What We Do

As residents of Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan, we are stewards of a rich natural heritage. The natural areas of our region offer opportunities for outdoor recreation, provide clean air and water, filter pollution, help control flooding, mitigate climate change, and provide habitat for wildlife. In addition, they support healthy childhood development by facilitating physical activity, creativity and critical thinking skills, social skills and problem-solving ability.

Chicago Wilderness is pioneering a regional, collaborative approach to conservation to protect and restore the nature on which we all depend. We work across four states, in a landscape that is ecologically and economically complex, to ensure the sustainability of our region for both people and nature.

Chicago Wilderness is taking action through four key initiatives to protect, restore and connect the region’s lands and waters and the wildlife they hold, so they will remain healthy and continue to benefit the region’s growing population:

  • Restoring Nature: Members of Chicago Wilderness are making significant improvements in the ecological health of the region’s natural systems and engaging residents as stewards of the region’s lands and waters.
  • Climate Action: We are developing strategies to mitigate climate change through land and water conservation action, and implementing the Chicago Wilderness Climate Action Plan for Nature, the first plan of its kind to link climate change specifically to issues of biodiversity conservation.
  • Leave No Child Inside: We are raising public awareness about the importance of access to nature for healthy childhood development, and providing the places and programs for generations of families to connect with nature.
  • Greening Infrastructure: We are creating a region where healthy ecosystems contribute to economic vitality and a high quality of life for all residents.