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Conservation Corps Programs Recognized with National, Regional Awards

A group from the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps doing restoration work

Conservation Corps was recognized recently with three national and regional awards celebrating this innovative and important program.

Through strong partnerships with Friends of the Forest PreservesHousing Authority of Cook CountyStudent Conservation AssociationGreencorps ChicagoAudubon Great Lakes and Forest Preserve Foundation, Conservation Corps mobilizes youth and adults to help restore public lands. Conservation Corps is an essential program for the Forest Preserves, and aims to reconnect people and nature, diversify the Forest Preserves’ workforce and engage people of all backgrounds in conservation careers.

The Forest Preserves and its partners are honored to receive the following awards:

Innovation in Conservation from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), September 2018

The NRPA Innovation Awards recognize the latest advancements in the field of parks and recreation and showcases the inspiring agencies that have improved and empowered their communities through innovative practices in park design, health and wellness, environmental conservation and social equity.

The Innovation in Conservation Award recognized Conservation Corps as a creative and original set of programs that creates a localized solution to address regional environmental challenges.

Youth Engagement Award from the Chicago Region Trees Initiative (CRTI), January 2019

Friends of the Forest Preserves was recognized at CRTI’s Partner Recognition Celebration with the Urban Forestry Award-Youth Engagement Award for the Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps program. The Urban Forestry Awards recognizes people, public and private organizations, and communities that are leaders in protecting, expanding and enhancing the tree canopy in the Chicago Region.

Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps employs current high school students in conservation service in the Forest Preserves during the summer. Youth work as a team on a variety of projects such as trail building, mulching trees and invasive plant removal.

Resident Service Honorable Mention from the Nan Mckay & Associates Housing Awards, February 2019

Conservation Corps’ Forest Preserve Experience program was recognized with the 2018 Nan Mckay & Associates Resident Service Honorable Mention (Large Agency) award.

Forest Preserve Experience is a summer employment and educational opportunity conducted in partnership with the Friends of the Forest Preserves and the Housing Authority of Cook County with support from the Forest Preserve Foundation. High school participants of the program come from families who use the services of the Housing Authority of Cook County. Youth work to help their community’s environment through river and lake clean-up activities, tree mulching and invasive plant removal efforts in their local forest preserves.