The Nature Foundation of Will County representatives presented a donation check at the February 9 Forest Preserve District of Will County Board of Commissioners meeting. Pictured, left to right, are: Foundation Chairperson Ragan Pattison, Forest Preserve Board President Meta Mueller, Foundation Executive Director Cynthia Harn, Foundation Directors and Forest Preserve Commissioners Julie Berkowicz and Elnalyn Costa, Forest Preserve Executive Director Ralph Schultz, and Forest Preserve Board Vice President Annette Parker. –Forest Preserve photo, Glenn P. Knoblock.
Nature Foundation Makes Largest Donation to Date for Forest Preserve Projects, Programs
The Nature Foundation of Will County presented its largest donation to date to the Forest Preserve District of Will County during the February 9 meeting of the Forest Preserve Board.
The money will be used for a wide variety of Forest Preserve projects and programs this year. Foundation Chairperson Ragan Pattison said the donation would not be possible without the support of the Foundation’s stakeholders.
“I’d like to take a moment to thank our growing community of donors and native plant sale supporters for their incredible generosity and for their continued support of these initiatives,” she said.
The biggest portion of the donation, $375,000, came from the Dollinger family. The donation, and a second installment of an equal amount that will come later in the year, will be used for improvements at Lake Chaminwood Preserve near Channahon. The Foundation’s 2022 native plant sales raised $45,500.
Corporate donors included: Enbridge Alliance, birding events at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon; Pembina, Forest Invaders School Program and natural area restoration work at Four Rivers; and the Vulcan Materials Company Foundation, five wayfinding signs at Whalon Lake preserve in Naperville.
Foundation funding also will be used for: “The Buzz” nature show, Willy’s Wilderness website, a new costume for Willy the Forest Preserve mascot, the Take It Outside Campaign, and the “Journey Stories” Exhibition at Isle a la Cache Museum through April 30.
Additional donation dollars will be used for four health and wellness events: The Will County Triple Crown Hiking Challenge, Woods Walk, the Harvest Hustle Virtual 5K, and a Pumpkin Fun Run. The Foundation will continue to support the Forest Preserve’s volunteer stewards, as well as youth engagement opportunities.
For more information on the Forest Preserve District of Will County, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.
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