Taft Alumni Hall of Fame  TAA Logo

Wayne Schimpff, MS, January 1959

Wayne Schimpff (Jan 59)His days as an Eagle Scout, living near the Chicago River’s North Branch, led Wayne to become a devoted naturalist.

He has worked with the Cook County Forest Preserves, Openlands Project, North Park Village, the Boy Scouts, Chicago Wilderness, the US Commission for UNESCO and the Abraham Lincoln Memorial Garden in Springfield, IL. He was Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ first chief naturalist. A founding board member of Caretakers of the Environment, an international all-volunteer program for high school students and teachers, he has helped numerous organizations begin preservation programs from the Indiana Dunes to the Waukegan harbor area.

Wayne has always striven to teach young people about working with and protecting the environment. He recently retired as a CPS horticulture and biology teacher. At Hubbard High School he conducted the first urban horticulture classes and while at Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center, students did service learning on erosion control and restoration along the North Branch of the Chicago River.