With over 60 years of institutional knowledge, Openlands plays an integral role in ensuring that effective environmental protection policies become a reality.

We work closely with government agencies, subject matter experts, and policymakers to develop new environmental conservation plans and practices created with ALL individuals in mind to render our communities—especially our most historically divested and vulnerable—more resilient to climate change.

Paddling along the Little Calumet River

Thriving Communities and Equitable Access to Nature

Openlands’ agenda supports and leads initiatives that protect recreational rights, increase opportunities for equitable access to nature, and promote more effective management of natural resources close to home.

Healthy Land, Water, and Wildlife

As Chicago’s regional land trust, Openlands advocates for the protection of land in order to ensure cleaner air, cleaner water, and habitat for wildlife.

Route 35 photo competition winners people looking into a sunset

Planning for a Climate-Resilient Future

Natural areas are increasingly degraded from climate change, yet research shows that nature-based solutions can contribute up to 37% of the climate mitigation needed by 2030. Openlands advocates local, state, and federal partners on policies that prioritize a more climate-resilient future for us all.

Meet Our Expert Staff

Openlands Staff Emily Reusswig
Vice President of Conservation and Policy
Openlands Director of Policy Chris Kessler
Director of Policy
Policy and Advocacy Associate
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