Be inspired. Be bold. Be together.
Join the call for change. The 38th Annual Smith Nature Symposium explores climate justice and healing through the power of community. Learn from artists, scientists, leaders, and activists during this series of programs, exhibitions, and concerts running through October. Help our community emerge from the pandemic with collective strength, empathy, and renewed passion for the people and nature we love.
Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods hosts the 37th annual Smith Nature Symposium in memory of the significant civic legacy of Hermon Dunlap and Ellen Thorne Smith, who donated their land and cabin to help form Ryerson Woods. Hermon "Dutch" Smith was chair and CEO of Marsh & McLennan, and led The Chicago Community Trust, Newberry Library, and many other Chicago Institutions. Ellen was a philanthropic leader and champion of nature with organizations such as The Field Museum and Chicago Zoological Society. She authored the book Chicagoland Birds: Where and When to Find Them. Proceeds from the Smith Nature Symposium support Brushwood Center’s COVID-19 response and our work to advance equitable access to healing, learning, and empowerment through nature and the arts.