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Inspire People to Volunteer & Spread the Cheer:
“Chicago Nature is #1!”

 

Here in late July at Spears Woods, wildflowers float above the prairie like musical notes in a symphony of color and texture.*

At Spears Woods, wildflowers float above the prairie like musical notes in a symphony of color and texture, proof that volunteers can work in perfect harmony with nature. *

Have you heard that the Chicago region tops every U.S. national park in native plant biodiversity? Three years ago, I discovered this fact and then published the following two articles:

– Chicago Region Tops U.S. National Parks in Native Plant Biodiversity! – Part 1

Chicago Region Tops U.S. National Parks in Native Plant Biodiversity! – Part 2

For years, I’ve been cheering from the oak tops about the beauty of Chicago nature. Yet, my voice only carries so far, and most Chicagoans have yet to hear the great news. Very few people know that there is nature around Chicago. And unfortunately, you can’t fall in love with nature if you don’t know it’s there!

This website was created to market Chicago nature to the masses and to inspire people to participate in its rehabilitation using this strategy:

Frame the conversation by comparing Chicago’s natural beauty and biodiversity to the famed and revered national parks. Then back it up with stunning images and that data to prove it.

Right now, Chicagoland’s nature preserves are being overwhelmed by invasive species. Yet a vast majority of our nature preserves have no volunteers to restore them. Most preserves with a volunteer steward in charge have only a handful of helpers. Most are getting on in years. Few are under thirty. Lucky for us, we have more than nine million neighbors to draw from to help with restoration and preservation. The potential for growth is remarkable! The challenge is that this isn’t Denver or Seattle, where residents are constantly reminded and lured into the great outdoors by looming mountains, and where a large portion of the population owns a pair of hiking boots. We live in a place that was flat from the start, with no iconic reminders of the kaleidoscopic prairie and its endless horizon. Therefore, we need to spread the word. And to help you, here are some inspirational words that I hope you’ll memorize and share:

Within just fifty miles of downtown Chicago, there’s more protected natural area than most national parks and more native plants species than ANY national park. This means that, every day from April through September, a world-class wildflower bloom is happening right down the road. Learn when and where at ChicagoNatureNOW.com.

A new year is here, so get out there and cheer, “Chicago nature is number one!”

 

If you find this website of Chicago wildflower information useful, please donate to our GoFundMe campaign or purchase my nationally-acclaimed book that celebrates all of the preserves featured on this website.

—Mike

© 2021, Mike MacDonald. All rights reserved.

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