Public Agencies

public agencies

The Conservation Foundation was founded in 1972 to help open space public agencies, such as park districts and forest preserve districts, achieve their mission of acquiring land. Over the years, in a wide variety of ways, we have helped preserve tens of thousands of acres of land for current and future generations in Northeast Illinois.

Matchmaking - Buy & Holds

Many landowners would like to sell or donate their property to local open space agencies, but don’t know who to call. Since we have been working with public agencies throughout northeastern Illinois since 1972, we can put them in touch with the right people at the appropriate agencies. In addition to getting the conversation going, we can work with both the landowner and the public agency to make sure that whatever happens is good for both parties.

There are times when the owner of an important piece of land needs to sell, but local public open space agencies either aren’t ready or need time to gather the funds to purchase it. That’s a perfect time to contact us. We can buy the property quickly and hang on to it until the public agency gets a grant or accumulates the funds to purchase it from us. Once we own it, the land is made available to the public agency for access and management, just the same as if they bought it themselves.

Facilitating LAnd Deals

Sometimes public agencies have the money to acquire land, but don’t have the time, personnel, or the skill sets needed to work with landowners and see if there is a fit. We are a private, nonprofit organization that can establish a strong relationship with landowners, often leading to success. Landowners are sometimes reluctant to talk with public agencies, but we are often able to sit down with them at their kitchen tables and start a conversation. We have negotiated for thousands of acres of land throughout our service area on behalf of public open space agencies.

Land Donations

There are a variety of reasons why a landowner may wish to preserve their land by donating it to a public agency, and we can help make that happen. In addition, there are some considerations that could make it a good idea to donate the property to The Conservation Foundation instead of directly to the public agency.

By holding on to the land for a while, we have helped park districts and forest preserve districts stretch the donation by giving the agency the time it needs to line up grant funding for a different project, which enables the agency to do more with less funds. In addition, one landowner had specific ideas how she wanted her land managed, and trusted us to put the right restrictions in place prior to transferring her land to the forest preserve district.

For more information and to pursue your land preservation options, please email our Director of Land Preservation Dan Lobbes at [email protected] or call (630) 428-4500 ext. 104.

Open Space Referenda

Public agencies often need to ask voters for permission to raise funds to acquire land for forest preserves and parks, and we we have become skilled at providing invaluable support to public agencies seeking to pass these measures. 

At The Conservation Foundation we assist and support public agencies by conducting voter polling, organizing a Neighbors for Open Space campaign committee, raising funds and running successful campaigns. To date, we are 14-for-14, raising more than $750 million for open space.

For more information and to pursue your land preservation options, please email our Director of Land Preservation Dan Lobbes at [email protected] or call (630) 428-4500 ext. 104.

Natural Areas Assurance Program

Increasingly, parcels of land being considered for development contain important natural resources, such as rivers, streams, and wetlands, some of which need to be protected and maintained forever. The Conservation Foundation’s Natural Areas Assurance Program provides assurance to the municipality, regulators, future occupants, and the community at large that their investment in good stormwater management practices, natural areas, and open space within a new development is protected and will have funded, long-term management. These projects can be put in place by The Conservation Foundation or public agencies such as municipalities or park districts.

Learn more here.

Strategic Land Conservation Plans

Important land and water resources are typically not contained in one property. To really protect and maintain our rivers, streams, wetlands, woods, and prairies often takes a concerted effort by both public and private organizations.

It is important for these public and private organizations to know what each other have done, what their interests are, and how they can work together to maximize their impact. The Conservation Foundation has convened groups of organizations and individuals to identify important resources and craft strategies for long-term conservation efforts.

–  Lower Fox Land Conservation Plan

DuPage Natural Areas Master Plan

For more information and to pursue your land preservation options, please email our Director of Land Preservation Dan Lobbes at [email protected] or call (630) 428-4500 ext. 104.

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