2011 Wild Things Conference


March 5th, 2011 was another wonderful Wild Things conference. Here are some comments the organizers have received:

  • “Wild Things – I think I LOVE YOU!!”
  • “I truly loved the quality and content of the speakers. Remarkable Knowledge!”
  • “I especially benefitted from that sense of Community that I feel nowhere so much as at that conference.”
  • “First time I’ve come – it was terrific!”
  • “The folks that came to listen to my presentation were inspiring.”
  • “Saturday night, I kept waking up with snippets from the conference going through my head—in a good way.”
  • “I heard so many people talking about how GREAT the conference was this year.”
  • “It’s like energy and inspiration in a can that you can sip from in the months to come.”

And some statistics:

  • 1131 registrants
  • 124 presenters
  • 69 sessions plus 2 keynotes and a poster session
  • 9 authors
  • 36 exhibitors
  • 12 sponsors
  • 72 volunteer organizers

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

We have included a copy of the iconpdf program book—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

Conference Co-Chairs

Jane Balaban, North Branch Restoration Project; Mary Lou Mellon, Bird Conservation Network

Program Committee

Karen Tharp, Nature Conservancy; Greg Rajsky, Lone Oak Fen; Judy Pollock, Audubon Chicago Region; Michael and Amelia Howard, Eden Place; Pete Jackson, Deer Grove

Track Shepherds

Benjamin Cox, Friends of the Forest Preserves; Justin Pepper, Audubon Chicago Region; Megan Dunning and Kurt Dreisilker, Morton Arboretum; Karen Glennemeier, Habitat Project; Julie Sacco, Chicago Park District; Stephen Packard, Somme Prairie Grove; Karen Tharp, Nature Conservancy; Michelle Uting, Chicago Wilderness; Abigail Derby and Becky Schillo, Field Museum; Jesse Elam, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning; Marianne Hahn, Friends of Kankakee Sands; Sherry Williams, Bronzeville Historical Society; Sophie Twichell, Chicago Botanic Garden

Publicity Committee

Michelle Uting and Lucy Hutcherson, Chicago Wilderness; Lisa Culp, North Branch Restoration Project; Eric Keeley, Elmhurst Great Western Prairie; Mary Eileen Sullivan, Sungmok Kim and Wanho Kim, Friends of the Park

Logistics Committee

Gina Lettiere (Chair), Loyola University; Keith Olson and Eric Keeley, Elmhurst Great Western Prairie ;Jason Steger, Chicago Park District; Carrie Nutter; Mary Carroll, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District

Support Desk

Tom Lang, Habitat Project

Poster Session

Mary Eileen Sullivan, Friends of the Parks

Exhibitor & Sponsor Coordinator

Linda Masters, North Branch Restoration Project

Program Book

Jo Skoglund, Illinois Audubon Society

Book Signing

Kathy Garness, Plants of Concern

Map Maker

Sue Witkowski, North Branch Restoration Project

After-Party Planners

Michelle Parker, Habitat 2030

Packet Stuffers

Cindy Hedges and Volunteers, Forest Preserve District of DuPage County

Day of Conference Volunteers

Natalie Bartnik, Whitney Behr, Stephanie Boxel, Melisa Causevic, Christine Evola, Kim Greene, Kelsey Horton, Dan Igoe, Angela Kerber, Eric and Jenny Keeley, Thorntenya (Tenya) Kina, Kara Martin, Elena Krieger, Dick Lanyon Anthony McGeath, Anita Mujkanovic, Sooji Oh, Alyssa O’Malley, Keith Olson, Aspen Sprague, David Steh, Wendolyn Tetlow, Taylor Unwin, Anna Wagner, Caitlin Zerr, Hannah Zillmer

Services Donated

Staff Support

Provided by Judy Pollock and Janis Wesley of Audubon Chicago Region.


Organized by Audubon Chicago Region in cooperation with the Habitat Project,
the Volunteer Stewardship Network, and Chicago Wilderness through funding from the USDA Forest Service and US Fish & Wildlife Service.

The following sponsors have generously subsidized this conference to keep costs low for participants: The Field Museum, Chicago Park District, The Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Openlands.