2017 Wild Things Conference

Thank you for attending, presenting at, volunteering for, and championing the 2017 Wild things Conference. This year 1,684 nature lovers registered for the conference and 1,476 attended our packed and sold out venue. We had 328 people on the waitlist, so we know we could have welcomed so many more eager people through the door.

Wild Things is run by volunteers and is truly an event for the community, by the community. 99 volunteers made the conference possible, so to them we give our deepest gratitude. The presenters who shared their time and talent with us are from all branches of the environmental tree, and we are so grateful to them. Our sponsors allowed us to keep the ticket cost very low for all. Due to their generosity and those who made donations to our scholarship fund, we were able to give away 25 scholarships. In 2019 we hope to quadruple this number because Wild Things should be for everyone, regardless of ability to pay.

As always, we know we can do even better next time and we want to hear your ideas for how to improve – or even better, your offer to volunteer and do the hard work to make your ideas happen! Around here when someone says, “I think you should…” we hear “I volunteer to help!” What happens at Wild Things only happens because a volunteer steps up to get it done. Send us your thoughts and sign up to help in 2019! 

For 2019 our greatest challenge is figuring out how to accommodate up to 2500 attendees. Our numbers this year show us our potential, and wow, we’re popular! But, if we want to keep the ticket cost low for all, we will need many more sponsors in 2019 to move to a larger venue. That means we need a seriously excellent sponsorship committee… how about you join us?

If you are a company looking to invest in the conservation movement in the greater Chicago region and reach a massive, nature-loving, environmentalist audience, reach out to us at wildthingscommunitychi@gmail.com! Your generous support will be put to great use supporting a grassroots, community-led conference that makes science, nature, and conservation knowledge accessible to all.

Wild Things is grateful for the support of the following sponsors:


Nature Conservancyopenlands
 Chicago Park DistrictThe Field Museum

Forest Preserves Cook County  Illinois Clean Energy Community FoundationNatural Awakenings

Prairie Moon   Prairie Moon

        Audubon  chicago-botanic-garden

Illinois Audubon    REI