When people think of Chicago they think big city, historic architecture, traffic jams, and hot dogs. But there is another side of the city that the locals know well, but outsiders may not be aware of. I am speaking of the parks, gardens, forest preserves and other remnants of nature that still survive in the city. When Chicago was incorporated in 1837, the founding fathers (mothers?) chose the motto “Urbs in Horto” (City in a Garden) and there must have been a reason. Granted, there were probably a lot more gardens and nature back then, but the natural aspects of the city can still be found. A few statistics: 552 parks comprising 7300 acres, 33 sand beaches, 16 lagoons, 10 bird and wildlife sanctuaries, and 20 million visitors to Lincoln Park alone. In these photos I show a small portion of the natural wonders that can be found by any urban explorer (and check out that City Seal with motto).