There are many places to go and experience nature in and near the city, from the gorgeous lakefront to Northerly Island, North Park Nature Center, the Lincoln Park Zoo and Garfield Park Conservatory, the Chicago River (canoeing and kayaking) in the city proper, to large forest preserves immediately surrounding the city, and much more in the greater Chicagoland area The Center for Green Technology (CGT), Sacramento and Lake.

CGT has classes for professionals and novices alike, a resource library, and a wonderful self-guided tour.

“The Chicago Center for Green Technology is the first rehabilitated municipal building in the nation to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ™ (LEED) Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council. Mayor Richard M. Daley dedicated the building in 2002 and it has since become a national model for sustainable design and technology. The Center serves as the most comprehensive green design and educational resource in the Midwest.” Foresight Design Initiative is a great hub for all things, people, and organizations related to sustainability in Chicago. Check out their ‘events’ tab for lots of events, from training to panel discussions to movies on environmental topics. North Park Nature Center, Pulaski and Peterson.

Yelp has some really good descriptive reviews of the Nature Center and its events, such as the Maple Syrup tapping festival, Winter Solstice Party, and more. One example:

“Wonderful little patch of woodland in the city. It's just large enough to support a wealth of life forms, just small enough that you are practically guaranteed to see deer.  :) An excellent place to unwind. My toddler loves to watch the wildlife, poke around in the dirt, and generally enjoy the landscape. Very soothing. 

The special programs they offer are usually a good bet for a good time too, whether you feel like interacting or just hanging back and observing. Being a long time city dweller I sometimes really, really miss sitting by a bonfire, and the nature center regularly offers me a chance to scratch that itch. 

The recycling center is also a wonderful addition to the neighborhood.”

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