Wild Illinois


Wild IL

Illinois is where great ecosystems meet.  The Great Lakes, the tallgrass prairie, big rivers, and central hardwood forests join in our Prairie State.  These habitats have been altered significantly, but critically important pieces remain that need our care and protection.  For six decades, Sierra Club members have been saving Illinois’ special places, including our Shawnee National Forest, Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, Kankakee River State Park, and many county and city preserves.  As a result of the efforts of many, many species are recovering and our parks are important place for recreation, restoration, and supporting jobs and local economies.

Our natural heritage is under threat.  Illinois’ fiscal woes have decimated the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and our state parks.  Efforts to protect new areas had ground to a halt. Toxic pesticides and climate change are new threats to wildlife, including pollinators like bees and butterflies.  Our generation will determine if we address these threats, and protect our natural heritage for future generations. We all need nature, and we need to build a movement to protect it that includes everyone.  


Protecting Endangered Wildlife

Thanks to past conservation efforts, important predators like bobcats are returning to Illinois.  We need to close the hunting and trapping season on bobcats opened by Bruce Rauner, and develop science-based recovery plans for returning predators.  We also need stronger protections for pollinators like bees and monarch butterflies against toxic chemicals and habitat loss.

Restoring Illinois’ State Parks and Habitats

Illinois’ budget woes in recent years have left our state parks and conservation programs crumbling.  We’re working with Illinois’ new leaders on new investments that protect our natural heritage and restore science to conservation efforts, and our volunteers are teaming up to fix state park facilities and trails. We’re committed to leaving our parks and natural areas in better condition for future generations.

Explore, Enjoy, Protect: Get Outside with the Sierra Club

All of us, especially children, need time in nature now more than ever. When we get outside, we refresh our spirit and our commitment to protecting the great outdoors. We’re committed to making nature accessible to all, regardless of background or zip code.  Getting outside together breaks down barriers while building power to protect our common home.

Protect What You Love

Since 1959, Illinois Sierra Club members have been working to save our state’s special places.  We restore native habitats, advocate for conservation funding and policy, and fight projects that would destroy nature. Join us by becoming a member, volunteering with a local Sierra Club group, or making a donation today.