The Historical Roots of The Nature Conservancy in the Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland Region: From Science to Preservation

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Stephanie Smith
Steve Mark


The present article highlights the impact that scientists, educators, and activists of the Northwest Indiana/Chicagoland area had on the conservation of land. The habitat and ecosystems of the Indiana Dunes were deemed to be of scientific interest by Henry Cowles, who led an international group of ecologists to visit the area in 1913. This meeting resulted in the formation of the Ecological Society of America, an offshoot of which eventually became The Nature Conservancy. It was only when preservation efforts expanded their focus from scientists attempting to prove that habitats were worthy of preservation to include contributions by people from all walks of life, did conservation take off.

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