In 1996, The Commercial Club of Chicago—a membership organization of leading area business and civic leaders—undertook the Metropolis Project, an effort to ensure the preeminence of the Chicago Metropolitan Region in the 21st century.
Metropolis Strategies proudly provided staff support for this effort, involving hundreds of projects and thousands of people, demonstrated that we care about our future and take inspiration from our past.
Forest Preserves Set a New Course
On January 24, Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle formally accepted the Next Century Conservation Plan for the Forest Preserves of Cook County created by a commission of business and civic leaders.
This ambitious plan lays out a set of bold actions to make Cook County a national leader in urban conservation. It highlights the preserves as one of the region’s greatest assets for the environment, the economy, and quality of life, but suggests that its fragile native ecosystems are at risk. The plan calls for the County to make a massive commitment to restoration, expand protected lands by at least 30%, and to make the preserves more accessible to the diverse people of Cook County.
Praising the plan, the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board wrote, “In short, it’s all about reclaiming the legacy of protecting land in a natural state. It’s exactly what the forest preserves have needed for years.”
As she accepted the plan, President Preckwinkle highlighted her commitment to expand the preserves, create a permanent Conservation Corps, and engage more volunteers. On February 18, she will introduce the plan to the Board of Commissioners of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.
The plan was created by a blue-ribbon commission of local leaders appointed by Preckwinkle in 2013 as part of the Forest Preserves’ centennial anniversary celebration. The commission was co-chaired by John McCarter, Wendy Paulson, Arthur R. Velasquez, and Dr. Eric E. Whitaker. Openlands and Metropolis Strategies provided staff leadership and direction for the commission.
The complete Next Century Conservation Plan and more information about the plan’s creation and next steps are available online at
Metropolis CEO, George Ranney Speaks to Rockford Chamber of Commerce
In August 2013, George Ranney was invited by the Rockford Chamber of Commerce to talk about the history of Metropolis Strategies and lessons that business and civic leaders in Rockford might take to strengthen their region. The Chamber graciously taped the talk and provided the video, which you can view by clicking here or on the image below.
Mistakes Kids Make
As a component of its work in the area of Justice and Violence, Metropolis Strategies has worked to reduce the exposure of juveniles to violence and to redirect, youths to services and resources that will make reduce the likelihood of their further involvement in the criminal justice system.
The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has established a campaign called "mistakes kids make" providing resources to kids, families and communities to help them understand the importance of providing alternatives to incarceration for our youth.
Please visit the "mistakes kids make" website at http://mistakeskidsmake.org to learn more (or click the logo below).
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