Conserve. Educate. Enjoy.


Our Mission
Our mission is to engage in protecting and restoring the treasured natural habitats of the Forest Preserves of Cook County and to enhance the outdoor experiences of all communities. We do this by encouraging and administering private gifts to further the Forest Preserves’ mission and goals.


Founded in 2006, the Forest Preserve Foundation began with the belief that philanthropic giving could best supplement tax dollars that support the visionary goals of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

In 2012, the Foundation actively started raising private funds, hosting the first Conservation Cup, its annual golf benefit. That year the Foundation granted $3,500 to the Forest Preserves.

The Foundation adopted its first strategic plan in September, 2015 to help guide its growth and impact. In the fall of 2018, the Foundation drew up a new strategic plan for its next phase of growth.

In 2021, lifetime giving by the Foundation to support the Forest Preserves of Cook County totaled over $2.8 million.

The funds we grant go to support ecological restoration projects in the Preserves, opportunities for families and children from a diversity of backgrounds to enjoy the Forest Preserves. Foundation grants underwrite internships and career programs that support our next generation of environmental advocates. We also support opportunities that allow anyone to leave a lasting memory in the Preserves through a tribute gift.


The Foundation's key focus areas are next-generation environmental leaders, ecological restoration, tribute gifts and family programming. We measure success by the impact we have in each area.



Since its inception, the Foundation has granted $2.8 million to support programs that ease youth and family access to the wonders of the Forest Preserves of Cook County and provide innovative and educational programming.


Keep up with our programs and events by reading our blog, where we share stories and reflections about the people and many places that make the Preserves special.

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