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

Fire & Ice: Bonfire on the Bluff

January 28 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve

JDCF and Fever River Outfitters invite you and your entire family to Casper Bluff for a great outdoor adventure. Luminarias will guide you to the Thunderbird effigy and several large bonfires.  Live owls from the Northern IL Raptor Rehab Center will join us for a meet and greet at 4:30, weather permitting.  If there is […] Read More

Find out more »

The Prairie Enthusiasts 2017 Annual Conference

March 4
Eagle Ridge Inn & Spa

JDCF is co-hosting this annual, one-day conference with the Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts.  The theme will be Landscapes of the Future: Challenges & Opportunities. Two keynote speakers will be Jeff Walk of The Nature Conservancy, speaking on “Climate Change & Habitat Preservation & Restoration” and Bob Palmer of the Effigy Mounds National Monument, speaking on “Fertile Ground […] Read More

Find out more »

Popcorn & Program: FIRE, the Science of Prairie Restoration Burns

March 18 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
GTA Owners Club

Learn about the important role fire plays in the prairie ecosystem from our own Director of Land Stewardship, Ryan Getz. This “Popcorn & Program” is at the Galena Territory Association on Saturday, March 18 at 6:30 PM with the program beginning at 7:00 PM. As a follow up, all are welcome to come out in April […] Read More

Find out more »

JDCF Annual Meeting

April 1 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Chestnut Mountain Resort

Join fellow JDCF members and our guest speaker, botanical artist, George Olson, at our annual meeting.  Mr. Olson will have some of his work on site.  We will also be honoring John & Barbara Rutherford as recipients of the 2017 Nancy Hamill Winter Conservation Leadership Award.

Find out more »