Wild Things Conference Websites Have Moved

Wild Things conferences (past and future) have moved to a new website, Wild Things Community, a nexus for grassroots Chicago region conservation. Wild Things gratefully acknowledges Audubon Chicago Region for hosting the 2007-2015 conference web sites and for their staff support of the 2007-2013 conferences. We look forward to our future collaborations. (December 7, 2015)


Sixth Biennial Wild Things Conference

University of Illinois at Chicago – Student Center East
Saturday, January 31, 2015 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

2015 Wild Things was our biggest yet…


Photos by Viva Yeboah.
(See more photos from Viva.)

  • 1624 registrants
  • 70 volunteer organizers
  • 169 presenters
  • 10 posters
  • 37 exhibitors

Here are some quotes from participants—the reviews are overwhelmingly positive:

  • “I love this conference—it is so wonderfully eclectic. The devoted speakers give voice to ecosystems that are not able to speak for themselves.”
  • “Thank you for an awesome, excellent, educational, informational and fun day. I saw how important this blue marble (planet Earth) is to all those who have an interest in protecting her.”
  • “I had NO IDEA of the scope of this thing…wow!  Every hour was action packed.”
  • “This is one of the best conferences around, for its diverse topics, very affordable prices, and the great people it pulls together.”
  • “I love the Chicago conservation community you all are rad!”

Please check out these on-line resources from the conference:

And if you want to be part of keeping the momentum going, email us your ideas or become a fan of Wild Things on Facebook .

Thank you all for making it the great day it was!
Hope to see you in 2017!

If you attended, please fill out an evaluation form if you haven't done so already.

The people who brought you Wild Things

Conference Co-Chairs: Karen Glennemeier, North Branch Restoration Project; Pat Hayes, Orland Grassland Volunteers; Judy Pollock, Bird Conservation Network; and Greg Rajsky, Pleasant Valley Steward

Steering Committee: Chair—Greg Rajsky, Pleasant Valley Steward; Karen Glennemeier, North Branch Restoration Project; Rachel Goad, Plants of Concern; Pat Hayes, Orland Grassland Volunteers; Pete Jackson, Deer Grove West Natural Area Volunteers; Linda Masters, North Branch Restoration Project; Stephen Packard, Somme Prairie Grove steward; Cassi Saari, Habitat 2030; Marilyn L. Schweitzer; Daniel Suarez, Habitat 2030; Karen Tharp, The Nature Conservancy

Program: Chair—Karen Glennemeier, North Branch Restoration Project; Judy Pollock, Bird Conservation Network; Doug Chien, Friends of the Forest Preserves; Stephen Packard, Somme Prairie Grove steward; Michelle Uting, Forest Preserve District of Cook County; Lydia Uhlir, Forest Preserve District of Cook County; Susan Ask, Animalia Project; Jennifer Johnson, Wild Indigo Nature Explorations; Erin Faulkner, Habitat 2030; Nancy Bradt, Chicago Bird Collision Monitors; Sue Gorr, Friends of Deer Grove East; Emma England, Lake County Audubon; Bob Fisher, Bird Conservation Network; John Elliott, Upstream Interpretation; Don Wilson, Lake County Audubon; Byron Tsang, Habitat 2030; Pat Hayes, Orland Grassland Volunteers; Karen Tharp, The Nature Conservancy; Cassi Saari, Habitat 2030; Daniel Suarez, Habitat 2030; Pete Jackson, Deer Grove West Natural Area Volunteers

Communications: Co-chairs—Pat Hayes, Orland Grassland Volunteers and Stephen Packard, Somme Prairie Grove steward; Carol Freeman, Carol Freeman Photography; Marilyn L. Schweitzer; Megy Karydes, Karydes Consulting; Viva Yeboah, Outdoor Afro; Cassi Saari, Habitat 2030; Marnie Baker; Dean Engel; Sue Gorr

Logistics Committee: Co-chairs—Greg Rajsky, True Nature Consulting and Gina Lettiere, Loyola University; Chris Parson (Registration Captain), Assistant Steward Schiller Prairie; Marilyn L. Schweitzer; Lydia Uhlir; Viva Yeboah, Outdoor Afro; Veronica Anadon, Bird Life International; Cecil Hynds-Riddle; Dick Riner, Bartel Grassland Volunteers; Cassi Saari, Habitat 2030

Badge Assembly: Cindy Hedges, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

Support Desk: Eileen Sutter, North Branch Restoration Project

Exhibitors: Linda Masters, North Branch Restoration Project

Program Book and Evaluation: Jo Fessett (designer), Illinois Audubon Society; Karen Glennemeier, North Branch Restoration Project; Eileen Sutter, North Branch Restoration Project; Steve Constantelos; Judy Pollock, Bird Conservation Network; Lydia Uhlir; Marilyn L. Schweitzer

Book Signing: Kathy Garness, Plants of Concern

Map Maker: Sue Witkowski, North Branch Restoration Project; Nancy Hirsh, NEIU; Marilyn L. Schweitzer

Day of Conference Volunteers: Hallie Barkume,Terrence Chew, Anita Cisternas, Kristen Courage, Melaney Dunn, Noonan Fnu, Rodd Gonzales, Kelly Hof, Aqsa Junagadhwala, Elizzabeth Kaufman, Hanna Lanceria, Emily Mackson, Jason Moon, Leann Ngo, Brian Ohsowski, Shivani Pandya, Allison Patrick, Allie Heeg Polzin, Erin Quick, Jason Smith, David Steh, Karl Ulbrich, Leena Vilonen, Abigail White, Laney Widener, Julia Zaksheski

Services Donated:

  • Website: Marilyn L. Schweitzer
  • Cover Artwork: Bobby Garro Sutton
  • Fox Artwork: Marlene Hill Donnelly
  • Web hosting: Audubon Chicago Region

Staff support: Karen Glennemeier, North Branch Restoration Project; Judy Pollock, Bird Conservation Network; Greg Rajsky, True Nature Consulting; Jennie van den Boogaard, Friends of the Forest Preserve

Fiscal Agent: Friends of the Forest Preserves

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