“Plant trees.” That is the Morton family motto, spearheaded by J. Sterling Morton who started Arbor Day in 1872. His son, Joy, established Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in 1922. Since then, the arboretum has grown to 1,700 acres and a much-needed outdoor space for one of the most populous areas of the country.
My love for prairies runs deep, much like the roots of the interesting plants that make up the prairie ecosystem. Growing up in the “Land of Lincoln”, it took awhile to realize that Illinois had another noble nickname: the Prairie State. Historically, around two-thirds of Illinois was prairie. Today, it is difficult to find prairies
There is no denying, I am a dog person. I have always been drawn to dogs and have felt a deep, perhaps you could call it spiritual, connection towards canines. Thus, it is easy to feel that same connection towards wolves and coyotes. But it goes beyond the human-dog relationship. Undomesticated “dogs” play a critical
There are many famous names in the history of conservation. But there are also some not-so-famous ones, especially outside the United States. Nature’s Allies: Eight Conservationists Who Changed Our World highlights eight major players in conservation. Some are exceptionally well-known: Rachel Carson, Aldo Leopold, John Muir. Others you may never heard of before. John Muir
The National Park Service officially began with the passing of the Organic Act of 1916. After 100 years, and 400 plus “units”, the park service remains as one of the nation’s best source of recreation and natural ecosystem protection. But what do we have to look forward for the next 100 years? The National Park
E.O. Wilson’s premise in Half-Earth: Our Planet’s Fight for Life is as straightforward as it is daunting: we must preserve half of the Earth in order to stop a path towards complete, irreversible failure and the “sixth extinction”. According to Wilson we have, or will shortly, entered the Anthropocene period; the Epoch of Man. This
How much nature do we need? Nature is all around us in varying degrees. The amount or value of the nature around us is largely subjective. But with near certainty we can understand what valuable nature is or isn’t. Universally, more natural surroundings is preferable to less. Also nearly universal is the idea that having
Roosevelt’s life as a naturalist began like many naturalists: with a carcass. Specifically, a seal carcass he discovered in a grocery on Broadway in New York. He was 8 years old. Darrin Lunde’s The Naturalist: Theodore Roosevelt and the Triumph of American Natural History covers our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt, from the lens of an