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60th Anniversary Programming Elevates Nature Accessibility to New Heights

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1963-Present

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Will County, IL
City of Chicago, Cook County, IL

Partnering for greater impact

Protecting important landscapes

Delivering technical expertise in ecology and restoration

Igniting advocacy momentum 

Openlands is committed to fostering a harmonious relationship between people and nature by not only protecting and restoring natural spaces but also by actively making them accessible for everyone to enjoy. Recognizing the importance of connecting people with the environment, Openlands organized a series of impactful events throughout the year in honor of the 60th anniversary of the organization.

Among these nature-based programs were paddling trips along the African American Heritage Water Trail, which offered participants natural and historical interpretations on the Little Calumet River. Bilingual tree walks in both English and Spanish were conducted throughout Chicago, providing urbanites with the opportunity to learn about trees in their neighborhoods. Additionally, a birding field trip took families to experience the natural wonders of Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Will County. Collaborating with various partners, Openlands ensured that these programs were not only enriching but also free and accessible, removing barriers to getting outside and engaging with nature.

Recreation is a powerful form of advocacy. Openlands believes that when individuals experience and appreciate the natural world, they are more likely to become advocates for preservation. This rings particularly true for the younger generation, who will inherit the planet we shape today. Openlands, through its outdoor experiences, continues to ignite advocacy momentum by instilling a deep-seated love and understanding of nature in the hearts and minds of all people.

“From botany to birds to bison- the family field trip with Openlands at Midewin had something for everyone! Getting people out into nature takes time and effort. This was exciting, fun, and nicely executed.”

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