Openlands Blog

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Have You Discovered The Kishwaukee River?

Whether you’re a long time paddler or just a beginner, you can head over to the Kishwaukee River for day or weekend trip. Experience the Kishwaukee’s high quality aquatic habitat up close; its main branch is considered “Class A” by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Openlands and the Boone County Conservation District (BCCD) have … READ MORE ›

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Butterflies and Birds Flock to Deer Grove East

Just 35 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, birds and butterflies that once called our region home are making a triumphant return to a special place. They are attracted to this special place because of environmental restoration, the process of returning an area to its natural state in order to restore the health and vitality of the land and water. And … READ MORE ›

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Have You Discovered Deer Grove East?

Part of the new Openlands’ #DiscoverYourPlace blog series exploring great places to get outside in the Chicago region!

If you’re looking for an easy day get away from the city and into natural serenity, look no further than Deer Grove East Forest Preserve located in Palatine, a northwest suburb of Chicago. Deer Grove offers a myriad … READ MORE ›

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Have You Discovered Hadley Valley Preserve?

This is the first in Openlands’ new #DiscoverYourPlace blog series exploring great places to get outside in the Chicago region!

Summer is finally here, and it’s time to enjoy the great outdoors! Hadley Valley Preserve is located just outside Chicago with over 700 acres of trails, picnic groves, and plenty of restored natural habitat and wide … READ MORE ›

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Explore Your Lakes and Rivers: Mother’s Day at Ping Tom Park

Openlands’ Explore Your Lakes and Rivers series began on Mother’s Day at Ping Tom Park in Chicago’s Chinatown. This series of 11 paddling events is designed to introduce new paddlers from surrounding communities to the Chicago and Calumet waterways. The events also engage people with nature on the rivers in a way that is relevant and fun.

Openlands … READ MORE ›

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A Land Protection Success for Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge

Spend an afternoon exploring the countryside of McHenry County, about 70 miles northwest of Chicago, and soon you will find yourself crossing one of the features that make this part of our region special: a lazy Midwestern stream. Dozens of these little waterways wind through the farm fields and sleepy villages that characterize the county’s … READ MORE ›

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Bison Return to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

On May 7, over 2,300 visitors welcomed the American bison back to the prairie an hour southwest of the Chicago Loop when Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie held the public celebration of the bison’s return.

The over 19,000-acre Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie is the first national tallgrass prairie in our nation’s history. Established in 1996, it is … READ MORE ›

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#DiscoverYourPlace Photo Map

We at Openlands love that so many of you are getting outside to #DiscoverYourPlace. The social media campaign puts a spotlight on special outdoor and natural areas in northeastern Illinois, southeastern Wisconsin, and northwestern Indiana.

Many of you have gotten out to explore natural areas you didn’t know existed, while others are highlighting species and habitat … READ MORE ›

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Restoration at Openlands

(Controlled burning at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve)

by Christopher Boylan, Communications Intern

Openlands Lakeshore Preserve

Visiting the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve for the first time is truly enchanting. As I walked out to the lookout on my first trip, the fog seemed to peel away from the water and I remember thinking to myself, “This is Lake Michigan.” … READ MORE ›

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5 Things To Do Outside This Weekend

You’ve only been waiting for spring for what seems like forever – finally the wait is almost over! Sure, it’s been a pretty mild winter, but nevertheless, the anticipation for the nearing equinox is real. Celebrate the change of season with these rad events!

As always, share your weekend with us by tagging #ResilientFuture and you … READ MORE ›

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