2009 Wild Things Conference


“Bravo!” — “Thank You.”
“I loved the quality of the presentations.”
“I felt very energized by so much wonderful commitment to
protecting  and sharing the wonders of our natural world.”
“That is the best group of kindred spirits!”
“I hope to use what I learned to become more involved.”

These are some typical comments from the 2009 Wild Things conference evaluation forms. The fairly unanimous sentiment is that this was our best Wild Things ever (except for the tuna sandwiches.)

Here are some numbers:

  • 1030 attendees
  • 99 speakers
  • 71 sessions plus 3 keynotes
  • 6 authors
  • 41 exhibitors
  • 92 volunteer organizers

Thank you all for making it the great day it was!

We have included a copy of the iconpdf brochure—please share it with local groups or individuals who may be interested in our conference or presenters.  Please refer to Wild Things Conference Materials for conference resources and handouts given out by presenters.

The people who brought you Wild Things

Program Committee

Co-chairs: Greg Rajsky*, steward Lone Oak Fen; Karen Tharp*Nature Conservancy; Judy Pollock*Audubon Chicago Region

Track Shepherds

Benjamin Cox*Friends of the Forest Preserves; Doug Chien, Sierra Club; Tom Peterson*IBMN; Justin Pepper*Audubon Chicago Region; Dick Riner, Bartel Grassland Volunteers; Victor Cassidy, author; June Keibler, Fox Valley Land Foundation; Laurel Ross, Field Museum; Rich Treptow*Sierra Club; Joanne Podkul, Calumet Stewardship Initiative; Mary Finn; Kerry Leigh, restoration consulting; Bob Fisher*Bird Conservation Network; Megan Dunning, Morton Arboretum; Pete Jackson, steward Deer Grove; Irene Hogstrom; Mary Zaander, Witness Tree Native Landscapes; Karen Glennemeier*Habitat Project; Robert Sliwinski, Christopher Burke Engineering; Julie Sacco, Chicago Park District; Scott Meister, FPD of DuPage County; Nancy Greenlee, Bird Conservation Network

Publicity Committee

Michelle Uting*; Lucy Hutcherson, Chicago Wilderness; Diana Krug*Palos Restoration; Julia Martinez, Northwestern University; Dan Townson, Eye of the Axis; Mary Carroll, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

Logistics Committee

Advisory Committee

Asterisked (*) individuals above plus: Joe Suchecki, steward, Springbrook Prairie; Craig Stettner, Dragonfly monitors; Joan Palincsar, steward, Ryerson Woods; Joan Bruchman, Bird Conservation Network; Stephen Packard, Somme Prairie Grove steward; Doug Taron, Notebaert Nature Museum

Services Donated

Staff Support

Provided by Judy Pollock, Erin Jones,and Janis Wesley of Audubon; Karen Tharp of The Nature Conservancy; and Michelle Uting, Chicago Wilderness

Seed Funding

Provided from the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, State and Private Forestry and the US Fish & Wildlife Service in support of Chicago Wilderness.


Audubon Chicago RegionBird Conservation NetworkCarol Freeman PhotographyChicago WildernessChicago Wilderness MagazineGallery No. 9Habitat ProjectIllinois Butterfly Monitoring NetworkThe Volunteer Stewardship NetworkThe Nature ConservancyTerracom Public RelationsForest Preserve District of DuPage County

“Wild Things” is co-sponsored by: Audubon Chicago Region, Chicago Wilderness, The Nature Conservancy of Illinois, and the Volunteer Stewardship Network.

This project was funded through a grant program supported by the US Fish & Wildlife Service, in support of Chicago Wilderness. USFWS grants of federal monies are administered by the Illinois Conservation Foundation.