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.
Openlands’ vision for the region is a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller. It also includes parks and preserves big enough to provide natural habitat and to give visitors a sense of the vast prairies, woodlands, and wetlands that were here before the cities. In sum, Openlands believes that protected open space is critical for the quality of life of our region.
As innovative protectors and stewards of the land for 60 years, 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.
Openlands works across the Chicago metropolitan region to advance nature-based solutions to climate change, improve the health and well-being of communities, and create a more verdant region for all.
We play a critical role as the only conservation organization looking systematically across the region—the relationships between the natural environment, urban growth, community health, and comprehensive land-use planning.