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the Foundation's work

Our Mission

Our mission is to engage in protecting and restoring the treasured natural habitats of the Forest Preserves of Cook County and to enhance the outdoor experiences of all communities.

We will do this by encouraging and administering private gifts to further the Forest Preserves’ mission and goals.

​The Foundation adopted its first strategic plan in September, 2015 to help guide its growth and impact over the next two years. The 2015 Annual Report can be viewed here

Funding Priorities
The Foundation provides grants to support programs which increase access to the forest preserves for a greater diversity of visitors and deepen their awareness, appreciation and commitment to the health of the preserves. Our funding priorities ​align with the directives of the Forest Preserves of Cook County's Centennial Campaign Plan and Next Century Conservation Plan, which outline the Preserves' goals and strategies for conserving natural habitats over the next 25 years.

The Forest Preserve Foundation focuses on the PRIORITIES of the Forest Preserves of Cook County and delivers PROGRAMS that enrich the lives of all PEOPLE in all of our communities by building a strong base of PARTNERS and supporters.  Our leadership is committed to ​securing the resources required for these efforts.​

Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The Forest Preserve Foundation believes that the diversity of our principal constituency, the residents of Cook County, Illinois, is a fundamental strength of our community.  Our inclusive culture extends to valuing the diversity of backgrounds and experiences of our volunteers, employees, and business and community partners.

We believe our mission to improve the quality of life for the residents of Cook County, by protecting native biological species and enhancing outdoor experiences for present and future generations of residents, is best fulfilled when we embrace diversity as a value and a practice. 

Therefore, it is the Foundation’s commitment that the composition of our organization reflect the diversity and demographics of the community being served, and should include diversity among its leadership at the board and staff.  As well, the Foundation encourages grant-applicants to make diversity and inclusion an important goal of their organization.