Director of Community Engagement, The Illinois Nature Conservancy • Founder, Out In Nature
2022 Speaker

Chicago, Illinois

Forrest Cortes (he/him) holds a B.S. in Wildlife Ecology and Management but often says that his knowledge stems from hitting the trails, putting his hands in the dirt for habitat restoration, and spending time listening to the wisdom found in communities. Forrest’s interest and expertise are in urban ecology, habitat restoration, volunteer program development, partnership building and community engagement.

Forrest has a deep passion for nature in cities and has over 10 years of volunteer and professional experience working with people and nature. He currently works as the Director of Community Engagement for The Nature Conservancy in Illinois, where he leads a team dedicated to fostering the connections between people and nature to improve the health of both.

Additionally, Forrest serves on the Chicago Audubon Society volunteer board, and founded Out In Nature, an affinity group for LGBTQIA+ people to build community and connect with the outdoors.