to connect with nature.

 
   
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We are developing strategies to mitigate climate change through land and water conservation action.

 
   
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We are making significant improvements in the ecological health of the region’s lands and waters.

 
   
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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

Read Dale Bowman's column in the 10/5 Chicago Sun Times to learn how Chicago Wilderness members are preparing for the return of large carnivores to Chicago and why that's important.

EcoMyth: Wild predators belong anywhere but here. Hear more on the EcoMyths segment on WBEZ's Worldview.

Learning to live (again) with cougars, wolves & bears: check out Chicago Wilderness members on Chicago Tonight

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.