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7 Places to See Bison in the Midwest

Bison are an enduring symbol of the old American West—and our national mammal. Massive, powerful, and free, they linger in the American imagination unlike any other land animal except perhaps the bald eagle and grizzly bear. At their peak in the mid-1800s, an estimated 30 to 60 million bison ranged from Canada to northern Mexico … Continue reading 7 Places to See Bison in the Midwest

Red Gate Woods: Hawks and Hills, Sloughs and Snakes, and Ghosts and Buried Nuclear Waste, Oh My!

Where: Red Gate Woods, Forest Preserve of Cook County-Palos Trail System Distance From City-Center Chicago: About 23 miles (Red Gate Woods is located in Lemont, Illinois) Visited: May 16, 2017 Quick Review: Among the highest-quality natural habitat in the Chicago area. Hiking trails that range from paved flat paths, to boggy, muddy single-person-wide trails, to challenging hilly terrain. Many … Continue reading Red Gate Woods: Hawks and Hills, Sloughs and Snakes, and Ghosts and Buried Nuclear Waste, Oh My!

Celebrate National Park Week by Visiting a National Park—For Free!

The National Park Service (NPS) has partnered with the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America's national parks, to present National Park Week (NPW) from April 15 to 23, 2017. National Park Week is actually 9 days, but why quibble if we can enjoy two more days of celebrating what many call “America’s Greatest … Continue reading Celebrate National Park Week by Visiting a National Park—For Free!

Photo Exhibition Tells the Tale of Two Lake Michigans—and Reinforces the Need for Good Environmental Stewardship

  Lake Michigan plays an integral role in the life of Chicagoans and other Midwesterners. Our beautiful lake, its sandy beaches, wildlife, and the sky above are an ever-changing collage of colors and motion: fiery orange and red sunrises and sunsets, crashing waves, migrating birds such as Purple Martins and Chestnut-Sided Warblers in the air … Continue reading Photo Exhibition Tells the Tale of Two Lake Michigans—and Reinforces the Need for Good Environmental Stewardship

Scilla and the Coming of Spring

Snowdrops. Crocuses. Glory-of-the-Snows. I love these plucky flowers that defy winter and burst through piles of dwindling snow or otherwise weather the cool early spring temperatures in Chicago. But spring truly arrives for me when I see the brilliant violet-blue Scilla blanketing the glacial ridge that looms over Longwood Drive in my childhood neighborhoods of … Continue reading Scilla and the Coming of Spring

Take a Nature Hike, President Trump

President Trump, have you ever taken a hike? Not a stroll between holes on one of your golf courses, but a real hike in which the sounds of the city are a distant memory, your phone has no reception, you can’t Tweet, there is no fast food, and the only sounds you hear are the … Continue reading Take a Nature Hike, President Trump

Loyola University Chicago’s Wealth of Environmental Majors Make Other Schools Green With Envy

In these challenging times, there’s a strong need for young people who can conduct scientific research on climate change, pollution control, and green manufacturing practices; develop conservation plans that will protect threatened and endangered plants and animals; help restore polluted areas; create sustainability programs; and educate others about these topics. Chicago-area teens who are interested … Continue reading Loyola University Chicago’s Wealth of Environmental Majors Make Other Schools Green With Envy

Mississippi Palisades State Park—Great Views, Muddy Shoes, and Eagles in Twos

Where: Northwest Illinois—16327A IL Route 84, Savanna, IL 61074, 815/273-2731, http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r1/palisade.htm Distance From City-Center Chicago: 150 miles Travel Time: About 3 hours, 15 minutes depending on how leaden your foot is Visited: February 11, 2017 Quick Review: The region where the park is located in what is called the Driftless Area, which was untouched by … Continue reading Mississippi Palisades State Park—Great Views, Muddy Shoes, and Eagles in Twos

North Park Village Nature Center

Where: 5801 North Pulaski Road, Chicago, Illinois 60646, 312/744-5472, www.chicagoparkdistrict.com/parks/North-Park-Village-Nature-Center Open: 7 days a week (excluding Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s holidays) from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Quick Review: A nature preserve and educational facility that offers easy walking trails through woodlands, wetlands, prairie, and savanna; a hands-on exploratory room of natural objects (antlers, shells, … Continue reading North Park Village Nature Center