JDCF Leads Regional Land Stewardship Partnership

An old adage tells us that “Many hands make light work.” JDCF and other conservation partners in the region are putting this old wisdom to the test. In 2017, JDCF and nine other conservation organizations in our region founded the Northwest Illinois Land Stewardship Co-op (“NISC”). As we continue protect more and more land throughout northwest Illinois, it’s our responsibility to ensure that we have the means necessary to manage and steward these beautiful landscapes we’ve worked so hard to protect. Invasive species need to be removed, prairies need to be burned, brush needs to be cut, and firebreaks need to be maintained. All of this takes time. A lot of time. One of the ways we can meet this immense challenge is by partnering with like-minded organizations to achieve our common land stewardship goals and care for our landscapes.

NISC is founded on the principles of partnership and mutual benefit. It works to bring together conservation organizations to address urgent natural area management concerns across jurisdictional boundaries and service regions. NISC is comprised of conservation organizations working in Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago Counties. A landscape-scale challenge like perpetual land stewardship requires a landscape-scale solution.

NISC also works to provide educational and outreach opportunities for the private landowners and volunteers that are caring for our region’s natural areas. Bi-monthly stewardship workdays offer the staff and volunteers of NISC member organizations the opportunity to explore new natural areas and make a difference in the future of the landscape of northwest Illinois.

NISC is governed by a steering committee made up of representatives from NISC member organizations. Organizational members of NISC include JDCF, Natural Land Institute, Jane Addamsland Park Foundation, Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts, the Illinois Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Northwest Illinois Audubon Society, Freeport Park District, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, and the Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge (Savanna District). The University of Illinois Extension serves in an advisory role and assists with land stewardship educational and outreach efforts.

Upcoming Events

Bonfire on the Bluff

January 19 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Enjoy home made cookies and hot coco around a huge bonfire. Take a hike on candlelit trails with the most beautiful views of the Mississippi. Visit the Thunderbird Effigy Mound and learn about the significance of this landmark.  Free to attend and RSVP’s not required.

Find out more »

Movie Event: Intelligent Trees with Randy Nyboer Speaking

March 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Do trees have human-like characteristics? That’s the premise of this 45-minute documentary film, which features German forester Peter Wohlleben, and is based on his internationally best-selling book, “The Hidden Life of Trees.” The book and film postulate that the massive, fungal infused network of roots in forests and woodlands are a “wood-wide web,” the “brains […] Read More

Find out more »

JDCF Annual Meeting with Lydia Scott, Director of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative at the Morten Arboretum

March 30 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The public is invited to attend JDCF’s annual meeting for an interactive social hour, election and re-election of board members, and the announcement of the recipient of the 2018 Nancy Hamill Winter Conservation Leadership Award.  Our keynote speaker will be Lydia Scott, Director of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative and Manager of Community Trees Program at […] Read More

Find out more »

JDCF’s Biggest Tree Contest

April 1 @ 8:00 am - October 1 @ 5:00 pm

You may hear people speak of them reverently. You might catch word of a “big tree,” an important tree, a “Champion Tree.” But what does this mean? JDCF is sponsoring a Biggest Tree Contest to recognize the largest tree within each of the designated native tree species that grow in Carroll, Jo Daviess, and Stephenson […] Read More

Find out more »