As the 20th Century came to a close, it was easy for people in Chicago and the surrounding areas to lose their connection to nature. Consider that people spent more time walking on paved surfaces, eating processed foods and living sedentary indoor lives than any other time in human history. Not to mention the exploding urban growth of the city which ground away the natural landscape and local flora and fauna. People were starving for an authentic connection to the natural world. A place in our urban area where they could experience the sights, sounds and smells of nature.
The opening of the Academy's Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in 1999 filled this void. The Nature Museum gave people the opportunity to create an authentic connection to nature and provided a new chance for the Academy to build on its legacy of scientific research and citizen science.
Since the doors opened, the Museum has become one of the city's most attended institutions. It is truly a place where nature and science come alive each day.
Today, the Nature Museum is known for its iconic Judy Istock Butterfly Haven and providing more hands-on science instruction than any museum in Chicago. The Academy continues to excel in all aspects of the museum experience, citizen science initiatives, compelling public programming, its outdoor Nature Trails exhibition and much more.
Join us at the Nature Museum today and make your connection to nature and science!