Calumet

Located at the Southern tip of Lake Michigan, the Calumet region was once home to some of the largest steel producers in the world. Today, the Calumet region is rich in natural and cultural diversity. Through environmental education, ecological restoration projects, and partnerships with community organizations, the Science Action Center is helping to revitalize Calumet’s many natural areas and to bring about a sustainable future for the region.

Current Projects

Calumet National Heritage Area: anchored on the west by the proposed Pullman National Historic Park and on the east by the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the Calumet region tells a nationally significant story of the encounter between people, nature, and industry in an urban context. A Calumet National Heritage Area – a landscape designation that combines national “branding” with local control and support – would link these two areas in one of the nation’s signature living landscapes. The Field Museum is taking the lead in laying the foundation for a Calumet National Heritage Area to link its century-long history of exploration and collection in the region to new ways of explaining cultural heritage and biodiversity in order to promote a sustainable future. 

Calumet Stewardship Initiative: a coalition of more than 40 large and small civic, cultural and environmental organizations serving the Calumet Region, that protects and manages healthy natural areas, engages children and adults in environmental education, and encourages smart, sustainable economic growth in the region.

Ecological restoration: an important component of our community-based conservation efforts in Calumet. the Science Action Center and our Calumet partners offer educational workshops and monthly volunteer restoration “workdays” at natural areas throughout the region. To get involved, vist our Volunteer Stewardship Page. 

Youth Conservation Action (YCA) Program: translates science into action for 4th through 12th grade students and educators in the Calumet region. Through YCA, students participate in hands-on exploration of Calumet’s natural areas and develop tools to help protect the region’s environment today and in the future.

Important Past Projects

Rapid biological inventories are a foundation of our approach to conservation. The 2002 Calumet BioBlitz yielded over 2,200 species in just 24 hours.

In 2001, the Museum’s Center for Cultural Understanding and Change conducted ethnographic research in communities in the Calumet region. Check out Journey Through Calumet to learn about the social assets of the Calumet region.

…there is nowhere in Chicago Wilderness where there is greater opportunity [than Calumet] to deeply engage people with nature in ways that are sustainable over the long term.

Sir Peter Crane