Mission: Founded in 1963, Openlands protects the natural and open spaces of northeastern Illinois and the surrounding region to ensure cleaner air and water, protect natural habitats and wildlife, and help balance and enrich our lives.
Programs: Openlands' programs include: *Policy: Policy staff encourage lawmakers to pass legislation to protect open space and natural resources. Openlands advocates for land use planning and sensible growth management strategies; communicates with the public through mailings and the media; and supports communities working for local land preservation. *Greenways: Greenways staff have created detailed and extensive plans for open space preservation throughout the region. Openlands is working with the Northeastern Illinois Planning Commission and dozens of local communities to implement two major plans that will bring more bike trails, greenways, and canoe/kayak trails to the region. The plans will also increase space for wildlife habitat, parks, and improve the quality of our streams and watersheds. *Urban Greening: Urban Greening staff work with communities to improve their local environments and quality of life. The program promotes community-supported open space, such as parks and community gardens.
Openlands is an outstanding organization. The staff is very professional, engaging and friendly, which makes volunteering both very useful and really nice. The staff stay on top of the discoveries in the field, and run their organization really well. Openlands' mission is on point as our lands and urban forests are threatened by a growing population, and Openlands helps mitigate the human factor on our environment. Every town would benefit from having Openlands in town.
Openlands is an accredited land trust. Accreditation means Openlands meets national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. Openlands has demonstrated to the Land Trust Accreditation Commission its commitment to excellence. Accredited land trusts meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. These land trusts demonstrate their commitment to excellence by adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices, the ethical and technical guidelines for the responsible operation of a land trust, and meeting the accreditation requirements drawn from them. Learn More: http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/about.