The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2021


I wrote many stories about nature destinations in 2021, but I also covered other topics that were near and dear to my heart including stories about the sudden loss of a high school classmate, saying goodbye to the the second church I attended in my lifetime (and an effort to save this architectural gem), and a historic cemetery in a Chicago suburb where many famous African Americans aviatrixes rest in peace. In September, one of my car’s tires blew out while I was driving on the speedway known as I-57, and someone stopped to help me–against the odds in our rancorous, fearful, and busy times. In response, I wrote an essay pondering why a man named LaSean stopped to help me. And I wrote another essay about how I sometimes think the children of Chicagoland and the nation have been abandoned amidst the violence perpetuated by adults on one another. While there was much light in 2021 (vaccines, more stretches of pandemic normality than in 2020, and the joys of family, friendships, and nature), there was also considerable darkness (the storming of the U.S. capitol and an attempt to subvert a fair election; climate change-, vaccine- and mask wearing-, and general science denying; a toxic environment at times on social media and in other public discourse; and a general breakdown in societal norms of behavior that have been the glue that has held our country together for many years). I wish for a more peaceful and kind 2022 in which people help and accept each other more, embrace facts, steer clear of soul-sucking social media wars and fact-challenged “media” sources, and fight to fix the wrongs and inequities that exist in our nation. And that more people embrace nature–from our city parks to our beautiful state and national parks–as an antidote and sort of “power pack” to weather the storms of 2022.

Here are the most popular non-nature posts in 2021 based on page views by my readers. Click on the links to read the articles:

1. Remembering Matt Lignell (a celebration of a friend taken too soon)

2. Saying Goodbye to Our Lady of Victory and Hoping to Save an Architecturally Significant Building

3. Visit to Lincoln Cemetery Reveals Rich African American Aviation History

4. Why Did LaSean Stop to Help Me?: A Story of Kindness on the Highway and Thoughts of Helping Others on the Anniversary of 9/11

5. Has the Murder of Children in Chicagoland Become Normalized?


Looking for some great nature destinations in Chicagoland? If so, I just published Nature in Chicagoland: More Than 120 Fantastic Nature Destinations That You Must Visit. It features amazing destinations in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Click on the title to learn more. 


I have been a writer and editor for more than 25 years. I’m the founder of College & Career Press (2002); the editorial director of the CAM Report career newsletter and College Spotlight newsletter; the author and publisher of “The Morkes Report: College and Career Planning Trends” blog; and the author and publisher of Hot Health Care Careers: 30 Occupations With Fast Growth and Many New Job OpeningsNontraditional Careers for Women and Men: More Than 30 Great Jobs for Women and Men With Apprenticeships Through PhDsThey Teach That in College!?: A Resource Guide to More Than 100 Interesting College Majors, which was selected as one of the best books of the year by the library journal Voice of Youth Advocates; and other titlesThey Teach That in College!? provides more information on environmental- and sustainability-related majors such as Ecotourism, Range Management, Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Built Environment, Sustainability Studies, and Sustainable Agriculture/Organic Farming. I’m also a member of the parent advisory board at my son’s school. 

In addition to these publications, I’ve written more than 40 books about careers for other publishing and media companies. I’ve written and edited many books for Infobase including the venerable Encyclopedia of Careers & Vocational Guidance, the Vault Career Guide to Accounting, and many volumes in the Careers in Focus, Discovering CareersWhat Can I Do Now?!, and Career Skills Library series.

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