Thanks to the generous support of our partners, sponsors and donors, the Illinois Conservation Foundation makes a tremendous positive impact on land and conservation efforts across the state of Illinois.


Building Conservation Legacy

Schoolyard Habitat Action Grants
We have awarded 500+ grants to Illinois schools to plant native plants and create a wildlife habitat area on site. Kids are involved in planning, planting and maintaining their wildlife habitat. Examples of habitat areas have included prairie plots, wetlands, bird-nesting boxes, outdoor labs and the always popular butterfly gardens!

Biodiversity Field Trip Grants
Since 2001, the ICF has helped over 110,000 students visit Illinois state parks, natural areas, museums and other natural resources sites by distributing nearly $1.4 million to cover the cost of field trips.

Conservation Achievement Scholarships
Since 2005, the ICF has awarded college scholarships to 80 high school seniors who have demonstrated effective, voluntary, long-term dedication to the preservation, protection, enhancement and/or promotion of Illinois’ natural resources.


Preserving our Outdoor Heritage Below

Preserving our Outdoor Heritage

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Recruitment, Retention and Reactivation (R3) Initiatives   We are proud to continue our financial support of several R3 programs through the IDNR. We support about 40 wingshooting clinics each year, provide funding for new National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) teams, fund prizes for the Scholastic Clay Target Program (SCTP) state tournament, provide funding for two Becoming an Outdoorswoman (BOW) clinics each year, sponsor several disabled hunts through the Disabled Outdoor Opportunities Program, and provide additional funding for Safety Education programs.

Preserving our State Parks

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Restoration of the Eternal Indian Statue
ICF successfully raised over $300,000 to restore the historic Eternal Indian Statue (commonly known as the Black Hawk statue) at Lowden State Park near Oregon, IL. The statue, which is the second largest concrete monolithic statue in the word, was dedicated in 1911 and in need of restoration. The ICF was able to raise the necessary funds to match a grant award received by IDNR to complete the restoration of the statue in 2019.

Equipment Purchases
When there's a need, the ICF tries to supply the means. For example, we purchased equipment and facilities for the Conservation Police Search and Rescue Squad at Starved Rock State Park. We’ve also provided police and all-terrain vehicles and tree-planting machinery.


Restoring Wildlife & Habitat Below

Restoring Wildlife & Habitat

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Lake Michigan Artificial Reef
The ICF was a key financial contributor in building the first artificial reef in Lake Michigan. Planning for the project took more than three years and involved representatives from private industry and local, state and federal governmental agencies. The artificial reef's intended purpose is to enhance fish habitat.

The ICF partnered with DNR and Illinois corporations to raise almost $2 million to produce seedlings, plant millions of trees and supply the necessary equipment for planting.

Land Acquisition
The ICF has assisted the IDNR in purchasing hundreds of acres of land statewide - natural areas that may be threatened by development and lands that can be hunted, hiked and enjoyed by Illinois families.

Torstenson Youth Education and Conservation Center

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Since 2010, over 42,000 kids and adults have visited to our Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center (TYCEC) to unplug and participate in outdoor adventures like field trips, youth hunts, fishing activities and outdoor education workshops. TYCEC is where we live out our motto of “Turning Screen Time Into Green Time.”