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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.

2021 Annual Luncheon

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.

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

The African American Heritage Water Trail One of ’52 Places for a Changed World’

The New York Times recently featured the African American Heritage Water Trail in their annual ’52 Places’ review, this year with the acknowledgement it’s a changed world.

Shop the Native Tree and Plant Sale

The annual Openlands Native Tree and Plant Sale is now open! Choose from a wide array of native shrubs, trees, grasses, ferns, and flowers to beautify your yard and support ecological health.

Take the Pledge to Vote Yes for the Forest Preserves of Cook County

On Election Day, November 8th, Cook County voters will have the opportunity to vote yes to protect clean water sources, air quality, and wildlife for our residents to enjoy for generations to come. Openlands is a Vote Yes coalition member.