Join us next year in Dayton, Ohio, for the 41st Annual Natural Areas Conference. Stayed tuned for exact dates in October 2014.
Conservation professionals from around the country will be meeting in the great city of Chicago for the 40th Natural Areas Conference, hosted by the Natural Areas Association (NAA) with our co-host Chicago Wilderness. The theme for the 2013 Natural Areas Conference, Conservation Coming Home, acknowledges the deep roots that conservation has in the Chicagoland area and midwestern United States. In the early 20th century, visionaries like Aldo Leopold, Daniel Burnham and Jens Jensen defined a new relationship between people and nature, created a metropolis that includes extensive natural park and preserve systems, and set the stage for the modern conservation movement. This conference will recognize and acknowledge those conservation pioneers who prepared the way for conservation practices of the present and encouraged new knowledge and practices for the future of conservation.
Today the Chicago region is home to a pioneering volunteer restoration and citizen science movement, and has some of the oldest and most successful land management agencies and conservation organizations in the country. In fact, in 2013 the Forest Preserve District of Cook County — the oldest and largest conservation preserve in the United States — will celebrate its centennial anniversary; Openlands, a regional conservation organization, will celebrate its 50th year; the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will also mark 50 years of preserving the most valuable and rare natural areas in the state and the Natural Areas Association will celebrates its 35th year as a resource for natural resource professionals.
Don’t miss the chance to connect with and learn from others working in fields related to natural areas conservation. Special opportunities for students offer chances to make valuable connections with working professionals.
The Natural Areas Conference is an unparalleled opportunity to learn about new research, receive valuable training and make important connections with other professionals in conservation-related fields.
Discover the latest research results for species and habitat management. Learn about the challenges, successes and pitfalls of conservation site management.
Attend thought-provoking plenary sessions, symposia, workshops and hands-on field trips to natural areas and features unique to the region. This year’s conference features many specialized training opportunities.
Share your story of conservation stewardship and learn from more than 300 of our nation’s conservation leaders. A can’t-miss opportunity to meet face-to-face with peers to share successes and to problem-solve.
Wolf Road Prairie Nature Preserve (Cook County, IL). Photo courtesy of Dan Kirk.
Chicago, the “City of Big Shoulders,” was incorporated in 1837, in the “land of Lincoln” Illinois, the heartland of the United States. Chicago was and continues to be a center for transportation, finance, commerce, industry and conservation. Lake Michigan, the cornerstone of Chicago, allows Chicago to act as a portage between the Great Lakes and the Great Mississippi and railroading to all corners of the United States. Chicago has a very diverse population which is exhibited in neighborhoods throughout the City where every ethnic and cultural experience can be enjoyed. Immigrants from throughout the world have flocked to Chicago for the past two centuries creating a well rounded and vibrant city. The Chicagoland area is home to 9.8 million people reaching up to Wisconsin on the north and Indiana and Michigan on the southeast.
You can experience world class museums and entertainment in Chicago. The Chicago Botanic Garden, The Morton Arboretum, John G. Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, Brookfield and Lincoln Park Zoos, The Field Museum, Museum of Science and Industry, Broadway in Chicago, Second City and many more experiences are only a cab or train ride away.
There are also more than 370,000 acres of protected natural areas in the metro region, which provide abundant opportunities for outdoor exploration. October temperatures average between 50 and 70 degrees; perfect weather for a walk or bike ride through a park or nature preserve, or a boat tour along the beautiful lake front.
With an abundance of natural areas in the Chicago region, and strong organizational and grassroots conservation movements, the region is a major hub for urban conservation in the United States. In the center of that activity is Chicago Wilderness, a regional alliance of more than 260 organizations working to restore local nature and improve the quality of life for all who live in the region, by protecting the lands and waters on which we all depend. Alliance members include conservation organizations, cultural institutions, local, state and federal agencies, corporations, volunteer groups and communities of faith. Visit Chicago Wilderness to learn more about the amazing natural resources in the region and the people and organizations working to protect and restore those resources.
Holiday Inn Chicago Mart Plaza is our headquarters hotel. Located at the top of the Chicago Mart Plaza, the hotel overlooking the Chicago River and downtown Chicago. This riverside location offers some of the best views of the city, as well as easy access to all the city has to offer.