Midwest Wilderness Connections

Reconnecting people with their natural history

Midwest Wilderness Connections houses a compilation of resources about wilderness areas, wildlife, and plants. Peruse site information, maps, videos, & links by navigating the Natural Areas menu option.

"Look deep, deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better." Albert Einstein

Two hundred years post-settlement, less than 1/10th a percent of Iowa prairies and less than 1/100th a percent of Illinois prairies remain on the landscape today. Furthermore, both states have lost over 90% of their historic, natural wetlands, over two-thirds of their forests, and Iowa has lost over half of its stream miles. The remaining natural areas are tucked away amongst fields and urban areas where they provide a restorative escape to the hustle and bustle of today's human environment. After just a few minutes of direct contact, engaging in outdoor activities can result in mental and physical health benefits that far exceed those achieved in "built" human environments.

My own interest in nature flourished during camping and boating excursions along the Mississippi River with my grandfather, long wildflower hikes with my aunt, weekly trips to explore natural areas with my parents, and the duty of many mentors who fostered my wilderness fascination during nature outings and internships. It is therefore my intent to share these experiences and childhood places of wonder with others, to not only restore our own wellbeing, but also that of the wilderness that sustains us. The preservation, restoration, and expansion of wilderness areas is paramount to their continued existence; please ask yourself how you can assist in this task as you traverse these most amazing places.

Until we cross paths on the back trail of a rediscovered wilderness -

Jennifer Anderson-Cruz