A Word From Our President/CEO

“Community” is a powerful word. 

Community members help each other, have each other’s backs, and help strengthen our lives through cooperation and love. We use this word a lot around here to emphasize the important conservation work we do and how it positively impacts the broader communities in which
we live.
Community can also be scaled to an organization. Our organizational community includes our staff and volunteers, board members, our donors and members, and partners. We cannot do anything without the strength of this community. 
The health and safety of both communities is our priority. We, like every other organization, have taken steps to secure the health and safety of everyone in our communities during the COVID-19 crisis, and I wanted to take a moment to share some of the adaptations we have made:
  • Our staff are working from home for the foreseeable future. Our scheduled Board and Staff Meetings are being held by conference call and video chat.
  • All of our scheduled events for April have been cancelled, and we are coming up with contingency plans for our May 9 plant sale and May 16 DuPage River Sweep in case they are necessary.  Our Native Tree & Shrub Sale preorders are still being accepted through May 1st with a pickup date of May 9th at McDonald Farm.  Click here for ordering information!
  • We will be holding portions of our cancelled Earth Day Benefit Dinner virtually, as it is our most vital fundraiser of the year.  We will definitely be doing some fun and inspiring things to celebrate this 50th anniversary of Earth Day, even though we cannot gather as planned.   We are still looking for sponsors and Silent Auction items.    Look for more details soon!
  • Our Dayton Bluffs Preserve in Ottawa remains open!  We feel it is more important now than ever for people to have access to open space, where there is plenty of elbow room and they can safely experience the world outside of their homes.   Spending time in nature is essential for our mental and physical health – we need to bring our strongest selves to this worldwide fight!  
  • Our McDonald Farm headquarters in Naperville is a working farm, and considered an essential business since our Green Earth Harvest farm crew is busy growing healthy, organic vegetables for the community!  The crew is practicing proper distancing and frequently sanitizing shared surfaces and tools.  
  • Our Farm Share pickups are scheduled to begin May 19th, and even if things have not returned to normal by then, pickups will go on.  We are making plans for any modifications to the pickup process in case they are needed.  
  • Registration for Summer Camps at both our McDonald Farm and Dickson-Murst Farm is currently open.  Click here for more information and to register!
  • It’s a perfect time to plan your native gardens for this season!  We have lots of resources available on our web site and would love to recognize the ways you’ve made your yard more environmentally-friendly through the use of native plants and water conservation with Conservation@Home certificationClick here to learn more! 
  • You can always contact us at any time with questions or concerns. Our phone is 630-428-4500 and you can leave a message if someone doesn’t pick up. We are checking our phone messages frequently. Our staff emails are listed on our web site and the general email is [email protected].
We are grateful you are a part of our community!
Be safe and healthy. “Community,” indeed, is a powerful word.
Brook McDonald, President/C.E.O.
The Conservation Foundation

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