Press Releases

For Immediate Release: Openlands Announces #DiscoverYourPlace

April 6, 2016


Brandon Hayes, 312-863-6260,
Tasha Lawson, 312-863-6277,
(Media inquiries only)


***Initiative Connects Metropolitan Chicago Residents To Their Unique Natural Landscapes***

Openlands announces the #DiscoverYourPlace initiative to raise awareness in the metropolitan Chicago community of the special outdoor and natural areas in their own backyard. The social media hashtag campaign on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter will highlight the rare natural landscapes Openlands helps to create, protect, and restore, while encouraging users to share photos of their favorite outdoor and natural places for the general public to discover.

Openlands has worked to install gardens in the city for residents to benefit from and is currently working on building Chicago’s first national wildlife refuge, Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, along the border of Illinois and Wisconsin. Only one-tenth of one percent of prairie remains in Illinois, typically called the ‘prairie state.’ Chicago area landscapes like Oak savannas, wetlands, ravines, bluffs, and more are often unknown to the general public. #DiscoverYourPlace seeks to help more people experience these endangered landscapes and reap the recreational benefits they provide.

“If you were to walk up to someone downtown and ask them if they’ve heard of Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, a vast 19,000 acre prairie where a herd of bison now roam, chances are they would not know about it, but they would be interested,” said Openlands Director of Communications, Brandon Hayes. “It is vital that we expand the audience of those who know about these places around Chicago so people care about the future health of our region.”

“Natural places like gardens, parks, and restored natural habitat around Chicago provide healthy drinking water and clean air to breathe while often providing much needed respite and retreat for city dwellers,” said Openlands President and CEO Jerry Adelmann. “Rare and majestic regional treasures like the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve north of Chicago harbor some of the last remaining ravines and bluffs in our area. We want people to experience these places and care about their future.”

Support for Openlands’ efforts to connect Chicagoans to unique natural places is provided by the Chicago Community Trust.

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, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens. For more information, please visit

– 30 –


Share This Page