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

BY ANDREW MORKES, AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND No parishioner should have to say goodbye to his or her church. But that’s what I’ve had to do twice in the last 20 or so years. Hope Lutheran Church, my childhood church, closed when I was in my early 30s, and Our Lady of Victory (OLV) … Continue reading Saying Goodbye to Our Lady of Victory and Hoping to Save an Architecturally Significant Building

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in September 2021

Nearly 10 amazing places to see bison in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Iowa An amazing prairie in Westchester, Illinois   A wonderfully wild, hilly nature preserve with a Civil War–era church that's now a nature center A rare mesic gravel prairie tucked between noisy Interstate 55, railroad tracks, warehouses, LaGrange Road, and the Des Plaines … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in September 2021

Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve: Ravines, Rolling Hills, and a Historic 1862 Church/Nature Center

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND If Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve was a baseball hit, it would be a majestic home run walloped by Babe Ruth or “Hammerin' Hank" Aaron at the height of their powers. If it was a streaming success, it would be The Wire, one of my favorite shows … Continue reading Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve: Ravines, Rolling Hills, and a Historic 1862 Church/Nature Center

Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve: “Forests” of Wildflowers, a Rare Prairie Ecosystem, and Great Birdwatching

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND Wolf Road Prairie in Westchester, Illinois, is a stunning 82-acre preserve that will overwhelm you with its colorful native wildflowers; acres and acres of big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, and prairie dropseed; a cattail-filled wetland; and a bur oak savannah that features a 250-year-old … Continue reading Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve: “Forests” of Wildflowers, a Rare Prairie Ecosystem, and Great Birdwatching

Discovering Nature and Finding Peace During the Pandemic: A Story of Three Seasons in Chicago’s Southland

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I lived for 15 years on the “mean streets” of…well…well…Jefferson Park—a “nice-streets” neighborhood on Chicago’s far Northwest Side. Not a concrete jungle, but certainly a city neighborhood, with pretty houses packed closely together; mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, and bars hanging on for dear life during the … Continue reading Discovering Nature and Finding Peace During the Pandemic: A Story of Three Seasons in Chicago’s Southland

The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021

The wildest place in Cook County 12 tips for a successful winter hike and some destination suggestions The celebration of a high school friend taken too soon More than 20 amazing nature spots on Chicago’s South Side and in the Southland to check out this weekend and beyond. A midwestern region where you’ll be saying, … Continue reading The 7 Most-Popular Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in January 2021

The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2020

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I wrote many stories about nature destinations in 2020, but I also covered a lot of other topics that were near and dear to my heart including stories about my family (including saying goodbye to my third set of "grandparents"), surviving and thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic, … Continue reading The Most-Popular Non-Nature Stories at Nature in Chicagoland in 2020

Goodbye (and Good Riddance) 2020…Hello 2021!

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND I want to thank my Nature in Chicagoland readers for visiting my blog in 2020. In nearly 45 blog posts, I covered everything from buffalo "hunting" at Kankakee Sands; to exploring the remnant prairies that dot Chicagoland's landscape; to 14 of my favorite national parks and other … Continue reading Goodbye (and Good Riddance) 2020…Hello 2021!

Visit Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery Not Only for Spooks and Scares, But Also For Its Rich Local History

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND A ghost horse emerging from the waters of a stagnant pond near the cemetery’s entrance. A phantom farm house that grows smaller and then gradually disappears if you approach it. A blue flashing light that races down the footpath to the cemetery at night and … Continue reading Visit Bachelor’s Grove Cemetery Not Only for Spooks and Scares, But Also For Its Rich Local History

A Lake Michigan Calendar, Books Spotlighting Iconic Chicago Scenes and Destinations, and Nature Books to Fill Your Holiday Stockings

BY ANDREW MORKES, FOUNDER & AUTHOR OF NATURE IN CHICAGOLAND If you’re looking for holiday stocking stuffers, consider the following nature- or Chicagoland-oriented calendar and books. My friend TED GLASOE, an environmental advocate and an award-winning nature photographer and a champion of protecting Lake Michigan, offers a 2021 calendar and photographic prints that feature breathtaking images of our … Continue reading A Lake Michigan Calendar, Books Spotlighting Iconic Chicago Scenes and Destinations, and Nature Books to Fill Your Holiday Stockings