Natural resources, land and water
Openlands’ vision for the Chicago region is a landscape that includes a vast network of land and water trails, tree-lined streets, and intimate public gardens within easy reach of everyone. Founded in 1963 as a program of the Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago, Openlands is one of the oldest metropolitan conservation organizations in the nation and the only such group with a regional scope in the greater Chicago region. Openlands unites the people and resources of the diverse Chicago metropolitan region around the goal of land and water protection, providing a healthy vibrant space to live and work. We have helped secure, protect, and provide public access to more than 70,000 acres of land for parks, forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens.