A protected shoreline sign stands along the edge of the water at Chicago's Montrose beach.
Montrose Point Natural areas abound at Chicago's Montrose Point. © Emanuel Love


Statement on Expanding Access at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary

TNC applauds the efforts of the Chicago Park District.

The following statement can be attributed in full, or in part, to Michelle Carr, State Director for The Nature Conservancy in Illinois:

Accessible nature is important for our city, and for conservation. At The Nature Conservancy, we work to connect people with nature because we believe in the restorative qualities the outdoors has to our wellbeing, and we celebrate the rich relationships that grow between people from shared experiences like finally spotting that rare bird. These experiences are the foundation of the conservation movement, and are critical to expanding awareness and care for our natural areas. We applaud the Chicago Park District’s efforts to expand that feeling of connection and awe by moving forward with paved, accessible trails at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary. This will allow for people of varying physical abilities and those who use mobility equipment to enjoy this incredible resource without worrying about navigating uneven gravel or mulch.

TNC was among the original collaborators on the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary Master Plan initiative led by our partners at the Chicago Park District. The Park District has thoughtfully created a responsible plan that mitigates habitat impacts, including re-planting which will result in a net increase of plant diversity on site. The project will also help prevent off-trail trampling by more clearly outlining pathways for all users. This is a win for both people and nature.

Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary is a rest stop for hundreds of species of birds and many people have the privilege to witness those species come through the area. This is a privilege that should be inclusive of everyone.

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 76 countries and territories—37 by direct conservation impact and 39 through partners—we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.