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September 19, 2014
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Join us for a night hike to learn about nocturnal animals. Registration required. Cost: $2 per person. Register by 9/17.
September 20, 2014
Simply put, there is nothing like this in all of the Calumet. One of the most important sites in the study of ecology, come and learn about this site, which is currently being restored by the National Park Service. RSVP to
September 20, 2014
7:00am - 9:00am Illinois Beach State Park - North Unit Great place to see fall sparrows and other species heading south. Directions: From I-94, exit east at Route 120, turn north on Green Bay, then east on Route 173, north on Sheridan Rd., and east on 17th Street. Park at the first Sand Pond parking lot by the washrooms. Leader: Beau Schaefer 847-265-9067
September 20, 2014
8:00am - 11:00am
Saturdays &Sundays, 8:00 a.m. September 6, 20; October 4, 19; November TBA 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
September 20, 2014
8:00am - 10:30am
Search the woods, fields, and edges of the Arboretum for fall birds. Join us every third Saturday to learn about fall migrants and year-round resident birds with an expert guide. Please be prepared to spend most of the class outdoors; no prior experience in birding is necessary. Notes: Held entirely outdoors. Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable walking shoes. Limit 16. Supplies: Binoculars and a field guide will be useful. A small number of binoculars will be available for check out on a first come first served basis. Recommended ages: Children ages 12 and up welcome with adult registrant. Course number: O014 SCHEDULE AND LOCATION: Saturdays, 8:00-10:30 a.m. Thornhill Shelter Section a: September 20 with Gloria Dobry Section b: October 18 with Vicky Sroczynski Section c: November 15 with Phyllis Mertz FEES AND ADMISSION: Nonmembers: Fees do not include admission to the Arboretum. $8.00 members $10.00 nonmembers REGISTRATION INFORMATION: CALL: 630-719-2468 IN PERSON: Stop by the Visit...
September 20, 2014
Join this 24-hour scientific study! Attend nocturnal programs about bats and moths on Friday evening. Saturday, beginning at 9am, attend programs throughout the day presented by scientists and experts in the field. Presentations will include bluebirds, bird banding, reptiles, birds of prey, arachnids, singing insects and more. Pitch a tent and camp Friday night! (Advance registration required.)
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
9:00am - 3:00pm If you can write your name, you can draw! Colored pencil has emerged from the preschooler's art kit into a serious professional art medium within the last 30 years. Start a nature journal, explore the important connections between people and plants, and see the world with entirely new eyes! Learn how to express nature's beauty with colored pencils during the morning session, and receive outdoor sketching instruction during the afternoon. Artist and program presenter Kathleen Marie Garness has exhibited her work at Kew Gardens in London, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Smithsonian Institution, among other venues. She enjoys bringing her love of plants to new audiences. Registration is required by calling 708.946.2216. All supplies will be provided and available for you to take home to continue your artistic explorations of the natural world. Please bring a waste-free lunch.
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 - 5:00pm
This free event is open to the public. Activities include 35 guided tours, horse–drawn wagon rides, children’s tent, a food vendor, and more!

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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

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.

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



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.