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

Ice Cream Social

May 30 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

JDCF’s Friends of Wapello invite you and your entire family to join them for an old fashioned ice cream social fundraiser under the new pavilion at the Wapello Land & Water Reserve on Thursday, May 30th from 5-8PM. Bring your lawn chairs, picnic baskets and blankets to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wapello while […] Read More

Find out more »

Birding 101

June 1 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

At the Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary, a team of expert birders will guide instructional tours of the preserve at this new event for 2019. It is open to the public, free for members and $10 for non-members (minimum membership is $35 annually). Novices are encouraged to join! Anybody ages 10+ may join one of […] Read More

Find out more »

Bluebird Trail Walk

June 8 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to experience an outdoor bluebird adventure.  Guided tours will be given by members of JDCF’s Bluebird Recovery Program along the bluebird trail at Casper Bluff to see eggs and babies in nest boxes.  The basics of bluebird monitoring will be covered as well for those […] Read More

Find out more »

Thunderbird: a JDCF Safari

June 15 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Day 1:  Archaeologist and historian, Dr. Phil Millhouse, will guide a half-day safari of one of the most significant Native American cultural sites in all of Illinois, featuring the last known intact Thunderbird effigy mound in the state.  Your safari begins with coffee, tea, and homemade pastries, as Phil tells you the amazing story of […] Read More

Find out more »