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.
Apply for the ComEd Green Region Grant
Now celebrating its eleventh year, the ComEd Green Region Grant awards grants up to $10,000 for conservation projects based in Northern Illinois.
Save the Date: Green and Growing Summit
The Green and Growing Summit is a gathering designed to strengthen the connectivity of Chicago’s garden education movement building on the work of the Green Teachers Network and the CPS Garden Educator Cohort. Click below to learn more and apply to be a workshop facilitator.
Tell State Lawmakers to Protect Your Waterway Rights
Tell your state legislators to support the Rivers, Lakes, and Streams Act, which protects your right to access local waterways for recreational purposes.