Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve: Great Blooms, Biking, Hiking, and Nature Experiences

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND How lucky we are to have such natural places as Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve, where the saw-toothed sun flowers grow tall as fairytale giants (OK, maybe not that tall), the plentiful asters prettily mark the end of wildflower season, and the birds seem to sing … Continue reading Middlefork Savanna Nature Preserve: Great Blooms, Biking, Hiking, and Nature Experiences

Birding Blogger and Filmmaker Releases “The Magic Stump”—a Must-See Documentary

I recently watched Bob Dolgan’s nature documentary “The Magic Stump,” and it’s a beautiful and thoughtful meditation on the love of birding, the friendships it helps to deepen, and the lives of Prairie Falcons and other birds. It reminds us that birding is the perfect alternative to our fast-paced, immediate gratification society that seems to … Continue reading Birding Blogger and Filmmaker Releases “The Magic Stump”—a Must-See Documentary

Illinois Beach State Park: Beautiful Dune, Lake, and River Views; Hiking; Biking; Camping; and Other Great Outdoor Recreational Activities

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND There are only 63 miles of Lake Michigan shoreline in Illinois (as opposed to 3,288 miles in Michigan), and much of this land has been developed as part of city lakefronts, heavy industry, and private beachfront property. That’s why Illinois Beach State Park (1 Lake … Continue reading Illinois Beach State Park: Beautiful Dune, Lake, and River Views; Hiking; Biking; Camping; and Other Great Outdoor Recreational Activities

Bluff Spring Fen: A Fen-tastic Nature Experience in Far Western Cook County

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND If you only read one sentence of this entire story, it should be this one: Bluff Spring Fen Nature Preserve is an amazing place that is at the height of its summertime wildflower show, and you should visit today, tomorrow, or very soon to see … Continue reading Bluff Spring Fen: A Fen-tastic Nature Experience in Far Western Cook County

Art Exhibition Celebrates the Natural Beauty and Rebirth of Chicago’s Industrial Southeast Side

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER AND AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND If you hike or paddle in the right natural spot in Chicagoland, it’s almost as if you’re not in one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States. There are peaceful and verdant prairies filled with prairie blazing star, black-eyed Susan, compass plant, rattlesnake … Continue reading Art Exhibition Celebrates the Natural Beauty and Rebirth of Chicago’s Industrial Southeast Side

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

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

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