Our stories about our community partnerships — strengthened by your donations — demonstrate how we all can make the forest preserves diverse for the enjoyment of DuPage residents.
Grant Helps Revitalize a Remnant Savanna at West Chicago Prairie
The Friends of the Forest Preserve District received a Community Stewardship Challenge Grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation in the amount of $21,000 to restore 6 acres of habitat at West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve in West Chicago. For every dollar the Friends raised, the ICECF matched the funds 3:1, up to $21,000. The Friends raised $7,000 for the project, obtaining the maximum contribution of $21,000 from ICECF. The foundation contributed an additional $4,000 thanks to the West Chicago Prairie Stewardship Group's volunteers, who logged more than 400 hours before October 2019. The active support of the WCPSG, a nonprofit volunteer organization dedicated to the high-quality site, qualified the restoration for the grant. In total, $32,000 was raised for the revitalization.
Chamberlain Group Contributes to Special Education in DuPage Forest Preserves
Chamberlain Group, Inc. made a $10,000 donation to the Friends to provide additional outdoor recreational experiences and learning opportunities throughout the preserves for those with special needs. CGI also joined the Forest Preserve District to host a Special Needs Adventure Day in October at St. James Farm Forest Preserve in Warrenville. More than 100 individuals learned about native animals to DuPage forest preserves and tried out archery, camping, fishing and kayaking. CGI’s commitment to good corporate citizenship is rooted in efforts to enhance the well-being of children and those with special needs.
L.L.Bean Provides Outdoor Gear for Outsiders
L.L.Bean of Oak Brook gifted $5,000 in outdoor gear to the Friends and Forest Preserve District for use in DuPage forest preserves. The Forest Preserve District offered a variety of archery, camping, fishing and kayaking opportunities using this gear at its special events and recreational program in 2019. L.L.Bean additionally sponsored the Forest Preserve District’s “Discovery Challenge” photo contest, offering a grand prize camping package with a $250 gift card, a camping experience with tent, sleeping bag and backpack at Blackwell Family Campground, and a kayaking experience with a kayak, paddle, life jacket for a guided kayaking tour.
Domtar Stocks Fish at Mallard Lake
Domtar Corporation provided $3,000 in funds to the Friends to support the stocking of 2,250 yellow perch at Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake Forest Preserve in Bloomingdale. The Forest Preserve District stocks select lakes with various species of fish as part of its fisheries-management program each year. Yellow perch are native to DuPage forest preserve lakes and a favorite fish among anglers. Domtar also supported the Forest Preserve District’s Blanding’s turtle species-recovery program and recreational amenities in the forest preserves.
Grant Boosts Birding Habitat at Springbrook Prairie
Thanks to a $2,500 grant from the DuPage Birding Club to the Friends, the Forest Preserve District installed 1,848 plants in the 113-acre wetland southwest of Book Road and 75th Street at Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve in Naperville. Forest Preserve District volunteer site steward Joe Suchecki and volunteers from the DuPage Birding Club put a significant amount of the plugs in place, but before they began, Forest Preserve District contractors removed dense fields of invasive narrow and hybrid cattails to make room. As the new plantings repopulate, they should help keep invasive species in check naturally. The hope is that a sustainable, more biologically diverse community of wetland flowers, rushes and sedges will attract a greater variety of marsh wildlife.
Our Signature Program
Blanding's Turtles Get a Head Start Thanks to Hatchling Adoptions
The Forest Preserve District has led regional efforts to help the state-endangered Blanding’s turtle population for nearly 25 years. Through its head-start program, Blanding’s turtle hatchlings are raised in captivity before they are released to the wild; this gives the young turtles a better chance to survive in the wild.
The Friends’ adoption program is now in its third year. For $100 or more, a donor is provided an opportunity to adopt a Blanding’s turtle hatchling and sponsor its care. Donors receive bi-annual updates about their hatchlings’ growth progress and eventual release at a DuPage forest preserve.
The Friends hosted two exclusive programs about the Blanding’s turtle head-start program for our donors this summer. Ecologist Dan Thompson discussed his field-monitoring efforts and presented an overview about the data he collects for the program. He then provided a behind-the-scenes tour where the eggs are kept and the hatchlings housed and fed at the Urban Stream Research Center.
This year, the Blanding’s turtle adoption program attracted 21 donors. Many donors adopted more than one turtle, and some donors gave more than the minimal adoption requirement to support the program.
When you donate to the Friends of the Forest Preserve District, you invest in your DuPage forest preserves.
Your donations make a difference in the restoration of habitats, conservation of wildlife and making the forest preserves' amenities and programs the best they can be.
Your investments are a vote of confidence in the Friends to serve as good stewards who support the Forest Preserve District's preserves, wildlife, services and amenities.
See What You've Accomplished
The Friends of the Forest Preserve District raised $357,675 in cash and $13,219 in in-kind donations to support DuPage forest preserves, habitat restoration, wildlife conservation, nature-based programs and amenities, and cultural and other projects in 2019.
Expenditures supporting projects, preserves and operations as designated by donors totaled $226,965, and the foundation closed the year with a balance of $661,356.
Thanks in part to the generous gifts from our individual donors and community partners, the Friends of the Forest Preserve District supported:
The treatment of more than 9,000 injured, orphaned and sick native animals admitted to Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Hatching 238 state-endangered Blanding’s turtles in captivity
The restoration of treads on the grand staircase at Mayslake Hall and installation of a new, period-appropriate runner
Funding DuPage science and social-studies teachers’ travel for the “Teacher-Institute Day: Magic School Bus Tour” at Fullersburg Woods Nature Education Center, Kline Creek Farm and Willowbrook Wildlife Center
The purchase of a drone to assist Forest Preserve District police in search-and-rescue efforts in DuPage forest preserves
The Friends accepted a $5,000 grant from the Mary J. Demmon Private Foundation for the routine and emergency veterinary care for the horses at Danada Equestrian Center.
We hosted "A Night for Nature" on September 26 and secured $7,200 in ticket sales. We raised another $10,076 from the silent and live auctions combined.
The Friends raised a total of $20,430 on #GivingTuesday on December 3, more than a 50 percent increase over 2018.
We secured more than $73,000 in gifts with our year-end appeal, a 62 percent increase over 2018.
A Blanding's turtle hatchling emerges from its shell.
DuPage teachers traveled by school bus to attend a teacher-institute day.
A police officer takes a red-tailed hawk to Willowbrook Wildlife Center for treatment.
Mayslake Hall's grand staircase features a period-appropriate runner on its restored treads.
Danada Equestrian Center's horses receive annual exams, vaccinations and other veterinary services.
A drone will prove an invaluable resource for the police department's search-and-rescue operations in DuPage forest preserves.
A "Night for Nature" guest views some of the silent auction items.
Ambassadors Circle Donors
Our sincere thanks are extended to our 366 Ambassadors Circle donors! We are grateful to all contributors for gifts of all sizes that make a difference for our forest preserves. If we have missed your name as part of the Ambassadors Circle, please let us know.
Visionary $3,500 and Above
Estate of Ronald L. Bork Chamberlain Group Adam Cyze Mary J. Demmon Private Foundation Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Louis and Cosette Kosiba L.L. Bean Larry Larson Linda and Phillip Painter Cathy Perkowitz Timberlake Civic Association Marion White Janice and Jack Yong
Benefactor $1,500 to $3,499
Jack Barzilai and Alison Fleming Seth Becker and Helen Nam ComEd Pamela Conrad Domtar Inc DuPage Birding Club Exelon Michael Firman and Marilyn Schweitzer David Ginther Daniel and Barbara Hanrahan William and Ellen Johns Kriacuciunas Family Kenneth McAfee
Steward $500 to $1,499
Patricia Banaszak and BP Foundation Christopher and Mary Baumbach Fred and Kathleen Bauters Brian Beggerow Ms. Leah Bricker Shannon Burns Tom and Ruth Cloonan P.R. Davis Dennis Dean Stephen and Ina Delurgio Davie and Arlene Demotte Vincent and Christine Donatello John and Diane Fiore Willliam and Jess Friewald Phil Gelber Howard Goldstein and Peggy McGrath Daniel Grobe Sachs and Motorola Solutions Foundation Michele Hansen Scott Hardek Paul Herbert and Robert R. McCormick Foundation Nancy Hermann David and Connie Hill Craig J. Holderness George and Janet Kusch Wayland and Marlene Lewen Lombard Junior Women's Club Mary Ann Mahoney Norman Mareci Richard James McCann Foundation Rodney McCulloch Carol McGee Ann McGill Mr Gary and Mrs. Judy Montgomery Mark Moon and Jill Armbruster Fred Moszur and Stephanie Milen Kathleen Murphy Nelson Testing Services, Inc New York Life Elaine Novak-Jans Ms. Carol O'Neal John and Gloria Page Richard Laurence Parish Foundation Donald and Susan Panozzo Pepper Construction Richard and Carol Peters Charles and Noreen Prokuski Rotary Club of Elmhurst Bruce “Zink” and Martha Sanders Henry and Eileen Schmidt Terrence and Donna Simale Joseph and Francine Skala Michael Suppa John Tableriou Diane Telander Annette Thompson and Bank of America Charitable Foundation David and Norma Thompson Danielle Tomczak Laura Torphy Theodore Utchen Ray and Louise Vogt Ray and Laura Volk Peggy Vos and The Boeing Company Randall and Beth Wagner WBK Engineering Tim Whelan Judith Zerial Daniel and Cheryl Zinnen
Guardian $250 to $499
Diane Addante Susan Armitage James and Leslie Bayles Susan Black Megan Dutta Louis and Kathleen Fischer Flock Free Bird Control Marc and Kathleen Hausmann Allan Hins John Hudak Quinton Jensen John and Heidi Labuszewski Wayne Laudenbach Janet Lawrence Kimberly Lewen Francine Manilow Susan Musil Jefferson Reiter and Robert R. McCormick Foundation Dan Rubly Sierra Club River Prairie Group Scott Simkus Mr. and Mrs. Charles Shepard Donald and Chris Shore Edward Warden Hans Weckerle Richard and Liz Whitney Richard and Denise Wold Douglas Zimmer
Friend $100 to $249
Alliance of Fine Art Nancy Allured Mr. Thomas and Mrs. Elizabeth Anderson Jay and Sheryl Appleberry John and Janet Barr II Daniel Basore Bonnie Baum Gerald and Patricia Beeson Cary and Terry Belseth Deborah Bernat Maryann Betz Tim Blackwelder Sara Bogdanove Audra Bonnet Melinda Born Kelvin and Verla Boyle Rodney and Margaret Brandon James and Leona Breede Ms. Martha Bright John Bronec James Brown Holly Brownlie Mr. Craig and Mrs. Sharon Buma Alan and Margaret Busic Anthony and Joyce Carey Dawn Cmiel James Carroll John Casiello Peter Castritsis Karl Castro Carolyn Cates Penny Chanez Suzy Cho Tina Coates Michael and Rita Cody Mary Coleman College of DuPage Environmental Club Jeff Cooke Mr. Phil Culcasi John and Ann Curcio William Dawe E. Richard Dease Carol DeGreve and Union Tank Car Company Mr. John and Mrs. Helen Demsher Nathan and Shay Depies David and Claudia D'Hooge Jeffrey and Leigh Dionne Mark Donnelley and Veta Bonnewell Brenda Dorsey Regina Dreyer Gerald and Carolyn Droszcz Bruce Dudzik Dennis Duszak Denis and Patricia Dywan Mr. Randall Edwards Kristen Ehf Charles and Donna Everett Debbie Falcone Marcella Fanning Birgit Farchmin Sharon Edel Finzer First United Methodist Church of Elmhurst Dave Fisher James and Nancy Foody Franklin Middle School William Franzen Joseph and Sylvia Frattaroli Mr. Glenn Gabanski Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Garcia Mr. William and Mrs. Cynthia Gates Allen and Patricia Gebala Mr. Hugh Glenn Courtney Gosewisch Joanne Goszczycki Vincent and Mary Anne Greco Judith Grey Barbara Gwodz Charles and Elizabeth Hadala Linda Hartigan Denise Hauser Sean Hayden and Jacqueline Harrison Keith and Tracy Hernandez Patricia Higgins Anthony and Loretta Hruska Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Hurd Linda Ignace John and Victoria Igras Mike and Anna Jacobs James and Judith Jambor Jim and Deb Jones Mr. Eric and Mrs. Jeanne Kamrath Patrick Kang Heidi Keitz Mr. Kevin and Mrs. Gina Kelly Donald and Jean Kennerly Agnieszka Kos Kelly and Holly Kost Alfred and Ludmilla Kovalsky Keith Kowalewski Ms. Eileen Kowles Peggy Krihak Walter and Charlotte Krueger Mr. Paul and Mrs. Eileen LeFort Joseph and Judith Lenhardt Alexis Lerch Keith Letsche Kimberly Lewen Joan Lewis Elaine Libovicz Jean Livingston George Logan Deborah Mackay Patricia Maid Roxanne Malcom Mike Maney Dr. Michael Shannon Marvin and Ardythe Tiesenga Ronald Mattson Guy and Sharon Matthew Marjorie McClow Kenneth McClurg and Caterpillar Foundation Rebecca McDade James and Elizabeth McDonald W. Laura McDowell Errol and Helen McIntyre Jeffrey Michel and KPMG Donald and Eva Miller Edward and Maureen Miller Masanori and Mizuho Mishina Mr. Gregory and Mrs. Sharon Moody Belinda Morgan Judith Morgan Marsha Murphy Ron and Teri Murphy William Murray Karen Nargis Linda Neff Janice Neitzel Network for Good Andrew and Linda Nilles Norton Creek Elementary School Earth Savers Club Maryann Orr David and Karen Osborn George and Jo Marie Ostrowski Susan Page Carole Panagakos Mr. Pat Pappas Ben Peterson Kathryn Peterson Michael and Jan Pettersen Richard and Constance Pinto James and Kim Piotrowski Laura Plemich Richard and Donna Pordes Portillo's Hot Dogs LLC Edward and Dorothea Przybycien Jeffrey and Jodi Redick Diane Reed Steven and Patricia Reef Royden and Cynthia Rice Jon and Karyn Romano Brian Rupp and Patricia Rose Rotary Club of Villa Park Chester and Patricia Rozanski Ms. Bonnie Salih Ms. Joyce Salih Sandra Sansone Brennan William and Barb Scanlan Louis and Kristina Scapellato Stephanie Scurtu Judith Scheets Laurel Schmitt Susan Schneider John Schofield Amy Schuett Carl Schultz/Horticultural Consultants Geraldine Sczygiel Gloria Seger Robert and Hannelore Shanahan Geoffrey Shandler and News Corp Giving Mr. Bruce and Mrs. Kari Shatzer David Shaw and Janice Becker Ronald and Judy Skleney David and Faith Slowinski Carla Soria and Soria Family Thomas Staray William Steciak Milan Stolic Conrad and Janet Stoll Francis Strehl Susan Summerbell James Susic, Jr. Mr. Alan Swierkosz and Ms. Karen Russell Joan Swires S. Tarr Alan and Julia Thomas Diane Thornton Inger Tiberi Alzada Tipton John Tokar and Sandra Risvold Lara Trapp Norman and Sandra Trapp Robert Tyler Rena Urso Linda Waggoner Patrick Wallin and Whitney Parker John and Jennifer Walsh Norman and Donna Wandke Noah Warriner Marci Watts Mary Lou Wehrli and Herb Nadelhoffer Wheaton/Warrenvile South High School Kylie White Sandra Whitmer Ellen Wier Ted Wolff Thomas and Shaheen Wolff Marina Yesilevich Abigail Zeeb John and Jill Zmaczynski