The Nature Foundation of Will County provides financial support for the Forest Preserve District's education, conservation and recreation efforts and strives to enhance their programs and services in the areas of land stewardship, nature education, art and interpretation, and recreation.
Land Stewardship is about a person’s relationship to the land. It’s about what you believe and know is best for our environment. The key to good land stewardship is to ensure that the basic building blocks for healthy ecosystems are taken care of. These basic building blocks are healthy soil, clean water and air, and biological diversity. The Nature Foundation of Will County provides several programs that support land stewardship efforts and also funds critical natural areas restoration projects undertaken by the Forest Preserve District.
Bringing Nature Home Initiative
The Nature Foundation of Will County's "Bringing Nature Home Initiative" asks homeowners to examine what they are doing on their own little patch of Earth to create more natural habitat and encourages every homeowner to use native perennials, trees and shrubs that create opportunities for wildlife to thrive. Each year, the Foundation hosts the Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale with over 100 native plants, trees, and shrubs that support our nesting birds, butterflies, bees, and a host of other wildlife. Shoppers also have an opportunity to talk with native plant experts and organizations to learn more about native plants and nature-friendly conservation practices.
Restore Will County Small Grants Program
Passionate and purposeful in their work, Volunteer Stewards adopt a forest preserve, often within their own community, and collect and distribute seed from native plants, cut brush, and control non-native weeds so that our native plants and animals have a chance to thrive. They work to restore the land and re-establish the natural ecological relationships and keep a close eye on our rare and endangered plants and animals. Each year, Stewards donate thousands of hours taking care of the natural landscapes and plants and animals we all enjoy. The Restore Will County Small Grants help Volunteer Stewards purchase what they need, whether it be plant material, seed, personal protective equipment, herbicide, small tools or supplies to aid in monitoring activities, or organizing a community workday.
The natural world is a giant, open-ended, hands-on laboratory with countless opportunities for exploration, discovery, observation, wonderment, and learning. Our children are the future stewards of this natural world; our legacy. To raise adults who are passionate about protecting the environment and preserving our planet, they must first develop a deep love for it. The Nature Foundation of Will County provides ongoing financial support to the Forest Preserve District for its nature education programs so children can come to appreciate nature and experience hands-on learning that invites discovery while also teaching history, art, math and language arts. These programs offer real, authentic learning like nothing else can.
Art & Interpretation
Art and Interpretation share the same goal and that is to inspire, to provoke thought, and to widen perspectives and understanding so that we may learn and grow. Each year, The Nature Foundation of Will County partners with the Forest Preserve District to provide financial support for Art & Interpretation programs and projects that spark curiosity, explore a variety of natural and cultural history topics, and enrich our understanding of our natural world and cultural history.
The most prominent national recreation trend to emerge in the past 10 years is the shift away from organized sports-oriented recreation to nature-based recreation. Demand for trails, wildlife viewing, and other nature based recreation activities have nearly doubled in the past 20 years. Forest Preserves provide countless opportunities for people to stay physically fit and for families to gather and make memories. The Nature Foundation of Will County works closely with the Forest Preserve District to fund a variety of new preserve amenities such as drinking fountains, bike repair stations, benches and signage designed to meet a specific need or simply make your experience more enjoyable.