As our world is faced with increasing environmental degradation, ecological restoration is more important than ever as a tool for implementing conservation strategies at landscape scales. Strikingly, the Chicago area serves as one of the best examples of effective restoration in the United States, thanks to the dedication of multiple agencies and countless volunteers. While famous as one of the nation's great urban metropolises, many are unaware of the hundreds of thousands of acres of open lands that exist within the region, including rare habitat types such as gravel hill prairie, sedge meadow, and dune and swale. Much of Illinois's native grasslands and wetlands have been lost to agriculture and development; however, long-term restoration endeavors have seen remarkable success in Chicago.

In A Healthy Nature Handbook, Chicagolandbased conservationists Justin Pepper and Don Parker offer a restoration guide using proven tactics from some of Chicago Wilderness's longtime stewards. The book...

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