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Wild Things 2021: Part 2

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– · Stage
Playing "In Place": Chicago Nature Play 2020, Opportunities, Challenges, and Solutions (Sean Shaffer, Robin Cline, & Daniella Periera)
Join this panel discussion to learn about nature play spaces and their positive impacts with Openlands, NeighborSpace, and the Chicago Park District.
Robin Cline Daniella Pereira Sean Shaffer
2021-02-26T09:00:00Z 2021-02-26T10:00:00Z America/Chicago Playing+%22In+Place%22%3A+Chicago+Nature+Play+2020%2C+Opportunities%2C+Challenges%2C+and+Solutions+%28Sean+Shaffer%2C+Robin+Cline%2C+%26+Daniella+Periera%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Sessions
Breakout Session: Playing In Place
Sean Shaffer
2021-02-26T09:55:00Z 2021-02-26T11:00:00Z America/Chicago Breakout+Session%3A+Playing+In+Place Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Growing through change: sourcing climate resilient seed (Pati Vitt et al.)
Discuss the science of seed sourcing for restoration considering climate change and hear the state of the debate on using regionally local and non-local seed.
Pati Vitt (she/her) Becky Barak cassi saari (she/her) Anna Braum Izabella Redlinski Stephanie Frischie
2021-02-26T10:15:00Z 2021-02-26T11:45:00Z America/Chicago Growing+through+change%3A+sourcing+climate+resilient+seed+%28Pati+Vitt+et+al.%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Expanding Community Science in the Calumet Region (Doug Taron, Allison Sacerdote-Velat, & Lalainya Goldsberry)
Learn about community science projects in natural areas in the Calumet region, where data gaps often coincide with communities of color impacted by industry.
Doug Taron (he/him) Lalainya  Goldsberry Allison Sacerdote-Velat
2021-02-26T13:00:00Z 2021-02-26T13:30:00Z America/Chicago Expanding+Community+Science+in+the+Calumet+Region+%28Doug+Taron%2C+Allison+Sacerdote-Velat%2C+%26+Lalainya+Goldsberry%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Conservation Action Planning Spurring New Habitat Restoration and Community Engagement Across the Calumet Region (The Wetlands Initiative, Audubon Great Lakes, and more partners from Illinois and Indiana)
Community involvement in the Calumet area is seeing an exciting burst of action. Learn about collaboration and new restoration at several key sites.
Matt Mulligan Jennifer Johnson Nat Miller Dean Alonis charles oleary Lauren Umek (she/her) Bradford Kasberg Kim DuBuclet Craig Zandstra Gary Sullivan Paul Botts Refugio Mariscal
2021-02-26T13:45:00Z 2021-02-26T15:15:00Z America/Chicago Conservation+Action+Planning+Spurring+New+Habitat+Restoration+and+Community+Engagement+Across+the+Calumet+Region+%28The+Wetlands+Initiative%2C+Audubon+Great+Lakes%2C+and+more+partners+from+Illinois+and+Indiana%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Sessions
Breakout Session: Conservation Action Planning
2021-02-26T15:00:00Z 2021-02-26T16:30:00Z America/Chicago Breakout+Session%3A+Conservation+Action+Planning Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Kayak for Conservation: Leveling up Community Science on the Chicago River (Edward Warden, Maggie Cooper, & Phil Nicodemus)
Join Shedd Aquarium and Urban Rivers to discuss the Kayak for Conservation program and lessons learned in guiding people from river discovery to river recovery.
Maggie Cooper Phil Nicodemus Edward Warden
2021-02-26T15:30:00Z 2021-02-26T16:15:00Z America/Chicago Kayak+for+Conservation%3A+Leveling+up+Community+Science+on+the+Chicago+River+%28Edward+Warden%2C+Maggie+Cooper%2C+%26+Phil+Nicodemus%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Do arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi increase the carbon sequestration potential of native plants growing on green roofs? (Norbaya Jameela Durr & Dr. Kelly Ksiazek-Mikenas)
See how native plants grown on green roofs sequester more carbon if grown with mycorrhizal fungi, and learn about uses for this novel restoration approach.
Kelly Ksiazek-Mikenas Norbaya Durr
2021-02-26T16:30:00Z 2021-02-26T17:15:00Z America/Chicago Do+arbuscular+mycorrhizal+fungi+increase+the+carbon+sequestration+potential+of+native+plants+growing+on+green+roofs%3F+%28Norbaya+Jameela+Durr+%26+Dr.+Kelly+Ksiazek-Mikenas%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Sessions
LGBTQ Reception
Join us for an informal Friday evening reception for LGBTQ conservationists and nature enthusiasts, hosted by Brandon Hayes. Allies welcome!
Brandon Hayes (he/him)
2021-02-26T18:00:00Z 2021-02-26T20:00:00Z America/Chicago LGBTQ+Reception Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Contemplative Poetry: A Way Into Restoration (Debbie Albano)
Women writers bring us closer to restoring, stewarding, and healing nature & community. Participate in creating a collective poem that emerges from this work.
Debbie Albano
2021-02-26T19:00:00Z 2021-02-26T20:00:00Z America/Chicago Contemplative+Poetry%3A+A+Way+Into+Restoration+%28Debbie+Albano%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
At Ease: Art & Nature for Veterans (Catherine Game, Veronica Hinke, & Brandon Hayes)
Learn about how Brushwood Center empowers military veterans wellbeing by connecting them to art and nature, including at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.
Veronica Hinke Catherine Game Brandon Hayes (he/him)
2021-02-27T09:45:00Z 2021-02-27T10:45:00Z America/Chicago At+Ease%3A+Art+%26+Nature+for+Veterans+%28Catherine+Game%2C+Veronica+Hinke%2C+%26+Brandon+Hayes%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Sessions
Forest Schools for Illinois Discussion
2021-02-27T10:30:00Z 2021-02-27T14:30:00Z America/Chicago Forest+Schools+for+Illinois+Discussion Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Youth Career Explortion at the Intersection of Environment and Community Health in South Chicago (John Legge et al.)
Imani Green Health Advocates seeks racial equity by improving the tree canopy and supporting Trinity Hospitals Community Health Needs Assessment.
Melinda Harville Juliette  Tyson Harry Kuttner Forrest Cortes (he/his) John Legge Trinity Pierce
2021-02-27T11:00:00Z 2021-02-27T11:45:00Z America/Chicago Youth+Career+Explortion+at+the+Intersection+of+Environment+and+Community+Health+in+South+Chicago+%28John+Legge+et+al.%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves (Matt Evans et al.)
This new group seeks to support Illinois Nature Preserves through community stewardship, education, and fundraising.
Eriko Kojima Matt Evans Emma Leavens Rebeccah Hartz Stephanie Place Christos Economou Katie Kucera (she/hers)
2021-02-27T12:00:00Z 2021-02-27T13:30:00Z America/Chicago Friends+of+Illinois+Nature+Preserves+%28Matt+Evans+et+al.%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Organized Chaos: Coordinating Largescale Fire Management at the Forest Preserves of Cook County (John McCabe)
A brief overview of the moving parts that come together during a burn day and over a burn season in the country's largest urban conservation district.
John McCabe
2021-02-27T13:45:00Z 2021-02-27T14:45:00Z America/Chicago Organized+Chaos%3A+Coordinating+Largescale+Fire+Management+at+the+Forest+Preserves+of+Cook+County+%28John+McCabe%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
On the Trail of Eliza Steele (Joe Wheeler & Michelle Pearion)
In July 1840, Eliza Steele recorded detailed observations about the Chicago region prairie landscape. We will discuss her personal story and her insights.
Michelle Pearion Joe Wheeler
2021-02-27T15:00:00Z 2021-02-27T16:00:00Z America/Chicago On+the+Trail+of+Eliza+Steele+%28Joe+Wheeler+%26+Michelle+Pearion%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Seed Collection Guides (Kelly Schultz & Dale Shields)
The Seed Collection Guides are a free resource to help with collecting native seeds; learn what to look for, how to collect, process, store, and sow.
Dale Shields Kelly Schultz
2021-02-27T16:15:00Z 2021-02-27T18:00:00Z America/Chicago Seed+Collection+Guides+%28Kelly+Schultz+%26+Dale+Shields%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Land Acknowledgement Statements: moving from paper to action (Adam Kessel & Jasmine Gurneau)
See how Cook County Forest Preserves and Northwestern University use their Land Acknowledgment Statements in programming, partnership, and other unique ways.
Jasmine Gurneau (she/her) Adam Kessel
2021-02-28T09:00:00Z 2021-02-28T10:00:00Z America/Chicago Land+Acknowledgement+Statements%3A+moving+from+paper+to+action+%28Adam+Kessel+%26+Jasmine+Gurneau%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Sessions
Forest Schools for Illinois Discussion
2021-02-28T10:00:00Z 2021-02-28T13:30:00Z America/Chicago Forest+Schools+for+Illinois+Discussion Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Monarchs are for everyone? A deeper look at equity and justice (Amaris Alanis Ribeiro et al.)
Gain a better understanding of equitable monarch engagement and learn strategies on how to address equity and justice in any environmental program.
Amaris Alanis Ribeiro Ryan Vance joel Perez Victor Dufour
2021-02-28T10:15:00Z 2021-02-28T11:45:00Z America/Chicago Monarchs+are+for+everyone%3F+A+deeper+look+at+equity+and+justice+%28Amaris+Alanis+Ribeiro+et+al.%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
The Barrington Greenway Initiative: A Multi-County, Community Based Restoration Project (Kevin Scheiwiller et al.)
A multi-county effort of seven conservation organizations rewilding 14,000 acres across a mosaic of natural areas, suburban development, and agriculture.
Justin Pepper Peter Whitney Kevin Scheiwiller
2021-02-28T13:00:00Z 2021-02-28T14:00:00Z America/Chicago The+Barrington+Greenway+Initiative%3A+A+Multi-County%2C+Community+Based+Restoration+Project+%28Kevin+Scheiwiller+et+al.%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Building a Volunteer Community (Stephen Packard & Eriko Kojima)
Stephen Packard presents and leads discussion on stewardship communities. Focus on: Poplar Creek, Nachusa, Orland, CFC, North Branch, volunteers and staff.
Eriko Kojima Stephen Packard
2021-02-28T14:15:00Z 2021-02-28T15:15:00Z America/Chicago Building+a+Volunteer+Community+%28Stephen+Packard+%26+Eriko+Kojima%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Sessions
Breakout Session: Building a Volunteer Community
Stephen Packard Eriko Kojima
2021-02-28T15:00:00Z 2021-02-28T16:15:00Z America/Chicago Breakout+Session%3A+Building+a+Volunteer+Community Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)
– · Stage
Managing Invasive Weeds and Brush at Nachusa Grasslands (Bill Kleiman)
Learn about three decades of management of invasive plants including birdsfoot trefoil, reed canary grass, sweet clover, and bush honeysuckle.
Bill Kleiman
2021-02-28T15:30:00Z 2021-02-28T17:00:00Z America/Chicago Managing+Invasive+Weeds+and+Brush+at+Nachusa+Grasslands+%28Bill+Kleiman%29 Hosted virtually on Hopin (link in the description)


Jennifer Johnson

Northwest Indiana Wild Indigo Coordinator, Audubon Great Lakes

Veronica Hinke

Public Affairs Officer and Public Services Team Leader, USDA Forest Service Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Matt Evans

Restoration Volunteer

Eriko Kojima

Restoration Volunteer, Chief Enthusiasm Officer

Katie Kucera (she/hers)

Restoration Volunteer

Dale Shields

Volunteer, Lake County Forest Preserves Native Seed Nursery

Christos Economou

Restoration Volunteer

Stephanie Place

Restoration Volunteer

Rebeccah Hartz

Restoration Volunteer

Emma Leavens

Restoration Volunteer

Juliette Tyson

Imani Village Mission Coordinator

Lauren Umek (she/her)

Project Manager, Chicago Park District

charles oleary

Deputy Director of Resource Management, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Dean Alonis

Chief of Staff for Commissioner Du Buclet, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

Nat Miller

Conservation Programs Director, Audubon Great Lakes

Lalainya Goldsberry

Manager of Living Collections, Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Doug Taron (he/him)

Chief Curator, Chicago Academy of Sciences Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Pati Vitt (she/her)

Manager of Restoration Ecology, Lake County Forest Preserves

Craig Zandstra

Superintendent of Planning & Natural Resources, Lake County Parks and Recreation

Kim DuBuclet

Commissioner, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago

Alexis Smith

Urban Ecologist and Conservationist

Nina Hill

The Nature Conservancy

Lydia Scott

Director, Chicago Region Trees Initiative

Robin Cline

Associate Director, NeighborSpace

Don Parker

Writer, Editor, Restoration Volunteer

Megan Dailey

Director of Metropolitan Food and Environmental Systems, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Sol Hinami

Founder and Co-director, Fraternal Forest

Chuck RIzzo

Wildlife Biologist, Forest Preserve District of Cook County

Janie Pochel

Lead Advisor, Chi-Nations Youth Council

Bob Fisher

Communications Chair, Bird Conservation Network

Justin Pepper

Restoration Volunteer and Chief Conservation Officer, Bobolink Foundation

Tamima Itani


Bradford Kasberg

Wetland Restoration Manager, Audubon Great Lakes

Gary Sullivan

Senior Restoration Ecologist, The Wetlands Initiative

Kelly Ksiazek-Mikenas

Assistant Professor and Director of Environmental Studies, Elmhurst College

cassi saari (she/her)

Project Manager - Natural Areas, Chicago Park District

Becky Barak

Conservation Scientist, Chicago Botanic Garden

John McCabe

Director, Department of Resource Management, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Bill Kleiman

Nachusa Grasslands Project Director, The Nature Conservancy

Peter Whitney

Spring Creek Field Organizer, Friends of the Forest Preserves

Amaris Alanis Ribeiro

Center Director, North Park Village Nature Center

Jackie Kuroda

Youth Board Member, Sinnissippi Audubon

Michael Aiuvalasit

Environmental Archaeologist, Illinois State Archaeological Survey

Alicia Diaz

Field Guides Coordinator, Conservation Tools Program, Field Museum

Karen Klinger

GIS Specialist, Field Museum

Erika Hasle

Conservation Ecologist, Field Museum

Izabella Redlinski

Conservation Ecologist, Field Museum

Nigel Pitman

Conservation Ecologist, Field Museum

Catherine Game

Executive Director, Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods

Ryan Vance

Program Specialist, North Park Village Nature Center

Paul Botts

President and Executive Director, The Wetlands Initiative

Joe Wheeler

Heritage Program Manager, USDA Forest Service, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Michelle Pearion

Botanist, USDA Forest Service, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Kevin Scheiwiller

Restoration Program Manager, Citizens for Conservation

Debbie Albano

Professor Emeritus of English, Oakton Community College

Jerry Herst

Co-steward, Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary

Leslie DeCourcey

Naturalist Aide, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Leslie Borns

Montrose Beach Dunes Volunteer Site Steward

Negin Almassi (she/her)

Naturalist, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Julie Dorfman

Co-steward, Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary

Melinda Harville

Community Health Worker, Advocate Aurora Health

Victor Dufour

Associate Director of Community Partnerships, Albany Park Community Center

Matt Milkowski

Drawing and Painting Teacher, Chicago Public Schools

joel Perez

Urban Conservationist, The Nature Conservancy-Indiana

Harry Kuttner

Imani Green Health Advocates

Joan Linsenmeier

Volunteer Steward, Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary and Dean Emeritus, Northwestern University

Norbaya Durr

Biology and English Student, Elmhurst College

Tara Hohoff

Bat Biologist, Illinois Bat Conservation Program at Illinois Natural History Survey

Matthew Igleski

Student and Teacher Programs Developer, Lincoln Park Zoo

Lenore Beyer

Director of Conservation Initiatives, Kinship Foundation

Pete Jackson

Biologist, Volunteer Steward

Jasmine Gurneau (she/her)

Manager, Northwestern University

Forrest Cortes (he/his)

Director of Community Engagement, The Nature Conservancy - Illinois

Trinity Pierce

Chicago Region Trees Initiative Stewardship Coordinator, The Morton Arboretum

Stephen Packard

Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves

Refugio Mariscal

Conservation Data Coordinator, Audubon Great Lakes

Kelly Schultz

Stewardship Ecologist, Lake County Forest Preserves

John Legge

Chicago Conservation Program Director, The Nature Conservancy

Joey Cavataio

Herpetology Expert

Carl Strang

Volunteer Steward and former Naturalist, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

Callie Klatt Golba

Doctoral Student, Northern Illinois University

Adam Kessel

Program Coordinator, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Allison Sacerdote-Velat

Curator of Herpetology, Chicago Academy of Sciences

Brandon Hayes (he/him)

Bold Bison Communications and Consulting

Phil Nicodemus

Director of Research, Urban Rivers

Melinda Storie

Associate Professor, Geography and Environmental Studies, Northeastern Illinois University

Matt Mulligan

Urban Biodiversity Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Marla Garrison

Biology Instructor, McHenry County College

Maggie Cooper

Conservation Stewardship Coordinator, John G. Shedd Aquarium

Daniella Pereira

Vice President of Community Conservation, Openlands

Bob Dolgan

Turnstone Strategies LLC

Anastasia Rahlin

Ornithologist, Illinois Natural History Survey

Trevor Edmonson

Kankakee Sands Site Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Stephanie Frischie

Native Plant Materials Specialist, Xerces Society

Stephanie Beilke

Conservation Science Manager, Audubon Great Lakes

Sean Shaffer

Nature Play Specialist, Chicago Park District

Libby Keyes

Bird Survey Technician, Audubon Great Lakes

Kathleen Garness

Illustrator, Scientific Affiliate, Volunteer Steward

Edward Warden

Conservation Stewardship Coordinator, John G. Shedd Aquarium

Anna Braum

Ecologist, The Wetlands Initiative

The event is over

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Wild Things Community

Wild Things is one of the nation’s largest networks of people engaged with nature. We enjoy and protect Chicago Region wild lands and life.

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Illinois Native Plant Society

Dedicated to the study, appreciation, and conservation of the native flora and natural communities of Illinois.

Illinois Botanizer (Chris Benda)

Nature Photographer with Merchandise for sale

Turnstone Strategies LLC

Turnstone Strategies LLC is a Chicago-based marketing/communications firm with specialties in strategic planning, storytelling, content development and public relations. The film "Monty and Rose" and the newsletter This Week in Birding are projects of Turnstone Strategies.

Metropolitan Food & Environmental Systems

Build stronger food systems. Learn more today. Change the world tomorrow.

Natural Communities, LLC

Bring Nature To Life

Blue Aster Studio

Art and gifts by nature lovers, for nature lovers

Chicago Ornithological Society

All things birds in the Second City. The hub of advocacy, conservation action and bird nerds since 1912.

Forest Schools for Illinois

We're working to pass a bill to legalize outdoor preschools in our state.

Geography and Environmental Studies Department; Northeastern Illinois University

Putting YOU on the map!

Illinois Bobcat Foundation

Bobcat - Illinois' Native Cat

Missouri Prairie Foundation

The Missouri Prairie Foundation is a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) prairie conservation organization and land trust.

DuPage Birding Club

Birding with a purpose

DePaul University: Master of Science in Environmental Science

Think Outside the Greenhouse

Chicago River Canoe and Kayak

Chicago River Canoe and Kayak

Davey Resource Group, Inc.

Solutions Through Innovation and Expertise

Forest Preserves of Cook County

70,000 acres of wild and wonderful

The Conservation Foundation

We save land. We save rivers.


We've got the environment down to a science

Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences – University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Education and Research Shaping a More Sustainable Future

Wild Birds Unlimited - Glenview & Arlington Heights

We bring people and nature together.

The Nature Conservancy

The mission of The Nature Conservancy is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends