We save land.

We save rivers.

The support of more than 5,000 members and 500 volunteers helps us carry out our mission to improve the health of our communities by preserving and restoring open space and natural lands, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of our environment in northeastern Illinois. We focus our work in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, and Will Counties where we have helped preserve more than 35,000 acres of open space, and we also go where we are needed in LaSalle, DeKalb, and Grundy Counties.

The support of more than 5,000 members and 500 volunteers helps us carry out our mission to improve the health of our communities by preserving and restoring open space and natural lands, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of our environment in northeastern Illinois. We focus our work in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties where we have helped preserve more than 35,000 acres of open space, and we also go where we are needed in LaSalle, DeKalb and Grundy Counties.

About Us

Simply put, we save land and we save rivers, and we’ve been at it for more than 50 years. Founded in 1972, The Conservation Foundation is one of the region’s oldest and largest not-for-profit land and watershed conservation organizations dedicated to preserving and restoring open space, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of the environment in northeastern Illinois.

We believe…
every person, regardless of where they live or their social-economic status, deserves clean water, clean air, healthy food, and safe access to nature as a way to be healthy and happy.

Events

The “In-between”: Planting and Caring for Understory Trees & Shrubs

February 20, 2024

The “In-between”: Planting and Caring for Understory Trees & Shrubs

Join us on Thursday, February 29th at The Morton Arboretum for The “In-between”: Planting and Caring for Understory Trees & Shrubs!

A River Flows Through It

February 21, 2024

A River Flows Through It

Join us monthly for our free Fox River Program Series to hear from local experts on wildlife, the legacy of the river, and more.

Beyond the Basics 2024

February 22, 2024

Beyond the Basics 2024

Beyond the Basics 2024
Stormwater Management
 

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024
8:30am – 12:00pm

 

In an age of climate change, urbanization, increasingly frequent and intense storms, and prolonged drought, how can we plan and design stormwater best management practices for the future? In partnership with DuPage County Stormwater Management, The Conservation Foundation is hosting our free virtual Beyond the Basics: Stormwater Management Conference to elevate the standard of professional stormwater practice in DuPage County and the surrounding region. Knowledgeable speakers will address the latest advancements in infrastructure design innovation, policy development, flood resilience, and adaptive management of natural areas. Attendees will learn about new ideas and approaches, and get motivated to take their work in the stormwater management arena to the next level.
3 PDH credits available.

 

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Agenda

 
Welcome Remarks
Speakers:
Brook McDonald, President at The Conservation Foundation
Jim Zay, Chairman, Stormwater Management Committee at DuPage County

 
Low Salt Design: Why are we designing for the 4th of July instead of the 4th of January?
Speaker:
Connie Fortin, Low Salt Strategist at Bolton & Menk

Connie Fortin is an expert in chloride awareness and chloride reduction strategies. Recently she has joined Bolton & Menk, a civil engineering firm to understand the chloride problem and to better integrate winter into their design considerations.

Winter Maintenance Professionals often report that their salt reduction initiatives are hampered by the fact that much of the infrastructure they maintain has not been designed for the challenges of winter weather. Making the shift to Low Salt Design means creating a built environment which is conducive to winter management, preventing the problem instead of having to fix it after it occurs. In this short talk, we will give you a glimpse of our Low Salt Design initiative and introduce a few of our 10 concepts that can improve infrastructures winter performance.

 
Coal Tar Sealant – To ban or not to ban?
Speaker:
David Romero, Civil Engineer and Kristine Hocking, Senior Civil Engineer at City of Warrenville

David Romero, P.E. is a Civil Engineer with the City of Warrenville. His five years of experience working in the Community Development Department has comprised of a mix of PUD reviews, building permit reviews, inspections, and as a staff liaison for the Environmental Advisory Commission. Prior to his time as a municipal engineer, David worked on the private consulting side as a construction engineer and land surveyor. He graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Civil Engineering.

Kristine Hocking, P.E., CFM is a Senior Civil Engineer for the City of Warrenville, where she coordinates the engineering and stormwater review of private developments and public infrastructure projects and serves at the stormwater administrator for the City. She has over 20 years of experience in the private and public sector which included a variety of projects including site development, stormwater and floodplain modeling, water and wastewater design, stream restoration, and construction inspection. Kristine earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Civil Engineering from Northwestern University.

For municipal staff, often the path to providing a more sustainable, safer environment for their residents isn’t straight forward. It’s usually a complex journey that involves sifting through a myriad of “greener” options and weighing their benefits against available budgets, staff work-loads, resident’s desires and needs, economic effects, and practicality. But what if rolling out a new ordinance to protect your City’s environment was simpler? Join Warrenville staff as they share their experience implementing a coal tar ban ordinance and pavement sealant license for private contractors.

 
Resources for Equitable Flood Resilience
Speakers:
Kate Evasic, Senior Planner and Alexis McAdams, Analyst at Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning and Lee Hauser, Project Engineer at Geosyntec

Kate Evasic is a Senior Planner at the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning. In her role, she works to integrate resilience and equity into decisions about transportation and land use to help communities mitigate flooding, improve water quality, and become more resilient in the face of climate change. Kate plays a key role in CMAP’s climate resilience and mitigation work.

Alexis McAdams is a Research Analyst with CMAP where she is leading the development of a Heat Vulnerability Index and is a recent addition to CMAP’s Flood Susceptibility Index team. She is particularly interested in geospatial data analysis, digital mapmaking, and connecting local communities to the data and policies that impact their lives.

Lee Hauser is a Water Resources Engineer with over eight years of experience providing stormwater management analysis and flood risk assessments across the Midwest and extensive experience working to address urban flooding in the Chicagoland area. He integrates detailed H&H modeling with stormwater planning, flood relief, and engineering design projects to help municipal agencies and site owners combat increased flooding with more intense rainfall events. Additionally, he is adept at using stormwater modeling tools (SWMM, HEC-HMS, and HEC-RAS), GIS, and AutoCAD to provide conceptual figures and engineering plan sets for urban gray and green infrastructure stormwater solutions.

Climate change in northeastern Illinois is causing more frequent and intense storms that lead to devastating flooding. Unfortunately, communities with a history of disinvestment often face greater impacts, greater risks, and longer recovery. This presentation features data and guidance with the goal of strengthening the flood resilience of northeastern Illinois.

 
Champaign's 20-year Stormwater Journey: Copper Slough Watershed Master Plan to Garden Hills and Beyond
Speaker:
Chris Gutkowski, PE, CFM; Project Manager at Clark Dietz, Inc.

Chris Gutkowski, P.E., CFM, is a Water Resource Engineer and Project Manager at Clark Dietz, Inc. in Oak-brook Terrace, IL. Mr. Gutkowski has 18 years of experience in watershed master planning, local stormwater management studies, floodplain/floodway remapping projects, stormwater detention facility design, surface and subsurface stormwater conveyance design, levee and streambank restoration projects, DOT bridge and local drainage design, site plan review and hydrologic/hydraulic modeling. He served on the ASCE Central Illinois Section board in various capacities for 8 years, including two terms as president. Mr. Gutkowski has also led the Engineers in the Classroom Program and ASCE local branch in the Champaign-Urbana area. Chris holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Environmental Engineering and Masters of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The City of Champaign's Stormwater Management Program has evolved over time. Beginning as a more reactive program, it is now responsible for several award-winning projects that focus not only on the stormwater issues, but incorporates economic, social, and environmental benefits to the community.

 
Adaptive Planting and Management: Gray Willows Wetland Mitigation Bank
Speaker:
Tom Slowinski, PWS, Technical Director, Wetlands & Ecology at V3 Companies

Tom Slowinski is V3 Companies Technical Director, Wetlands & Ecology. Tom is a Certified Professional Wetland Scientist, with 45 years of wetland, ecological restoration and environmental impact assessment experience. He provides technical wetland and ecological restoration guidance and oversight to a multi-disciplinary staff of botanists, soil scientists, biologists, ecologists, and engineers.

As a result of the thorough pre-seeding site preparation and adaptive planting and management, establishment of desirable, high quality native plants rapidly occurred. Within two growing seasons most of the five-year performance standards were achieved and natural area quality wetland plant communities were established.

 

Thanks to our sponsor:

DuPage County Stormwater Management logo

O’Hara Woods Nature Preserve Workday

February 24, 2024

O’Hara Woods Nature Preserve Workday

Join The Conservation Foundation for our O’Hara Woods Nature Preserve Workday in Romeoville on Saturday, February 24th.

Special Estate Planning Seminar

February 28, 2024

Special Estate Planning Seminar

Join our Special Estate Planning Seminar on Wednesday, February 28th to learn about your estate planning options!

The Fox River: Our Hidden Gem

February 28, 2024

The Fox River: Our Hidden Gem

Sign up today for The Fox River: Our Hidden Gem series at Yorkville Public Library on Wednesday, February 28th!

Conservation on Tap

March 5, 2024

Conservation on Tap

Conservation on Tap, hosted by The Conservation Foundation's Next Gen Council, is at Bubblehouse Brewing Company on Tuesday, March 5th!

Dayton Bluffs Preserve Workday

March 9, 2024

Dayton Bluffs Preserve Workday

Join The Conservation Foundation and the City of Ottawa for our Dayton Bluffs Preserve Workday in Ottawa on Saturday, March 9th.

A River Flows Through It

March 20, 2024

A River Flows Through It

Join us monthly for our free Fox River Program Series to hear from local experts on wildlife, the legacy of the river, and more.

O’Hara Woods Nature Preserve Workday

March 23, 2024

O’Hara Woods Nature Preserve Workday

Join The Conservation Foundation for our O’Hara Woods Nature Preserve Workday in Romeoville on Saturday, March 23rd.

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The Conservation Foundation’s Green Earth Harvest certified organic farm program is devoted to healthy soil, healthy vegetables, healthy people, and healthy communities. We create a place where local farmers and eaters who value responsibly grown, delicious food come together to do their part to support local farming, connect with the land, and delight in exploring the seasonal, certified organic harvest. Learn more about our  farmshare program, summer farm stands and our farm to pantry programs by clicking below.

latest news & Articles

Rain Barrels & Composters

There are many small steps we can all take to make a difference in our communities. Making changes in the way we use water and manage our households means cleaner water and healthier streams. Simple, efficient, and low-cost methods include rain barrels and composters.

Conservation Stories

Shop the Rookery

Show your love for nature and our mission to preserve and restore it by purchasing these quality products for yourself or to give as gifts with purpose. A portion of your purchase will directly support our work to preserve and restore open space and natural lands, protect rivers and watersheds and promote stewardship of the environment.

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