Chicago wilderness: A new force in urban conservation

Debra K. Moskovits, Carol Fialkowski, Gregory M. Mueller, Timothy A. Sullivan, John Rogner, Elizabeth McCance*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In 1996, a coalition of diverse and determined organizations launched a new initiative in the Chicago region. Our vision? Chicago Wilderness: a thriving mosaic of natural areas, connected by greenways and wildlife corridors, embedded in the nation's third largest metropolis. In this vision, the region's human communities reclaim a cultural tradition of protecting and restoring the globally outstanding natural communities that enrich our lives. Today, more than 170 organizations join forces to transform this vision into reality. A regional biodiversity recovery plan, the result of 3 years of assessment and planning by scientists, land managers, educators, and policy strategists, sets priorities and determines the lines of action for the coalition. This regional agenda stems from our vision and recovery goals for each ecological community; it encourages targeted research initiatives that focus on characterizing our native biological diversity and on analyzing elements critical to its recovery. Ultimately, though, the long-term survival of our natural wealth rests on the support from the public. Although the challenges to conservation educators and communicators are many, Chicago Wilderness allows us to work together in understanding our audiences, channeling our resources, and creating novel approaches to engage the widest public in our conservation efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-236
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 2004


  • Biodiversity
  • Chicago Wilderness
  • Education
  • Natural resources management
  • Sustainability
  • Urban landscape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Neuroscience
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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