conserving nature for life

Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge

Since 2005, Openlands has worked to protect the ecologically significant landscapes found along the Illinois-Wisconsin border, acquiring over 1,000 acres of land in Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, and collaborating with partners and community residents to restore it.

Jerry Adelmann Speaking at the 2022 luncheon

The Openlands 2023 Annual Luncheon

Join us on October 17th for the Openlands 2023 Annual Luncheon honoring outgoing President and CEO Jerry Adelmann’s unparalleled legacy and celebrating Openlands’ 60th anniversary. 

Openlands Lakeshore Preserve gifted to the Lake County Forest Preserves

72-acres conveyed to Openlands' long-standing partner in the region.

Committed to conserving nature for life.

Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives.

65000 +

Acres Protected

in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin

10000 +

Acres Restored

to a healthy state for nature, wildlife, and people

4000 +

Trees planted

throughout the Chicago region

1000 +


certified as TreeKeepers

60 Years of Protecting our Region

As Openlands celebrates six decades of expanding access to nature for all, we invite you to become part of our legacy. Explore our history and join us for special commemorative events throughout 2023.

Latest Openlands News

Explore Nature in the Region

Use our interactive maps to discover places and ways to enjoy nature in the region. Explore over 400 parks, preserves, and natural areas open to the public.

Get Involved in Our Programs

TreeKeepers are an ever-growing community of tree ambassadors that care for the Urban Forest in Chicagoland. Through the TreeKeeper Course, tree lovers of all ages and backgrounds gain accessible training and education that certify them as an official TreeKeeper.

Birds in My Neighborhood is a volunteer-driven program for elementary students that helps students see nature in their community by observing birds. Volunteers help run the program by working with teachers to schedule two classroom visits and a field trip to a local natural area.

Our Native Tree and Plant Sale offer a gorgeous selection of native plants that, in addition to soaking up stormwater, cleaning the air, and beautifying our properties, provide the much-needed habitat that pollinators and other wildlife depend on. 

Our 30x30 Goals

We are partaking in the global effort to restore, connect and conserve 30 percent of lands and waters by 2030.

Goal #1

Goal 1 short description

Goal #2

Goal 2 short description

Goal #3

Goal 3 short description

Goal #4

Goal 34short description

Goal #5

Goal 5 short description

Goal #6

Goal 6 short description

Connecting people to nature where they live.

As innovative protectors and stewards of the land since 1963, Openlands exists to create access to nature for all. Through local alliances, forward vision, and persistent action, Openlands connects and leads conservation work, serving as a guiding voice for communities, organizations, and more effective policy in northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region.

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