Recycling in Oak Park, IL

By Arielle Starling for SUST 210*

Chicago Wilderness is a program that specializes in these four areas: restoring nature, climate action, nature-based experiences and education for children, and promoting green infrastructure, according to the organization’s website.

  • The restoring nature part of the organization’s mission addresses some key points such as the invasion of exotic plants that eventually prevents the native plants from growing.
  • Secondly, natural wildfires no longer take place that once helped to sustain the native habitats in the Chicago Wilderness areas.
  • A third factor is the “lack of size and connectedness,” meaning that there are a lot of small areas that are natural that should be connected to other isolated areas so that they can be sustained to their optimal ecological state. The overall meaning behind restoration for the Chicago Wilderness program is to “successfully expand the ranges of rare species and ecosystems.”

Starling - Leave No Child InsideThe second aspect of the program is titled “Climate Action,” this aspect of the program is meant to protect the open space and restore the health of the regions natural areas that may be damaged due to poor climate changes. The third aspect of the Chicago Wilderness mission is called “Leave No Child Inside,” a program introduces children to nature and natural habitats in order for kids to develop better problem-solving abilities, creativity, and an environmental ethic. The fourth and last section mentioned in the program is called “Greening Infrastructure,” which focuses on the sustainable development of land-use.

The Chicago Wilderness organization is an excellent example of how dozens of local organizations, museums, schools, and governments can work together to restore native ecosystems and bring people closer to nature.


Submitted 15 Mar 2013

* Each week during the Spring 2013 semester, two to three students in the SUST 210 Sustainable Future online/Schaumburg class at Roosevelt University will contribute blog posts to the Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future website.

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About Suburban Sustainability

Founder and editor of the Schaumburg's Sustainability Future social media project (est. Earth Day, 2011)
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