About Us

The Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves support biodiversity conservation in our Nature Preserves state-wide. Our core mission is to ensure that these sites maintain their rare and unique plants, animals, and natural communities into the distant future. To do this, we connect the caring public with treasured nature, help find new resources, and train and empower expert and dedicated volunteer stewards. Over 600 ecologically important sites totaling over 110,000 acres have been protected as Illinois Nature Preserves and Land and Water Reserves, and we promote the best for them all!


To support the Illinois Nature Preserves System by advocating for and finding increased support, resources, funding, and staff for the system and assisting local volunteer communities as they help restore and care for their Illinois biodiversity reserves.


When people are connected to their Nature Preserves, this leads to more resilient support for the conservation of the state’s Nature Preserves.

Annual Report & Strategic Plan

In a year like no other, Friends made some monumental strides towards support the Illinois Nature Preserves System. In our short history, Friends have already seen success in assembling volunteer steward communities at seven preserves in six counties, raising funds for individual preserves, and building partnerships with preserve owners.

Read our 2021 Annual Report

Additionally, we are thrilled to share our new Strategic Plan for our organization. This vision offers us a roadmap to guide our nimble organization as we work to address the needs of nature preserves in our state.

Read our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan

A Kankakee Mallow. Photograph by Mark Kluge


Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves is a community of staff, volunteers, and advisors working to support networks of volunteer steward communities across the state