Our Mission

Conserving nature close to home

Founded in 1963, 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.

Where We Work

Connecting a web of green and blue in the region

The Chicago region has one of the most complicated geo-political landscapes in the nation, covering three states. Since Openlands’ founding, we have played a critical role as the only conservation organization looking systematically across the region at the relationship between the natural environment, urban growth, community health, and comprehensive land-use planning.

2021 Annual Luncheon

Get Involved

Be an advocate for nature

There are many ways to help protect the nature you love with Openlands. Whether you’re a teacher that wants to teach outside, a government agency that wants to improve your green space or a tree lover who wants to volunteer in their community, there are opportunities to connect with nature where you live.

Around Openlands

Attend a Fall Tree Planting Event

Fall is tree planting season, and Openlands hosts many planting events that are open to the public. Visit our events page to learn more.

Volunteer with Birds in my Neighborhood

Birds in my Neighborhood® relies on volunteers to assist our in-school programs to thrive. You only need to be comfortable volunteering around kids, enjoy spending time outside, and be willing to help students learn.

Celebrating the Passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Wildlife Referendum

Cook County residents voted to protect clean water sources, air quality, and wildlife to enjoy for generations to come. Openlands was a Vote Yes coalition member.