New Group Sends Out Friend Request for Illinois’ Underappreciated Nature Preserves

Somme PrairieMiddlefork Savanna and Langham Island might not have the name recognition of Yellowstone, Yosemite or the Grand Canyon, but if a new nonprofit organization has its way, these Illinois Nature Preserves, and indeed the entirety of the state’s preserve system, will someday enjoy the same level of appreciation as their better known national park counterparts.

Founded in 2020 by a group of volunteers, Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves has assigned itself the tall order of increasing the profile of and support for the state’s more than 600 preserves and reserves — totaling more than 100,000 acres — be it through work days, fundraising or education.

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