Like many other forest preserves and conservation districts, the Forest Preserves of Cook County now has a new partner in the Forest Preserve Foundation. The Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) charitable foundation dedicated to raising funds and in-kind resources to support initiatives in the forest preserves that are new, innovative and not able to be supported through current tax revenues.
The Foundation Board of Directors consists of nine volunteers, who have already raised more than $240,000 from new non-tax sources. For example, the Foundation raised $90,000 from the CSX Corporation for the 2013 and 2014 Citizen Scientists in Action! initiative. This new Forest Preserve program served more than 250 students this summer. Students from 10 to 16 years of age are taught to identify critical plants in their own neighborhoods, and then come to the forest preserves to learn how to apply that knowledge to hands-on conservation. The Foundation hopes to double the number of students served in 2014.
To learn more about the Foundation, visit forestpreservefoundation.org.