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Oak Ecosystem Recovery Project


The goal of the Oak Ecosytems Recovery Project is to implement the recommendations of the Oak Ecosystems Recovery Plan, developed by Chicago Wilderness, by working collaboratively with partners across the region.

Check out the projects below to see how we're achieving this goal!







Initiatives working toward implementation of the plan include the following:

OAKtober- Oak Awareness Month.  Our oaks, and trees in general, improve our well-being and support a sense of community, but they need our help! Every individual, organization, community, park district, forest preserve, and public or private landowner or manager can play an important role in celebrating oaks and oak ecosystems across Illinois throughout the month of October— OAKtober!


Best Management Practices: Oak Ecosystem Restoration, Regeneration, and Maintenance. This guide has been developed to assist you, the private landowner, to preserve and manage native oak woodlands, conserve wildlife habitat, and protect nature and the different plants and animals which are unique to oak ecosystems. This guide will hopefully inspire you to protect and plant more oak trees on your property or within your community.


Oak Connectivity Map. An interactive map that highlights core areas and buffer spaces to be preserved and corridors that can connect them with some thoughtful planting and management. Does your property lie in one of these priority areas?


Oaks Need Our Help brochure. A brochure that shares how homeowners, landowners, and individuals can create a better future for oak trees.


Oaks Need Our Help powerpoint. An editable PowerPoint presentation that shares what challenges are being face by oak ecosystems and what can be done to help. PDF version


Witness Trees of Illinois. Find trees that helped map Illinois! We’re looking for a special kind of witness tree: the historic trees that helped map the state of Illinois. We're asking residents to visit the sites of bearing trees and record information about remaining witness trees left in Illinois, using an interactive map.


Forest and Natural Area Stewardship during Covid-19 webinar. Land managers from across the U.S. present on how they are handling expanded public interest and consequences due to Covid-19.