The Endangered Species Print Project was an exhibitor at the Wild Things 2011 conference in Chicago. The conference, held at the University of Illinois, Chicago on a snowy, March day, was organized by Audubon Chicago & The Habitat Project.
We sold ESPP prints and buttons at our lovely booth and raised funds for critically endangered species. Wild Things also helped us to reach a new and awesome audience and spread the good word about ESPP, our artists, and conservationists.
To top it off we met some really cool species. Mostly they were human, but a Red-tailed hawk and a Peregrine - Saker hybrid also stopped by to visit. We could not resist the chance to hang tough with such skilled predators.
Along with birds, we met bird people, including a knowledgeable young man representing the Chicago Ornithological Society who restored our hope in the youth of today.
A few falconers accompanied the aforementioned raptors and they had many interesting and wild stories to tell. We learned about the International Heritage Conservancy who work to conserve birds of prey along with the cultural heritage of falconry.
We also learned of a great undertaking by some very nice people to declare a few tracks of regional land as the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge. We're crossing our talons that it works out. You can help by signing their petition here.
And our new friend Jason from the Chicago Park District was there - they are always looking for volunteers, you know, to help manage their wild spaces and parks. If you live in Chicago and want to spend some quality time outdoors here is an idea.
As you can see, loads of great people and projects were represented at the conference which focused on empowering citizen scientists, stewards and advocates with information, networking and good ideas.The keynote speaker was Curt Meine, conservation biologist and writer based in Prairie du Sac, Wisconsin. He discussed the powerful role of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold in the birth and evolution of ecosystem conservation.