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Will County Nature Foundation donation pays for preserve enhancements

The Nature Foundation of Will County expects to double its donation total to the Forest Preserve District in 2020.

Last year's total was $29,000, but this year's will top $70,000 said Foundation Board Chairwoman Jamie Donovan as she presented a $9,500 check to District staff during the Forest Preserve's Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, February 13. The Foundation's first donation of 2020 will be used for the following projects:

$2,500: The Illinois and Michigan Canal map table exhibit at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon. This new map table exhibit will help orient guests to the nearby I and M Canal.

$2,000: The "Nature Takes Flight" juried art show and awards at Plum Creek Nature Center in Crete Township. The show runs from March 3 through April 3.

$1,500: Education programs supplies. This funding helps offset the cost of purchasing program supplies for two popular in-school offerings, "Whoose Bones?" and the Winter Bird Feeder Challenge.

$3,500: Two bicycle repair stations along regional trails. The stations will be located along the Centennial/Veterans Memorial Trail at Schneider's Passage in Romeoville, and the DuPage River Trail at Whalon Lake in Naperville. The stations include tools necessary to perform basic bike repairs. In August, the Foundation announced that it had donated more than $29,000 to the District for conservation, nature education and recreation initiatives in 2019. But the 2020 donation total will be even greater.

"Over the last several months, our fundraising and projects committee worked with Forest Preserve staff to identify over $70,000 worth of projects and initiatives for 2020," Donovan said. "Today, I can tell you that we anticipate that we will be able to meet that need thanks to our amazing donors, event sponsors, supporters and our dedicated Board of Directors."

She also announced that the Foundation will no longer require annual start-up funding from the Forest Preserve. Donovan also encouraged everyone to attend the "Bringing Nature Home" native plant sale pre-sale event on Friday, May 15, at the Sugar Creek Administration Center in Joliet.

"This is our biggest event of the year and it benefits our ability to commit to projects likes these the most," she said.

The pre-sale fundraiser will be followed by a public plant sale on Saturday, May 16, also at Sugar Creek. For plant sale details and to learn more about the Foundation, visit willcountynature.org.


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