The 24th Annual Wildlife Society Conference

When: September 23-September 27

Hosted by The Wildlife Society

Summary: The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference is one of the largest gatherings of wildlife professionals, students and supporters in North America. For more than 20 years, TWS has hosted this unique and informative event that provides more than  400 educational opportunities and more than 50 networking opportunities through working groups, meetings and receptions.

Interested? Learn more HERE.


Illinois River Conference

When: September 12-September 14

Hosted by the Illinois Water Resources Center

Summary: Over the past twenty-six years, the Governor’s Conferences on the Management of the Illinois River System have served as an important forum to bring together local, state, and federal leaders to create awareness of the issues of soil erosion and sedimentation, identify important river research initiatives, develop working coalitions, apply conservation practices to the watershed, prepare new river and watershed legislation, and provide for state and federal funding to address the issues of the Illinois River System.

Interested? Learn more HERE.


21st Annual CowaLUNGa Charity Bike Tour

When: July 29-July 31

Hosted by the Respiratory Health Association

Summary: Join hundreds of cyclists, both individuals and teams, for CowaLUNGa’s 21st ride. Escape the noise of the city for a weekend pedaling over rolling hills through Northern Illinois into Southern Wisconsin. Along the way, you’ll meet new friends and experience an unparalleled level of camaraderie and support from other cyclists and Respiratory Health Association while helping RHA achieve its vision of healthy lungs and clean air for all.

Interested? Learn more HERE.


Grand Illinois Bike Tour

When: June 11-June 16

Hosted by Ride Illinois

Summary: Join us in June for the 15th annual Grand Illinois Bike Tour. This year’s route will feature the Rock River and Mississippi River valleys in scenic northwestern Illinois, with charming towns and great bicycling on quiet roads and some trails. Our unforgettable six-day ride will make a 300 mile loop starting and ending in Byron, with stops in Dixon, Savanna, the Quad Cities area (two nights), and Sterling. Choose between our camping and motel options and enjoy overnights filled with good food and good fellowship with riders hailing from around the country. Proceeds benefit Ride Illinois and support our mission to make Illinois a better, safer, and more enjoyable place to ride.

Interested? Learn more HERE.


One Earth Film Festival

When: March 4-6, 2016

Hosted by: Elevate Energy

Summary: The 5th annual festival will showcase 35 thought-provoking films on a variety of environmental topics. One Earth brings you engaging films that will educate and inspire. Each screening is followed by interactive discussion and may include Q&A with filmmakers and local experts and opportunities for action.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Homegrown Fest and Composting Symposium

When: March 19, 2016

9:00 a.m.- 3:30 p.m.

Hosted by: Illinois Stewardship alliance

Summary: Homegrown Fest will feature mini-workshops from local experts on a variety of topics including gardening, homesteading, D.I.Y., cooking, and preserving the harvest! The symposium is a forum for sharing composting information, stimulating the composting market, and bringing composters, educators, and businesses together so that everyone can benefit from learning about this excellent organic soil amendment.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Introduction to Edible Gardening

When: March 24, 2016

6:00 p.m.- 7:30 p.m.

Hosted by: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Summary:Learn the skills you need to nurture your own veggie garden in any space—from sprawling backyards to small balcony containers. Our resident horticulturist will provide pro tips and send you off with a selection of plants to start your own garden.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Good Food Festival

When: March 24-26, 2016

Hosted by: University of Illinois- Chicago

Summary: The Good Food Festival & Conference helps connect financial resources to farms and Good Food businesses; helps grow local procurement capacity; engages local school districts; provides a forum to discuss local, statewide, and national food policy; and educates the public about the importance and impact of Good Food. Unique opportunities arise for growing the Good Food movement with all of these stakeholders networking through our important sessions and trade show exhibits.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Air Station Prairie Woodcocks

When: March 26, 2016

Hosted by: Evanston North Shore Bird Club

Summary: Air Station Prairie Woodcocks. Come out to see the spectacular aerial displays of the American Woodcock at dusk! The Air Station Prairie in Glenview is a great location for these displays and we may even spot a woodcock on the ground.

Interested? Learn more HERE


2016 Illinois Indigenous Plants Symposium

When: April 1-3, 2016

Hosted by: Illinois Native Plant society

Summary: Enjoy hikes, lectures pertaining to landscaping and ecology, and a keynote address delivered by Karen Midden over a three day retreat in Carterville, Illinois.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Wildlife Conservation Expo

When: May 7, 2016

10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m.

Hosted by: The Brookfield Zoo

Summary: Join the Chicago Zoological Society, Wildlife Conservation Network and Forest Preserves of Cook County for a premier international wildlife conservation event. Meet researchers from the field, learn about their work and connect with local and international conservation organizations.

Interested? Learn more HERE


The Big Sit

When: May 7, 2016

5:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.

Hosted by: Forest Preserves of Cook County

Summary: All day long at all six of our Nature Centers we will be counting how many birds we can spot or hear without leaving a 17-foot circle. This ‘citizen science’ can help us make better decisions about the conservation of bird habitat. We need birders of any experience to help us for part or all of the day. Stop by anytime, grab a seat and join in.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Garfield Park Tree ID Walk

When: May 13, 2016

10:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Hosted by: Openlands

Summary:Spring, summer and fall – learn about city trees throughout the seasons with Openlands’ Regional Forester, Daniella Pereira. Daniella will explore the trees of beautiful and historic Garfield Park. Pre-registration is required. Please dress appropriately for the weather – walks take place rain or shine! This is a free event.

Interested? Learn more HERE


10th Annual Emiquon Science Symposium

When: May 18-19, 2016

Hosted by: The Nature Conservancy

Summary: In addition to sharing past and ongoing research, this year’s symposium will focus on future research needs and opportunities.  This two-day format allows the Nature Conservancy to provide a field trip across the wetland, including a tour of the water control structure that is currently under construction, and more time for networking.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Bike the Drive

When: May 29, 2016

Hosted by: MB Financial and the Active Transportation Alliance

Summary: Once a year, people on two wheels own Lake Shore Drive during MB Bike the Drive! See a sunrise over Lake Michigan, hear the birds chirp and enjoy the views of Chicago’s skyline as you experience the best of the city by bike.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Grand Illinois Trail and Parks Bike tour

When: June 12-17, 2016

Hosted by: Ride Illinois

Summary: Join Ride Illinois in June for the 14th annual Grand Illinois Trail and Parks (GITAP) Bike Tour. Our 2016 route will cover almost entirely new ground, highlighting some of the best sections and attractions of Illinois’ Route 66 Trail – a.k.a. the “Mother Road” – an international draw for bike tourists. GITAP 2016 will also feature the I&M Canal Trail, the Mackinaw Valley Trail, and more. This unforgettable six-day ride will make a loop starting and ending in Coal City, with stops in Oglesby, Washington, the Bloomington-Normal area (two nights), and Pontiac. Enjoy days filled with bike touring, good food and fellowship, all in support of Ride Illinois.

Interested? Learn more HERE


CowaLUNGa Bike Tour

When: August 6-8, 2016

Hosted by: Respiratory Health Association Chicago

Summary: Each August, Respiratory Health Association hosts CowaLUNGa to raise money for lung health. The three-day tour covers 190 miles between Illinois and Wisconsin, and riders also have the option of biking for 18 miles, one, two or three days.

Interested? Learn more HERE


2016 Illinois Bike Summit

When: September 19, 2016

Hosted by: Ride Illinois

Summary: The Illinois Bike Summit is a major event connecting advocates and professionals from around the state for a day of networking, learning, and sharing information on how bicycling is creating positive impact in our communities, cities, and state. Join nearly 300 bicycle advocates, municipal and private sector planners and civil engineers, elected officials, and community and business leaders interested in making Illinois more bike-friendly.

Interested? Learn more HERE


The 23rd Annual Wildlife Society Conference

When: October 15-19, 2016

Hosted by: The Wildlife Society

Summary: The Wildlife Society’s Annual Conference is one of the largest gatherings of wildlife professionals, students and supporters in North America. For more than 20 years, TWS has hosted this unique and informative event that provides more than  400 educational opportunities and more than 50 networking opportunities through working groups, meetings and receptions.

Interested? Learn more HERE


Illinois Water Conference

When: October 25-27, 2016

Hosted by: Illinois Water Resource Center

Summary: This biennial conference offers students a unique opportunity to learn about the latest research on the state’s most important water issues. Plenary speakers and technical sessions will discuss everything from nutrient reduction to fracking to climate change. Illinois Water 2016 also offers opportunities for students interested in water resource careers to network with fellow students, educators, researchers, and agency personnel. 

Scholarship Opportunity: Undergraduate and graduate students alike are encouraged to apply for scholarship funding by September 2. Particular consideration will be given to students presenting posters during the evening reception on October 26. See the call for abstracts for instructions and deadlines.  

Interested? Learn more HERE