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ON TO 2050 Exhibition Opening at Dunn Museum

September 20, 2022 12:22 PM

"The future depends on what we do in the present." —Mahatma Gandhi

"ON TO 2050: The Long-Range Plan for Northeastern Illinois" special exhibition opens Saturday, September 24, at the Bess Bower Dunn Museum, 1899 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville. The exhibit runs through November 13 at the nationally accredited museum, operated by the Lake County Forest Preserves.

ON TO 2050 is a long-range plan designed to help seven counties and 284 communities in northeastern Illinois achieve an inclusive and thriving region. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) in collaboration with partners developed the plan. In formulating the plan, CMAP engaged more than 100,000 residents across Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties.

Topics addressed in the report include community, prosperity, environment, governance and mobility. CMAP and the Dunn Museum collaborated to create this exhibit showcasing the vision of the long-range plan. 

"It's an exciting exhibit and an opportunity to inform visitors that we all share a responsibility to make regional improvements," said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves. "This is a reminder, that we have to all work together to foster change." A variety of programs are also planned around the topic.

A theme around the report is that "we are strongest when we coordinate our efforts regionally." Inclusive growth, resilience and prioritized investment are the overarching principles in the long-range plan and the exhibit. 

"The idea for the exhibition first formed after attending a presentation about CMAP’s plan," said Director of Education Nan Buckardt. "We were determined to help spread the important ideas and information in ON TO 2050 and this exhibition is the result. I’m so proud of how we have made the plan accessible for all."

The exhibit features videos highlighting report topics including transportation, walkable communities, climate change, water management and flooding. Twenty-five exhibit signs cover information found on the pages of the ON TO 2050 plan outlined in a colorful 84-page book available at the Dunn Museum. "The exhibition helps make the long-range plan come to life," said Exhibit Designer Robin Hill. "It also inspires and informs Illinoisans on how we can do better." 

A high-profile project underway at Grant Woods Forest Preserve in Ingleside is featured in the exhibition. Pati Vitt, director of natural resources at the Lake County Forest Preserves, is leading a research project, "Growing Through Change," to determine the best seed sourcing practices for climate resiliency. "We know that by 2050, our climate is predicted to be more like Oklahoma," Vitt said. "We need to better understand whether we should source seeds from further south to make our restoration projects more resilient to climate change." 

The exhibition has resulted in an even stronger partnership with CMAP, said Alex Ty Kovach, executive director of the Lake County Forest Preserves. "This long-term regional plan aligns closely with the District's mission to preserve natural and cultural resources and to develop innovative educational opportunities of regional value," Kovach said.

"As principal guardian of Lake County’s open space and natural areas since 1958, we set the standard in nature and historic preservation, and in outdoor recreation and education," Kovach said. "The guiding elements of our mission remain focused on preservation, restoration, education and recreation. Acknowledged as a regional and national leader, we protect nearly 31,000 acres of natural land and are the second largest Forest Preserve District in Illinois," Kovach said.