Less than 1% of Illinois remains in its natural state, and Illinois Nature Preserves form the foundation of what’s left.
Nature preserves are permanently protected places that give us rare glimpses of what Illinois’ true nature looks like. Spread across 110,000+ acres in 94 counties, Illinois Nature Preserves support tall grass prairies, oak groves, sandstone bluffs, cypress swamps, and other rare native habitats.
These special areas need regular stewardship to maintain them as the precious ‘living museums’ of wildlife and landscapes that they are. The Illinois Natural Areas Stewardship Act (H.B. 2031/S.B. 1029) would allow expert nonprofit organizations like Openlands to help local and state government owners of nature preserve lands conduct these needed stewardship actions.