Latest News

Forest Preserve District Superintendent Elected New Chair of Chicago Wilderness

Jun 4, 2012

Arnold Randall, General Superintendent of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, has been elected Chair of the Chicago Wilderness alliance, marking the first time a land-holding agency has held the Chair role. His term officially began on June 1.


“The Forest Preserve District of Cook County is dedicated to protecting nature and enriching life. Like all Chicago Wilderness members, I believe that collaboration amplifies our impact. I am committed to ensuring Chicago Wilderness’ continued success,” said Randall. “Chicago Wilderness epitomizes collaborative conservation at a regional level, as well as on a national scale. In this regional alliance, connectedness matters, not only for healthy habitats, but also for healthy organizations and people.”


As Chair of Chicago Wilderness, Randall will lead an alliance of more than 260 organizations working together to restore the natural areas of the greater metropolitan region and improve the quality of life for all of the region’s residents. The members of Chicago Wilderness include large conservation organizations, cultural and education institutions, faith-based and volunteer groups, municipalities, and local, state and federal agencies.


“We could not be more thrilled that Superintendent Randall is taking on this role,” said Melinda Pruett-Jones, Executive Director of Chicago Wilderness.  “As head of the nation’s oldest and largest forest preserve system, he is in the perfect position to lead our collaborative regional work and continue to build our partnerships with conservation alliances across the nation.”


Chicago Wilderness pioneered a model for how organizations can work together, across complex metropolitan regions, to achieve greater conservation impact than any one organization can by working alone.  Now a national leader in urban conservation, Chicago Wilderness helped create, and chairs, the Metropolitan Greenspaces Alliance (MGA).  The MGA is a national network of urban conservation coalitions working to promote a collaborative approach, sharing knowledge and best practices across major metropolitan areas.  Together MGA members include more than 550 private, nonprofit, and public organizations from seven U.S. metropolitan regions, which together are home to more than 30 million people.


The Chicago Wilderness region spans parts of four states and is home to more than 10 million people, as well as thousands of native plant and animal species, many threatened or endangered.  Members of Chicago Wilderness work to conserve and protect these species and the lands and waters on which we all depend.  For more information, visit

Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County