Gerald W. Adelmann joined Openlands in 1980 to coordinate a special program that led to the creation of the Illinois and Michigan Canal National Heritage Corridor, the first federal land designation of its kind. Today there are more than 50 national heritage areas based on this model throughout the United States. In 1988, Jerry was appointed head of Openlands, a regional land conservation organization working in northeastern Illinois and parts of neighboring states.
His leadership in creating the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, in preserving the Openlands Lakeshore Preserve, and many other conservation and preservation accomplishments has earned him numerous honors and conservation awards, including an honorary doctorate from Lewis University. In 2012, the Chicago Botanic Garden awarded him the prestigious Hutchinson Medal. He is an honorary member of the American Association of Landscape Architects. Jerry served as chair of the Center for Humans and Nature’s board of directors from 2008 to 2022. He also chairs the City of Chicago’s Nature and Wildlife Committee and is a member of numerous other boards and commissions. Jerry has been involved in conservation and historic preservation projects in China since the early 1990s and, since 2005, in Myanmar (Burma). He has lectured and advised on projects throughout the United States and abroad.
Contributions to Humans & Nature:
- In Memoriam: Strachan Donnelley (1942-2008)
From Minding Nature’s December 2008, Volume 1, Number 1 issue.
Learn more about the regional conservation work of Openlands.