Mary Hill

Please meet Openlands Leadership Circle member Mary Hill. She volunteers on Openlands' Community Greening committee and played a role in developing a pilot docent program at the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve through her work with the Garden Guild of Winnetka. 

I was a late bloomer to conservation, and it all started when I became interested in gardening when the yard was no longer a baseball diamond, children were raised, and it was time to raise plants! I am an active member of the Garden Guild of Winnetka and the Women’s Board at the Chicago Botanic Garden. In the mid-90’s I was introduced to Openlands when Jerry Adelmann came to speak to my garden club. I became interested in city gardens through the work of Openlands and knew the power a garden can have in a community to make it a better and more beautiful place to live. I believe that just like the “broken window syndrome,” a garden is the same idea, except you use petunias instead of a new window. Also, gardeners always have something to talk about. It does not matter where you come from; we all deal with similar issues and can relate to one another. I have greatly enjoyed getting to meet some of our city gardeners through Openlands for this very reason. 

I have great admiration for the work that Openlands does and the way in which they have transformed the region. Openlands is my compass, if they are tackling a project I know it must be important, and I know they will do it well. However, they are also very subtle in their approach making sure to listen and hear the needs of the community. I believe they are the best organization to tackle conservation issues facing our region, and I’m a proud member of the Openlands Leadership Circle.


Learn more about how you can join the Openlands Leadership Circle.