Conserving nature close to home
Founded in 1963, 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.
Where We Work
Connecting a web of green and blue in the region
The Chicago region has one of the most complicated geo-political landscapes in the nation, covering three states. Since Openlands’ founding, we have played a critical role as the only conservation organization looking systematically across the region at the relationship between the natural environment, urban growth, community health, and comprehensive land-use planning.
Be an advocate for nature
There are many ways to help protect the nature you love with Openlands. Whether you’re a teacher that wants to teach outside, a government agency that wants to improve your green space or a tree lover who wants to volunteer in their community, there are opportunities to connect with nature where you live.
The African American Heritage Water Trail One of ’52 Places for a Changed World’
The New York Times recently featured the African American Heritage Water Trail in their annual ’52 Places’ review, this year with the acknowledgement it’s a changed world.
Apply for the Arborist Registered Apprenticeship
Openlands’ Arborist Registered Apprenticeship is an opportunity for individuals to participate in a 3-year registered apprenticeship program, working alongside industry professionals and gaining hands-on experience, training, and skills in arboriculture. Apply by January 28, 2022!
ComEd Green Region Grant Celebrates 10 Years
The ComEd Green Region Grant awards grants up to $10,000 for conservation projects based in Northern Illinois. New this year, non-profits and educational agencies are invited to apply with a letter of support from a partnering government agency.