Openlands Staff Ders Anderson

Senior Trails Consultant Ders Anderson joined Openlands in 1994. Responsible for facilitating and implementing projects related to the 4,300-mile greenways and 2,000-mile trails system adopted for northeastern Illinois, Ders helped develop several regional plans, including:

The Northeastern Illinois Regional Greenways and Trail Plan, the Salt Creek Greenway Plan, the Northeastern Illinois Regional Water Trails Plan, the Chicago Wilderness’ Biodiversity Plan, and the Northwest Indiana Regional Greenways and Blueways Plan.

He co-authored the Lake Calumet Vision Plan, the Kishwaukee River Watershed Strategic Plan, and the Chicago Wilderness Biodiversity Recovery Plan.

Ders spearheads numerous habitat inventory and restoration projects and is the principal author of the Prairie Parklands Trails Plan, the Prairie Streams Watershed Habitat Protection and Restoration Strategy, the South Suburban Calumet Open Space and Trail Plan, and Calumet Connections.

He is also the northeastern Illinois representative of the Grand Illinois Trail Executive Council, a board member of the Kishwaukee River Ecosystem Partnership, the Illinois Greenways and Trails Council, and the Land Conservancy of McHenry County. Prior to his work at Openlands, Ders was a municipal planner for 20 years.


  • B.A., Architecture, University of Notre Dame, South Bend, IN

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