I recently started reading The Nature Principle by Richard Louv. The point made is that we humans are moving away from nature, but that nature is extremely important to the quality of our human life. Reading a book like this takes awhile for me. It’s like a course, I can’t read everything at once. I have to let it soak in a bit at a time. I like to consider myself pretty into the outdoors, nature, gardening; yet when I read this book, I can’t help think that more nature would be better.
For the last few weeks (that I have been reading this book), I’ve gone for walks along the Chicago river (which runs right near my house), and I’ve gone to Garfield Park Conservatory. I love both, the wild and the designed. Living in a city can make outdoor nature a little difficult to find, but I suggest trying to get out once a week. Especially in winter, you will feel good.
Suggestions on (close to or in Chicago) Nature Walks:
Chicago River between Irving Park and Montrose (either side)
Lake Front (near Belmont there are several natural areas)
Chicago Botanic Garden
Garfield Park Conservatory
Illinois Beach State Park (Zion, IL)
A nice list of spots here!