Our Mission

The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (JDCF), a land trust in Jo Daviess County, IL, was founded in 1993 by a small group of local individuals who wanted to somehow maintain the open space of a piece of property near Galena that had recently been put up for sale.  The group’s purpose was to permanently protect what many deemed ‘the Gateway to Galena’ from development, ensuring that the pristine view of the City from Hwy 20 along Horseshoe Mound would be preserved for future generations to enjoy.  That goal recently became a reality when JDCF finally purchased the 100 acres known as Galena Gateway Park in 2010.  During the almost 18 year struggle to reach this goal, the Foundation grew from a group of volunteers meeting in one another’s basements to an organization with an office and full-time staff that is dedicated to land conservation in all of Jo Daviess County.

Today, JDCF works to preserve land for the lasting well-being of people and wildlife.

We accomplish this mission by:

  • Educating people about land stewardship and resource conservation.
  • Permanently protecting land from inappropriate development.
  • Working with willing landowners through conservation registries, easements, and land donations.
  • Supporting recreation that promotes appreciation of our natural resources.
  • Partnering with other like-minded organizations.

Upcoming Events

Gone Herping – A Facebook Live Event

July 9 @ 10:00 am - 10:30 am

JDCF will be Live from the Hurtzville Interpretive Center in Jackson County, Iowa. Our Education & Outreach Manager, Jess Carryer, will be joined by special guest, Tony Vorwald, for a program all about herping! Herping is the act of searching for amphibians and reptiles. Habitat preferences range from dry sand prairies to swampy bottomlands. Studying […] Read More

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Experience Horseshoe Mound ~ A Walking Tour

August 15 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what a guided tour of Horseshoe Mound Preserve would be like? Well, wonder no more because we have brought back our popular walking tours with JDCF Education and Outreach Manager, Jess Hepker.  Participants will get the inside scoop on geologic features that can be seen from the top of the mound […] Read More

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Meteors on the Mound

August 15 @ 7:00 pm - 11:00 pm

JDCF and the Friends of Horseshoe Mound invite everyone to Meteors on the Mound for a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower from atop Horseshoe Mound Preserve.  Horseshoe Mound is the eighth highest point in Jo Daviess County and offers spectacular views of the tristate area from three different vantage points. This is the only […] Read More

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Experience Horseshoe Mound ~ A Walking Tour

September 19 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Have you ever wondered what a guided tour of Horseshoe Mound Preserve would be like? Well, wonder no more because we have brought back our popular walking tours with JDCF Education and Outreach Manager, Jess Hepker.  Participants will get the inside scoop on geologic features that can be seen from the top of the mound […] Read More

Find out more »