Press Releases

For Immediate Release - Eco-Explorations Program For Students Underway at Openlands Lakeshore Preserve

November 2, 2012

CONTACT:Brandon Hayes
(Media inquiries only)


(Chicago – November 2, 2012) Openlands welcomes students from partner schools in both Chicago and the surrounding region to participate in the Eco-Explorations program. Eco-Explorations is a curriculum-based program with activities and materials designed to meet Illinois Learning Standards for third, fourth, and fifth grades, as well as college preparatory guidelines for high school. Students explore concepts such as erosion, habitat, and the scientific method through classroom activities provided by Openlands and facilitated by their teachers. The students then have opportunities to explore these concepts further in a “living laboratory” during fall and spring on-site visits to the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, immersing them in the site’s unique ravine, bluff, and beach landscape.
Fall tours—against the backdrop of vibrant fall color—are ongoing into November for students from partner schools. For some students, this may be the first time they have ever visited Lake Michigan. For all students, these visits offer an opportunity for personal, meaningful experiences with the natural world.
“It is vitally important to connect young people to nature in such substantive ways,” said Openlands Lakeshore Preserve Site Manager Aimee Collins. “The students who participate in Eco-Explorations are tomorrow’s stewards of our natural resources.”
“We are pleased to support Openlands’ work to help young students learn science concepts by engaging with nature,” said Steve Solomon, president of the Exelon Foundation, an Eco-Explorations sponsor. “This builds upon the Exelon Foundation’s history of support for environmental education and the preservation of the precious ecological properties like the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve.”
About the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve
Located just 25 miles north of Chicago and encompassing more than a mile of Lake Michigan shoreline, the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve gives visitors the opportunity to visit one of the last remaining ravine and bluff ecosystems in the bustling metropolitan region. 
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

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