The Openlands 2017 Annual Luncheon

November 9, 2017

For more than 50 years, Openlands has forged coalitions and partnerships to rise to the challenges facing our green region. The Openlands 2017 Annual Luncheon examined the vitality of our region’s urban forest as we honored our allies and celebrated with friends.

Many thanks to our Keynote Speaker: Ed Collins, Director of Land Preservation and Natural Resources, McHenry County Conservation District

Congratulations to the Conservation Leadership Award Recipients: The Morton Arboretum and Chicago Region Trees Initiative


Welcome from Chair of the Openlands Board of Directors, Luncheon Sponsors, and Remarks from Openlands President and CEO

Conservation Leadership Award Recipients: The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative

Keynote Address from Ed Collins

Full Text: The Fourth Wave – Openlands 2017 Annual Luncheon Keynote Address

“Giving voice to the Land is the fair trade we make for spending a day in the embrace of the wild.” — Ed Collins


Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors:

Emerald Sponsors

The Negaunee Foundationnt-stack-2-line

Platinum Sponsors



Connie & Tony Bischof

Shaun & Andy Block


Jeanine & Andrew McNally, IV

Stantec Logo (2)

Gold Sponsors

Jill Allread, Public Communications, Inc.

Bartlett Tree Experts

BMO Harris Bank

Bobolink Foundation


Christy Webber Landscapes

Draper and Kramer, Inc.

Deborah Lahey

Liberty Prairie Foundation

Mission + Strategy Consulting

Heidi Natura, Living Habitats

J. Timothy Ritchie

U.S. Bank

Ventas, Inc.

West Monroe Partners

Openlands 2017 Annual Luncheon Host Committee

Jill Allread, Alan Bell, Shaun & Andy Block, Christopher B. Burke, Maureen & Scott Byron, Richard J. Carlson & Cristina Benitez, Barbi & Tom Donnelley, Josephine F. Elting, Douglass Farr, Kay & John T. “Ted” Golitz, Scott Jamieson, Donna LaPietra & Bill Kurtis, Carrie McNally & Rick Maechling, Janis & John Notz, Andrew Otting & Laura Hohnhold, Steven M. Ricchio, Todd Schwebel, Lydia Scott, Hon. Debra Shore, Judith Stockdale & Jonathan Boyer, George & Nancy Sutherland, Christy Webber

About The Morton Arboretum and the Chicago Region Trees Initiative

As the champion of trees, The Morton Arboretum is committed to scientifically-informed action, locally and globally, and encouraging the planting and conservation of trees for a greener, healthier, more beautiful world. The Arboretum led the development of a unique collaborative partnership of Chicago-area organizations, including Openlands, to build a healthier and more diverse urban forest. The resulting Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI) is the largest such effort in the country, with leading national, state, regional, and local agencies working together to expand the understanding of the value of trees in the seven-county area.

About Ed Collins

Ed Collins is Director of Land Preservation and Natural Resources with the McHenry County Conservation District, administering restoration and land preservation efforts on 25,000 acres of open space. During his thirty-one years with the Conservation District, he has been involved in many major projects including the re-meandering of Nippersink Creek in Glacial Park, the development of the first comprehensive spatial mapping of oak loss in the region, which inspired the Oak Ecosystems Recovery Plan, and most recently playing an instrumental role in the creation of the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.

Read more about past Openlands Annual Luncheons. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities please contact or call 312.863.6261.