Blog

Meet Yumeka Brown: A Candidate for Election to the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

This is my third interview with candidates for the board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago. The election will be held on June 28, 2022; early voting is ongoing. You can also read my interviews with board candidates Patricia Theresa Flynn and Daniel Pogorzelski. You might ask…why is the MWRD important … Continue reading Meet Yumeka Brown: A Candidate for Election to the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Meet Daniel Pogorzelski: A Candidate for Election to the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

What is the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago, and why should it matter to you? The MWRD plays a major role in treating wastewater, reducing flooding (increasingly important as Illinois’ climate becomes wetter due to global climate change), and reducing the amount of stormwater (which collects and transports animal waste, garbage, pesticides, … Continue reading Meet Daniel Pogorzelski: A Candidate for Election to the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

George’s Desk: A Story About My Dad on Father’s Day

My dad's desk circa 1990s (copyright Andrew Morkes) My father’s roll-top desk is massive. It has seven large drawers and 25 smaller drawers of various sizes. It’s mine now. As he lay dying in late 1996, he decided that I should get his desk because I was the traveler in the family (the desk disassembles … Continue reading George’s Desk: A Story About My Dad on Father’s Day

Meet Patricia Theresa Flynn: A Strong Candidate for Election to the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

What is the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) of Greater Chicago, and why should it matter to you? The MWRD plays a major role in treating wastewater, reducing flooding (increasingly important as Illinois’ climate becomes wetter due to global climate change), and reducing the amount of stormwater (which collects and transports animal waste, garbage, pesticides, … Continue reading Meet Patricia Theresa Flynn: A Strong Candidate for Election to the Board of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

“Good Night. I Love You, Liam. God Bless You. Have a Good Sleep.”

BY ANDREW MORKES, AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I'm taking a break from nature to celebrate my son Liam's 12th birthday. I wrote this short essay when my son was age six. I still repeat this mantra daily. Also, please check out my essay, On the Joys of Carrying My Son, for my reflections on … Continue reading “Good Night. I Love You, Liam. God Bless You. Have a Good Sleep.”

Toto, I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in Chicago Anymore: 10 Nature Destinations Where You’ll Swear That You’re Not in the City

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Chicago has a population of nearly 2.7 million people, more than 4,000 miles of streets, and large industrial areas with factories spewing pollution into the air, the Chicago River, and Lake Michigan. Like most U.S. cities, it also has problems with crime, racial inequity, poverty, lack of … Continue reading Toto, I’ve a Feeling We’re Not in Chicago Anymore: 10 Nature Destinations Where You’ll Swear That You’re Not in the City

McKinley Woods: Enjoy Breathtaking Views of the Des Plaines River and I&M Canal, Excellent Hiking Trails and Birdwatching, and More

McKinley Woods is a beautiful preserve that features bluffs, deep ravines, and forests along the Des Plaines River and I&M Canal. There are two access points: Frederick’s Grove and Kerry Sheridan Grove. I recently spent several hours on a warm spring day hiking the trails at Frederick’s Grove, which has north and south parking areas. … Continue reading McKinley Woods: Enjoy Breathtaking Views of the Des Plaines River and I&M Canal, Excellent Hiking Trails and Birdwatching, and More

The Story of a Rock, a Bison, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Wanderlust, and Summer Adventures Out West

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND This rock (all 9.9 ounces) fits perfectly into the palm of my hand. It was my constant companion when I solo hiked a portion of the 144-mile Maah Deh Hay Trail in Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP). TRNP is wild and beautiful—buttes, badlands, and grasslands that overlook … Continue reading The Story of a Rock, a Bison, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Wanderlust, and Summer Adventures Out West

Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary: Great Birding, Wide-Open Spaces, and Enjoyable Hiking and Cross-Country Skiing

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Beautiful hilly grasslands. Big skies. Enjoyable hiking trails. The opportunity to see more than 100 bird species. If these phrases catch your attention, you should visit Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary (559 E. Rush Creek Road, Stockton, IL 61085) in Jo Daviess County, Illinois. The 409-acre preserve … Continue reading Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary: Great Birding, Wide-Open Spaces, and Enjoyable Hiking and Cross-Country Skiing

Galena Gateway Park: Amazing Views of a Historic Town, Great Hiking, and Excellent Wildflower and Bird Viewing

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation and the Galena Area Land Enthusiasts are the official managers of stunning Galena Gateway Park (9300 W. Powder House Hill Road, Galena, IL 61036). But when I visited last week, the red-winged blackbirds were firmly in charge—especially in the highlands. These beautiful … Continue reading Galena Gateway Park: Amazing Views of a Historic Town, Great Hiking, and Excellent Wildflower and Bird Viewing