9 Environmental Organizations in Chicago, Illinois

In Chicago, there have been actions by private and public organizations that have taken steps to protect the environment by conserving natural resources and taking active steps to stop big corporations that have been polluters of the environment.

9 Environmental Organizations in Chicago, Illinois

Here are 9 environmental organizations in Chicago, Illinois.

  • Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
  • Environmental Law & Policy Center
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Openlands
  • Illinois Green Alliance
  • Faith in Place Action Fund
  • Lincoln Park Conservancy
  • People for Community Recovery
  • Friends of the Forest Preserves

1. Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Parents of students attending public schools who realized that their kids might have been exposed to harmful particles when the Joseph E. Gary Elementary school was undergoing renovations founded LVEJO in 1994.

These parents focused on further environmental justice issues in Little Village after getting the school administration to alter their plans.

The goal of LVEJO is to unite our neighborhood in achieving environmental justice in Little Village and working-class, low-income households’ right to self-determination.

Our goal is to create a sustainable community, deliver economic fairness, engage in participatory democracy, and value self-determination and healthy family development.

The foundation of LVEJO’s philosophy of social transformation is the idea that low-income and people of color who understand the roots of their oppression have the power and agency to alter society.

Three guiding principles serve as the foundation for the grassroots organizing strategy of LVEJO:

  1. Leadership that crosses generations and upholds communal self-determination
  2. It makes the supposition that those who are directly impacted already know how to deal with their issues
  3. It builds on the community’s already-existing assets and resources for social change.

2. Environmental Law & Policy Center

Environmental Law & Policy Center

The foremost environmental legal advocacy group in the Midwest is the Environmental Law & Policy Center. They propel radical policy shifts that influence the whole country.

They demonstrate how implementing sustainability ideas can advance the environment and the economy.

By developing clean renewable energy alternatives to traditional power plants and sustainable transportation options, they effectively offer climate solutions.

They fight for everyone’s access to healthy, clean air and safe, pure water by defending the Great Lakes and the region’s wild and natural areas.

They combine strategic policy advocacy, strong science, and economic analysis with successful public interest lawsuits.

In courtrooms, boardrooms, and legislative hearing rooms throughout the crucial Midwest states and Washington, D.C., ELPC creates positive outcomes for the environment.

Staff members at ELPC do extensive economic, scientific, and policy studies. With efficient and targeted public interest litigation, we achieve results and bring about significant change in our daily lives.

The water and air you breathe, as well as the land we all call home, are all protected by the job we do.

3. The Nature Conservancy

The Nature Conservancy

A worldwide environmental nonprofit organization called The Nature Conservancy is trying to build a world where both people and nature can prosper.

The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which was established in the United States in 1951 via grassroots activism, has developed into one of the most powerful and extensive environmental organizations in the world.

They have an impact on conservation in 76 countries and territories, 37 via direct conservation impact and 39 through partners, thanks to their more than a million members, diversified personnel, and more than 400 scientists.

Their goal is to protect the lands and streams that support all life. Their goal is to contribute to the creation of a world where people act to preserve nature for both its own sake and for its capacity to meet our needs and improve our quality of life.

Leading researchers, devoted individuals, and committed leaders came together with a common vision to safeguard and preserve nature to form The Nature Conservancy.

Today, their diverse employees, partners, and members have an impact on conservation in more than 70 nations and territories as they tackle the most difficult environmental concerns of our lives.

The actions they take between now and 2030 will determine whether we can prevent the worst effects of climate change, cut down on the loss of species, and protect people.

4. Openlands


Openlands connect people to nature where they live

Northeastern Illinois and the surrounding area’s natural and open spaces are protected by Openlands to assure cleaner air and water, safeguard wildlife habitats, and contribute to the harmony and enrichment of daily life.

Openlands is one of the oldest urban conservation groups in the US and the only one with a regional focus. It was established in 1963 as a project of the Welfare Council of Metropolitan Chicago.

More than 55,000 acres of land used for public parks, forest preserves, wildlife refuges, land and water greenway corridors, urban farms, and community gardens have been protected because of Openlands.

A landscape with a wide network of land and water pathways, tree-lined avenues, and private-public gardens within easy reach of every city dweller is what Openlands envisions for the area.

Additionally, it consists of parks and preserves that are sizable enough to function as natural habitats and to give visitors a feeling of the vast prairies, forests, and wetlands that existed in this area before the emergence of the cities.

In conclusion, Openlands thinks that conserving open space is essential for improving our community’s standard of living.

5. Illinois Green Alliance

Illinois Green Alliance

The mission of the member-driven nonprofit Illinois Green Alliance is to advance communities and structures that provide people with greener, brighter, healthier places to live, work, and study.

With the help of volunteers and individual members, they support a thriving and expanding green building community through programming, advocacy, and education.

To tackle climate change in Illinois, they believe that net zero buildings need to be made viable, inexpensive, and widespread to the point that by 2050 every structure in the state is net zero.

Green building proponents established Illinois Green Alliance in 2002 as the Chicago Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). In 2006, they hired their first Executive Director.

They became USGBC-Illinois in 2009 after merging with the USGBC – Central Illinois Chapter, and they changed their name to Illinois Green Alliance in 2017. They are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a member-driven mission that serves the state of Illinois.

6. Faith in Place Action Fund

Faith in Place Action Fund

The Faith in Place Action Fund creates and promotes laws, rules, and government initiatives to protect the environment.

Although it is linked with Faith in Place, the Faith in Place Action Fund is a distinct 501(c)(4) not-for-profit social welfare organization that encourages Illinois residents of many faiths to take action on matters that have an impact on our neighbors’ and future generations’ well-being.

They enable citizens, clergy, and elected officials to positively impact energy and climate change, sustainable food and land use, and water conservation through political advocacy, legislative education, and grassroots lobbying.

Leading the environmental movement to develop wholesome, equitable, and sustainable communities for all are people of various faiths and spiritualities.

Educate, connect, and advocate for healthy communities by giving people of many religions and spiritualities the tools they need to advance environmental and racial justice.

Along with those who identify as spiritual or socially conscious but do not belong to any particular religious tradition, Faith in Place collaborates with communities of faith from a variety of religious traditions.

Their partners and Green Teams (groups of three or more people from a spiritual community or area) come from a variety of religious traditions, including Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Ancestral & Tribal Traditions, Baha’i, Conservative, Reform, and Orthodox Christian churches, as well as Conservative, Reform, and Reconstructionist denominations of Judaism and Muslim mosques. Here you can locate a local Green Team.

7. Lincoln Park Conservancy

Lincoln Park Conservancy

The Lincoln Park Conservancy has been involved in historic preservation, ecological restoration, and park programming since its foundation in 1984.

They were the first park conservancy in the City of Chicago as well as the first public-private cooperation in the Chicago Park District.

They work under a formal arrangement with the Park District to improve Lincoln Park and repair donor-restored park sites as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation.

Working with 1,214 acres of Chicago’s busiest parkland means Lincoln Park will always require help. They have a variety of privately sponsored projects, ranging in size from weed-filled gardens to dilapidated playgrounds and disintegrating running lanes.

They pledge to the long-term care of restored park sites and protect the monetary and emotional inputs of contributors to bridge the gap between government budget cuts and the needs of the people’s park.

One project at a time, they are effectively improving the park via their diligent and skilled work.

Every day, their team is in the park taking care of park facilities, caring for native flora, educating the public, and overseeing volunteer initiatives. In addition, they provide programs, excursions, and activities that allow individuals to volunteer in the park.

They changed their name in 2003 from Friends of Lincoln Park to reflect their expanded involvement in the long-term upkeep and programming of their donor-restored park assets.

8. People for Community Recovery

People for Community Recovery

Residents of public housing and EJ neighborhoods are given priority by PCR when choosing staff, board members, and members. Community leadership development, open decision-making, and community-led campaigns are essential components of their community-led grassroots strategy.

The goal of Those for Community Recovery is to improve the standard of living for people who reside in areas where environmental contamination is a problem.

They promote, inform, and organize around issues that the community has recognized as important, such as economic injustice, community health, safe and affordable housing, and environmental and climate justice.

Hazel Johnson, a resident of Altgeld Gardens, founded People for Community Recovery in 1979 to address environmental and tenant rights concerns in her neighborhood. She quickly discovered that the highest cancer rates in the region were in Altgeld and the neighboring city of Calumet.

When cancer claimed her spouse, and several of her neighbors, After making this finding, Hazel set out on a quest to learn more about the several hazardous industrial and waste sites in her neighborhood and to perform her community health research.

She would gain knowledge of the profound relationships between environmental issues, racism, class, and gender, as well as the relationship between environmental pollution and human health.

9. Friends of the Forest Preserves

Friends of the Forest Preserves

Friends of the Forest Preserves brings people together to safeguard, advertise, and maintain Cook County’s forest preserves.

They are raising $72,000 with public assistance to pay for crucial restoration work at Kloempken Prairie and the Spring Creek Forest Preserves.

Thanks to a wonderful donation from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, the first $14,000 that was raised was TRIPLE MATCHED. They now require assistance in crossing the finish line! See how they are establishing jobs in conservation and promoting the health of nature by watching their film.

As the only independent nonprofit organization in Cook County, Illinois, entirely dedicated to the forest preserves, they seek to protect and enhance the 70,000 acres of forest preserves for all of us and future generations.

The Friends community, which was first established in 1998 by a small number of concerned residents, is now a force of thousands united in their efforts to conserve the land, water, and life in the forest preserves.

The Friends community is contributing to the global movement for change locally by working locally. Read more about what they do.


As we have seen above, these environmental organizations have something they exist for and that purpose is what propels them. Environmental restoration should drive us also.

We can get involved in environmental restoration, in doing so, we might need to join one of these organizations worldwide or do the restoration ourselves.


Editor at EnvironmentGo! | providenceamaechi0@gmail.com | + posts

A passion-driven environmentalist by heart. Lead content writer at EnvironmentGo.
I strive to educate the public about the environment and its problems.
It has always been about nature, we ought to protect not destroy.

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