Press Releases

Members of the media, please find the most recent Openlands press releases below. For media inquiries, please contact or 312-863-6260.

September 20, 2016
Protected landscapes, gardens, parks, and open waterfronts that improve mental and physical health should be accessible and inviting for everyone in Chicago’s diverse metropolis. The Openlands 2016 Annual Luncheon focuses on how we can welcome more people to experience the Chicago region’s natural areas. At the luncheon, former President and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden, Sophia Shaw, will be presented with Openlands’ Conservation Leadership Award in honor of her achievements cultivating the Garden as an international leader in horticulture and public engagement… READ MORE
April 26, 2016
Through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Openlands has learned that the City of Chicago Bureau of Forestry removed at least 141 live and healthy trees—most averaging between 50 and 100 years old—between mid-2014 and February 2016 in the 13th and 23rd Wards, represented by Alderman Marty Quinn and Alderman Michael R. Zalewski, respectively. This minimum number does not include all of the live and healthy trees removed, based on discrepancies between the information uncovered in the FOIA requests and visual inspection of the removal sites. Openlands staff has determined that at least 300 live and healthy trees were removed. Most of the removals occurred on Saturdays during overtime hours while the City of Chicago has a backlog of 3,471 requests to remove thousands of dead, standing trees. The removals run counter to commitments to healthy trees in the City made by Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration and found on the Bureau of Forestry website and in the City’s Tree Protection Guidelines. … READ MORE
April 6, 2016
Openlands announces the #DiscoverYourPlace initiative to raise awareness in the metropolitan Chicago community of the special outdoor and natural areas in their own backyard… READ MORE
March 2, 2016
Openlands announces the spring 2016 course schedule for TreeKeepers volunteer certification. 2016 marks the 25th Anniversary of TreeKeepers, which continues to cultivate the city’s urban forest via pruning and monitoring existing trees, as well as planting new trees… READ MORE
February 4, 2016
Openlands announces the newest addition to its Board of Directors, Paul J. Anderson. Anderson joins a board of over 30 conservation-minded nonprofit and business leaders who guide and support Openlands’ work to restore landscapes and connect people to nature in northeast Illinois, southeast Wisconsin, and northwest Indiana… READ MORE
December 21, 2015
The Openlands TreePlanters Grant Program invites Chicago residents to apply for low cost—and in some cases, free—trees for their communities. Successful grantees work with Openlands staff, neighbors, and volunteers to plant up to 30 trees throughout their neighborhoo… READ MORE
September 29, 2015
The Openlands 2015 Annual Luncheon focuses on how to care for our natural resources in the Chicago region for the benefit of people and the environment. At the luncheon, Cook County Board President and Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle will be presented with Openlands’ Conservation Leadership Award… READ MORE
September 22, 2015
This fall, Openlands partners with organizations and communities throughout the Chicago region to provide opportunities for people to plant and care for trees, receive free trees, and become certified to care for trees. The Openlands TreePlanters Grant provides communities with trees along streets, in nearby parks, and in front of homes. Held at three locations—The Morton Arboretum, Garfield Park Conservatory, and Lake County Forest Preserves—the TreeKeepers® program trains and certifies volunteers in proper tree care and planting, vital to the health of any tree… READ MORE