Seven Simple Actions to “Bring Birds Back”

Cornell and its partners have launched a website – 3BillionBirds – in response to reports of the alarming loss of bird populations. It includes the 7 actions people can take. Citizen science projects are suggested, (see Chicago Living Corridors listing of projects) as well as other recommendations: make windows safer; keep cats indoors; reduce lawn and plant natives; avoid pesticides; choose coffee that’s grown in bird-friendly plantations; eliminate plastics, and join bird-watching groups – share what you see. There are many Facebook pages that have great information on birds, and fabulous photos. This past summer, I was able to follow the saga of the piping plovers at Montrose beach.

There are findings and access to news reports.

Pollinator Partnership’s Project Wingspan

Pollinator Partnership is excited to announce an extension to the online native pollinator habitat survey.
Are you committed to enhancing your land for monarch butterflies, rusty patched bumble bees and other imperiled pollinators? 
Pollinator Partnership invites public land managers and private landowners with at least one acre of land who are committed to long-term conservation of monarch, rusty patched bumble bee, and other rare pollinator habitat to be a part of Project Wingspan!

Please join us in our conservation efforts for native pollinators and fill out this preliminary survey. Public Lands survey extended until Oct.31, 2019 and Private Lands survey extended until Aug. 15th, 2019

Interested in volunteering to native collect seed for these efforts? Please join us at: .
(Please see attachments below to share these fliers)

Flier_PW_SeedCollection Site and Volunteer_IL.pdf

Openlands Launches “Get Outside” Map

This is an important addition to Openlands’ effort to connect the people in Chicago to nature where they live. Openlands is a major conservation organization, and is focused on the whole metropolitan region. The “Get Outside” map offers 350 places and ways to enjoy the numerous locations. It is offered in a list version, or an interactive map version. Each location highlights the nature activities at the site. Readers can filter the map to obtain a selection of the best sites for the desired activities.
Openlands has created a wonderful new tool to learn about the nature available in the Chicagoland region.

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Success

A recent article in the Chicago Tribune featured the success story of the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge (MPGC).  This project was initiated by Michelle Obama, and the target of a million gardens has now been exceeded. We are linking to information about registering gardens, in the hopes that CLC’s partner organizations would encourage their members to participate and have sent a request for information about becoming a partner organization with the pollinator effort.

Details about the MPGC are at
The map of the participants is on the Pollinator Partnership website at

Chicago Living Corridors introduces new map with much expanded number of locations.

If you’ve been a follower of the Facebook page for Chicago Living Corridors (CLC), you may have seen the recent posting of the new map showing native habitat locations on private property (posted on January 16).  The recently-updated map has a great many more dots than before (2,669), and sites affiliated with nine organizations (instead of four) that promote native habitat on private property. It is also possible now to see the organizational dots in juxtaposition with a layer showing the protected lands (as shown on the I-View map.) If you haven’t seen the map yet, we invite you to explore the map here

This new map demonstrates a significant expansion of the locations we had included previously, and we are very excited to be able to share this with you.  Chicago Living Corridors will be continuing to reach out to additional organizations, and to our founding partners – to add to their native habitat footprint in the Chicagoland area.  Our founding organizations were:
Citizens for Conservation, Northern Kane Wild Ones, The Conservation Foundation,  West Cook Wild Ones, and The Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee. Added are: Barrington Area Conservation Trust, C@H in co-operation with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Natural Land Institute, Openlands, and The Land Conservancy of McHenry County.  The Conservation Foundation’s C@H program shows a greatly expanded presence on the map.

We are currently involved in efforts to add more organizations that have habitat improvement programs,  with efforts to engage garden clubs, and an Audubon program already preparing for inclusion.

Following are explanations of a number of the icons that appear above the map.  They will enhance the view and utilization of the Interactive Chicago Living Corridors map..

In the black bar on the upper right, there are three icons:
The stacked horizontal lines with dots provide a legend or directory of the organizations included on the map and the colors that represent them.

The icon that looks like three layers of paper gives you access to a listing where you can turn on or off any combination of organizations, and includes a layer for Protected Lands, as shown of the I-View map. This last option allows the viewer to see the CALCA dots in juxtaposition to the protected lands (either one organization, several, or all participating organizations.

The print icon is self explanatory.  

The key icon on the left-hand side is the box containing the four squares.  You can access a dozen different backgrounds. You may find that selecting the black background will actually enhance the view of some of the dot patterns. The other options will provide different types of detail or views.

There is a ruler icon for measuring distances, and a palette icon to enable the drawing of boundaries.

Of course, the + or – symbols will enlarge or reduce the map view.  

We encourage you to visit the map, and explore our website,  It contains many helpful resources.  Additionally, please check our Facebook page, Chicago Living Corridors, “like” us, and invite your friends to visit as well.  

(Note – Chicago Area Living Corridor Alliance [CALCA] and Chicago Living Corridors [CLC] are both referring to the same organization.  CALCA was our founding name, which we shortened to CLC for use on the internet, and with social media.)

How Much Does a Tree on Your Property Help to Improve Environment

Thanks to the U.S. Forest Service, Davey Tree Experts, and other partners for a very simple tool for valuing the contribution of a tree to air pollution removal;  Go to Tree Tools  to try this out.  You’ll be asked for your location information, and some simple questions about the tree.  Species, condition, diameter, sun exposure, and more, plus some information about adjacent structures.  You’ll get an analysis with a dollar amount, that will break down the types of contribution the tree provides.  No surprise, big healthy trees have more value than smaller, or unhealthy trees.

After you’ve finished entering data for one tree, you can add another tree, and another and so on.  You can get a cumulative analysis, or select the value for any one of the trees.  I have supplied an image of the report I got after I entered eight trees. (There are a lot more trees to go.)  It looks a lot like the nutrition section of packaged food label.


iTree LogoMyTree Benefits

Serving size: 8 trees

Total benefits for this year


Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Sequestered
Annual CO2 equivalent of carbon1
1172.19 lbs
Storm Water runoff avoided
Runoff avoided
5292.96 gal.
Rainfall intercepted
14684.73 gal.
Air Pollution removed each year
Carbon monoxide
2.20 oz
88.81 oz
Nitrogen dioxide
10.73 oz
Sulfur dioxide
3.54 oz
Particulate matter < 2.5 microns
4.38 oz
Energy Usage each year2
Electricity savings (A/C)
129.95 kWh
Fuel savings (Natural Gas,Oil)
0.44 MMBtu
Avoided Energy Emissions
Carbon dioxide
234.19 lbs
Carbon monoxide
1.32 oz
Nitrogen dioxide
0.53 oz
Sulfur dioxide
8.69 oz
Particulate matter < 2.5 microns
0.11 oz
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Stored to date3
Lifetime CO2 equivalent of carbon3
49143.21 lbs

New Direction for Chicago Living Corridors

Dear Supporters:

Chicago Area Living Corridors Alliance (aka Chicago Living Corridors) has come to a crossroads in our development which requires a new direction.

The organization was incorporated as a 501c3 corporation in 2016. Donations were received from the organizations of the group’s leaders, and we proceeded with a number of successful actions. Volunteers created the website.  One of the key features of the website is the map showing the location of properties with native plant gardens and earth-friendly practices. The website provides resources for individuals who are interested in creating better habitat on their own properties.

There has been much interest in CLC expressed by other organizations in the Chicago area with similar goals, such as the  Right of Way as Habitat initiative at UIC , the Field Museum, Lurie Garden and other conservation groups. Many influential proponents of increasing native habitat have accepted our invitation to be on the CLC Advisory Board. Many people, including you, have opted to be on our mailing list.

We have initiated many public relations and marketing activities, including a PowerPoint presentation about CLC, presented at Lake to Prairie Wild One conference, an event at Millennium Park and a Chicago Wilderness Congress. We held organizing meetings. We created exhibit materials and exhibited at several related group conferences. We coordinated the Chicago Living Corridors track at the Wild Ones conference in February, 2017. All of these activities have forged valuable contacts and rapport with other agencies and individuals.

In January, 2018 we hired a contractor part-time to help with administrative tasks and manage mailings to potential partners and sponsors. While many express support and value the role of an umbrella organization such as CLC, we did not receive the financial contributions needed to continue as an independent organization. We have come to realize that umbrella organizations such as Chicago Wilderness and the fledgling Chicago Living Corridors can be difficult to sustain financially because while all the member organizations support the mission, they are financially and administratively committed to their own organizations.

Given these circumstances, the board of Chicago Living Corridors had to consider new options. We recognized that The Conservation Foundation has a similar mission with the expansion of their Conservation@Home program area-wide,  though CLC’s intent was to drive inquiries to the partner organizations, not for CLC to do site visits ourselves. The Conservation Foundation is interested in expanding the map CLC created to add their new sites with improved habitat.  This effort is already underway and should be live on the CLC website soon.

After consultation with Brook McDonald, President and CEO of The Conservation Foundation, and Dan Lobbes, Director of Land Protection and Kane County Director of TCF,  the present board of directors of Chicago Area Living Corridors Alliance has signed an affiliate agreement with The Conservation Foundation. We will dissolve our 501c3 status, and TCF will become the fiscal agent for CALCA.  Jim Kleinwachter, who chairs TCF’s C@H program will join our board of directors to align our efforts with those of TCF. We intend to continue to promote improved habitat on private land in the Chicago area, maintain the Chicago Living Corridors website, and update the map. We are presently adding new members to our board to replace board members who have retired, and we are reaching out for additional committed volunteers.  

We hope you will continue to support our efforts as we know you agree with the mission of CALCA. If so, please go to the Chicago Living Corridor’s website to explore volunteer opportunities.  If you want to make a contribution to CLC, it will still be tax deductible.  However, the check would be written to The Conservation Foundation, with “Chicago Living Corridors”  on the memo line. Thank you for your past and continuing support. Our future can be bright with your help.


Pam Todd
Peggy Simonsen
Carol Rice
June Keibler

Founding Members