People in the Preserves: Fisherman, Busse Lake near Elk Grove Village, Wesley Iversen
2014 Photo Contest Winner "People in the Preserves": Fisherman, Busse Lake near Elk Grove Village, Wesley Iversen

Partners & Allies

We do a lot of amazing work, but rarely do we do it alone. There are dozens of environmental nonprofits, steward, volunteers, companies, and government organizations that we partner and align with every day. Please check out all our wonderful friends!


Volunteer Restoration Groups Volunteer stewards restore natural areas throughout Cook County. They remove invasive species — such as buckthorn and garlic mustard — to make the preserves better for native plants and animals, including threatened and endangered species (and for all of us to enjoy!). Learn more about each group and check out a volunteer workday in your area.


Local Environmental Organizations

  • Audubon-Chicago Region-Audubon saves local wildlife and habitat, using volunteer conservation efforts to keep natural areas permanently safe.
  • Bird Conservation Network-The BCN is a coalition of organizations located in the Chicago Wilderness area that have interest in the conservation of birds and habitat.
  • Calumet Stewardship Initiative-Engages residents and member organizations in partnerships that advance nature education, environmental stewardship, scientific discovery, cultural understanding, and economic growth.
  • Friends of the Chicago River-The mission of Friends of the Chicago River is to preserve, protect, and foster the vitality of the Chicago River for the plant, animal, and human communities within its watershed.
  • Friends of the Parks-Friends of the Parks works to protect, preserve, and improve Chicago’s parks for all its citizens.
  • Friends of Spring Creek Forest Preserves-Mission: “We support the long-term restoration and conservation of healthy woodlands, prairies, and wetlands in the Spring Creek Forest Preserves.”
  • Openlands-Openlands has taken leadership roles in securing more than 45,000 acres of land in the Chicago area for public parks, forest preserves, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens.
  • Save the Prairie Society-STPS partners with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission to promote and protect the natural resources of Wolf Road Prairie.
  • Sierra Club Illinois Chapter-The club sponsors many Forest Preserve District activities. It also compares and endorses candidates for the Forest Preserve District Board.
  • Student Conservation Association (SCA)-The SCA partners with us on our Chicago Conservation Leadership Corps internship and provides training to students across the country.
Best Fauna: Snapping turtle, Crabtree Nature Center near Barrington, Edward Boe
2014 Photo Contest Winner Best Fauna: Snapping turtle, Crabtree Nature Center near Barrington, Edward Boe

Forest Preserve District and Chicago Wilderness


Additional Sources

  • Brookfield Zoo-The Brookfield Zoo is owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and operated by the Chicago Zoological Society. Enjoy a wild day at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, 365 days a year.
  • Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (CAMBr)-CAMBr educates bicyclists, promotes responsible trail use, prevents trail closings, and maintains and builds trails in the Chicago area.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden-Owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County and operated by the Chicago Horticultural Society, the Chicago Botanic Garden, a 300-acre living museum, offers you the opportunity to experience more than 20 different gardens and absorb their unparalleled beauty.