Joel Greenberg, author of the definitive A Natural History of the Chicago Region (my lengthy review here) has edited Of Prairie, Woods, & Water: Two Centuries of Chicago Nature Writing, brand-new, gorgeously designed and published by the University of Chicago Press.
I won't even pretend to have read all of his 100 selections, which range from the 1700s to 1960. I can say they include well-known naturalists and writers like Gene Stratton-Porter and Jens Jensen, and unheard-of ones like Colbee Benton. Like Greenberg's own history, this book defines the Chicago region with appropriate generosity, stretching north into Wisconsin, southeast into Indiana, and around the corner into southwest Michigan.
(Greenberg will be on WBEZ-FM 91.5 tonight at 9 pm Central. I'll link to the podcast if one becomes available later.)