Map: Mark Bouman

…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

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 an area rich in natural and cultural diversity. Through environmental education, ecological restoration projects, and partnerships with community organizations, ECCo is helping to revitalize Calumet’s many natural areas and to bring about a sustainable future for the region.

Current Projects

The Calumet Environmental Education Program translates science into action for 4th through 12th grade students and educators in the Calumet region. Through CEEP, 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.

Working in partnership with the Calumet Stewardship Initiative, we engage community members and schools in the environmental revitalization of the Calumet region. 

Ecological restoration is an important component of our community-based conservation efforts in Calumet. ECCo 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. 

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.

The Calumet Stewardship Initiative (CSI) is a coalition of more than 40 large and small civic, cultural and environmental organizations serving the Calumet Region of Northwest Indiana and Northeastern Illinois. CSI members envision a Calumet region marked by healthy natural areas, vibrant communities and cultures, and a strong economy.

CSI began in 2001 when a small group of government organizations, non-profit organizations, and community members formed a partnership to advance their common vision for Calumet. The Field Museum’s Division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo) has played an integral leadership role in the development and leadership of CSI since its inception.

ECCo works with CSI partners to protect and manage healthy natural areas in the Calumet Region, engage children and adults in environmental education, and encourage smart, sustainable economic growth in the region. In addition, ECCo supports the growth and success of CSI with the commitment of staff who participate in the steering and various working committees.

For a link to current CSI events, please click here.