Openlands Staff Laura Barghusen

Laura Barghusen is the Director of Restoration and Trails at Openlands and works with local, regional, and state governments, communities, and other stakeholders to connect people to the waterways of northeastern Illinois through open space and water trail planning, biological monitoring of rivers and streams, legal and policy work, education, and events. Laura believes that paddling rivers and streams offers the opportunity to develop a unique appreciation of nature even in very urban environments.  She knows that preserving and restoring habitat and water quality will increase the abundance and distribution of fascinating and beneficial aquatic life like fish, native freshwater mussels, and macroinvertebrates. Laura has paddled, walked, and crawled through many of the streams of northeastern Illinois looking for aquatic life and becoming familiar with their banks, beds, and the landscapes through which they flow.  Laura has also spent many hours in the office writing reports and plans, studying maps, and reviewing the literature to enhance her understanding of aquatic systems.  Laura is a co-author of A Field Guide to the Freshwater Mussels of Chicago Wilderness. Laura holds a BA in History from the University of Chicago, an MS in Zoology from Miami University, and an MA in Environmental Geography from the University of Illinois at Chicago

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