Good Nature Grows at McDonald Farm
Good Nature Grows at McDonald Farm

We have conservation and education pretty well covered under our mission at McDonald Farm. We kept the farm fields in traditional corn and beans agriculture until striking up a fortuitous partnership with the Green Earth Institute in 2002. Also a private non-profit, the Green Earth Institute is dedicated to promoting nutritional health and ecological sustainability. They’re a natural partner for The Conservation Foundation, and lease McDonald Farm’s 49 tillable acres to grow healthful organic vegetables for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The Institute holds the Green Earth Fair at McDonald Farm each year in early May, and our two organizations provide joint educational programming on nature and nutrition throughout the year. To learn more about McDonald Farm Education Programs, click here.

For more information about the Green Earth Institute, visit

Lenore’s descendants have told us that she loved to mow, even landing herself and her mower in the pond a time or two. Meaning her no disrespect, we’ve turned much of the Farm’s grassy areas into native gardens, restored wetlands that had been channeled into an underground pipe, installed solar panels, a wind turbine, permeable pavement and two rainwater harvesting systems. We’re working to make McDonald Farm a showcase of conservation in action that will stir others to act as well. Click here to learn more about sustainability at McDonald Farm.

Another partner organization, The Resiliency Institute, also calls the McDonald Farm home. The Resiliency Institute uses permaculture design to create resilient suburban communities and holds many of their educational activities right here on the farm. For more information about The Resiliency Institute, visit

It is beyond inspiring to think of all of the good that has come from one woman’s love of and dream for her land. For the people and wildlife of Naperville, McDonald Farm is an oasis of nature in a sea of subdivisions. There’s a lot of good going on up our quarter mile long lane. Stop in sometime for a self-guided tour and a chat with whatever staff members happen to be around.