Press Releases

For Immediate Release - Openlands' Annual Luncheon Focuses on Open and Natural Areas

September 28, 2012

CONTACT: Brandon Hayes
312-863-6260 (office)
312-479-0819 (mobile)
(Media inquiries only)



***Noted Urban Planner Toni Griffin is Keynote Speaker***

***Openlands' 2012 Conservation Leadership Award Honors Philip Enquist***

(Chicago – September 28, 2012) The Openlands 2012 Annual Luncheon highlights the importance of planning for open and natural areas in a bustling metropolitan region. From improving air and water quality to affording recreation and respite to enhancing the region's economy and vitality, these open spaces are essential to quality of life. Openlands has played an important role at varying levels to green the greater Chicago region—from one-lotneighborhood gardens in Chicago to the 19,000-acre Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie. The Openlands 2012 Annual Luncheon takes place on Thursday, October 25 at 11am in the Grand Ballroom of The Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street, Chicago.

The 2012 keynote speaker is Toni Griffin. A Chicago native, Griffin has built an impressive 25-year career in both the public and private sectors, combining the practice of architecture, urban design and planning with the execution of innovative, large-scale, mixed-use urban redevelopment projects and public policy reforms. She is currently Professor of Architecture and Director at The J. Max Bond Center on Design for the Just City at the Spitzer School of Architecture at The City College of New York.

Openlands' 2012 Conservation Leadership Award honors Philip Enquist, FAIA, the Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP partner who leads its global city design practice, the world's most highly awarded urban planning group. Enquist's commitment to environmentally harmonious design has elevated urban living in Chicago and on five continents.

"Green space at all scales is an essential component of vibrant and healthy communities," said Openlands President and CEO Jerry Adelmann. "Openlands works at the regional scale to ensure that all residents of metropolitan Chicago have easy access to nature and the outdoors close to where they live."

The Openlands 2012 Annual Luncheon Platinum Sponsors are ITW, Northern Trust, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. The Gold Sponsors are Allstate Insurance Company, ArcelorMittal, Bartlett Tree Experts, BMO Harris Bank, ComEd, Stantec Consulting Services Inc., and U.S. Bank. The Silver Sponsors are The Care of Trees a Davey Company, Christy Webber Landscapes, Motorola Mobility Foundation, The University of Chicago, and WRD Environmental.

Tickets to the Openlands 2012 Annual Luncheon are $100 for individuals and $150 for Patrons; sponsorshipsrange from $1,500 to $10,000. For tickets and further details about attending the luncheon, contact Kaye Oberhausen at 312.863.6263. Members of the media making arrangements to cover the luncheon should contact Brandon Hayes at 312.863.6260.

About Openlands

Founded in 1963, Openlands is one of the nation's oldest and most successful metropolitan conservation organizations, having helped secure, protect, and provide public access to more than 55,000 acres of land for parks, forest preserves, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens. For more information, visit

Openlands' Board of Directors

Openlands' Board of Directors comprises Jill Allread (Chair), J. Tyler Anthony, Adrienne Archia, Paul L. Becker, Alan M. Bell, Shaun C. Block, Richard J. Carlson, Ph.D., George W. Davis, Garrett Handley Dee, Susan DePree, Victoria C. Drake, Josephine F. Elting, Joseph M. Flavin, Hugh Frisbie, John M. Haight, III, Jonathan C. Hamill, Mark M. Harris, Scott A. Jamieson, Iris J. Krieg, Carrie C. McNally, Janis Wellin Notz, Andrew J. Otting, Wendy Paulson, Steven M. Ricchio, J. Timothy Ritchie, Charles Saltzman, Patrick Shaw, Nancy W. Sutherland, and Randall G. Vickery.

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