Partnerships

The U.S. Forest Service actively seeks to build mutually beneficial, cooperative partnerships with agencies, organizations, and individuals who share in its commitment to the conservation and restoration of Midewin's natural resources and to the public's interest in the prairie.

  • CenterPoint Properties: Midewin's neighbor in the CenterPoint Intermodal Center in Elwood, the company is providing assistance to improve wetland and upland ecosystems in the Middle Grant Creek and Drummond Floodplain project areas.
  • Chicago Academy of Sciences: The Academy and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum inspire people to learn about and care for nature and the environment.  Its mission is to foster environmental learning through the exhibits and education programs of the Museum and it is currently working in partnership to support Midewin's environmental education programs, including the Mighty Acorns Youth Stewardship program.
  • Chicago Botanic Garden: The Chicago Botanic Garden is managed by the Chicago Horticultural Society and owned by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.  Coordinated through CBG, Plants of Concern is a volunteer-based, rare plant monitoring program in which Midewin participates.  Its goal is to ensure, through continued monitoring and feedback to managers, the stability and recovery of populations of the region’s listed and other rare plants.  
  • El Valor: El Valor is a community-based organization founded in 1973 in the Pilsen area, Chicago’s largest Latino neighborhood.  Midewin and El Valor have been working together since 2001 to provide a Science & Technology Day Camp during summers and since 2004 to provide the Urban Academy for Environmental Discovery during the school year.
  • ExxonMobil: The ExxonMobil Joliet Refinery is a neighbor on Midewin's northwest corner.  It supports Midewin's volunteer program by providing workday lunches and sponsoring the annual volunteer recognition banquet.  ExxonMobil also provides funding for interpretive and educational publications and activities.  As part of a recent consent decree, the company is working to restore, protect and preserve prairie habitat on its adjacent property. 
  • Illinois Conservation Foundation: The Foundation is a non-profit organization that works to preserve and enhance our precious natural resources by supporting and fostering ecological, educational, and recreational programs for the benefit of all people now and for generations to come.
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources: IDNR's Conservation 2000 program has funded habitat improvement and research projects at Midewin since 1996, administered through the IDNR Ecosystems Program and the Critical Trends Assessment Program
  • Midewin Tallgrass Prairie Alliance: The mission of the Midewin Alliance is to work with the U.S. Forest Service on planning, developing, and maintaining Midewin.  The Alliance supports volunteers by publishing the Prairie Telegraph and sponsoring special events.  
  • Midia: The Midewin Interpretive Association runs the Midewin Welcome Center bookstore where a variety of books and other items relating to Midewin, prairie ecosystems, and local geology and history are available for sale.
  • The National Forest Foundation: The NFF in partnership with the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie and The Wetlands Initiative will begin restoration on two project areas as part of NFF's Treasured Landscape's Conservation Campaign. The South Prairie Creek Outwash Plain and Grant Creek projects are located on the western side of Midewin. Restoration work will enhance and restore wetland and upland prairie ecosystems by removing agricultural drain tiles, filling in ditches, planting with native plants and controlling invasive species. 
  • National Fish and Wildlife Foundation: The Foundation is a charitable non-profit corporation established in 1984 to further the conservation and management of fish, wildlife, and plant resources for present and future generations.  
  • Northeastern Illinois University: NEIU is cooperating to monitor and collect data on sensitive insects at Midewin.
  • Openlands: Openlands, founded in 1963, is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing public open space in northeastern Illinois.  To date, Openlands has taken leadership roles in securing more than 45,000 acres of land in the Chicago area for public parks, forest preserves, land and water greenway corridors, and urban gardens.  Midewin would not exist without Openlands Project.
  • Openlands Land Preservation (formerly CorLands): As Openlands' real estate affiliate organization, CorLands works with local governments and private landowners to preserve key land parcels through acquisition and conservation easements. 
  • The Nature Conservancy in Illinois: The Nature Conservancy is a science-based land management organization that relies heavily on volunteers to manage the natural resources on TNC holdings.  The Conservancy is also interested in protecting rare species, their habitats, and natural areas at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.  Under agreement with Midewin, TNC is coordinating Midewin's volunteer program and environmental monitoring programs.
  • The Wetlands Initiative:  Since 1997, the Wetlands Initiative has partnered with the U.S. Forest Service to restore more than 1,400 acres of diverse wetland and prairie habitats at five locations within Midewin. TWI’s ecological staff contributes its technical expertise, and its development staff matches private funding with Forest Service funds to maximize federal dollars. In 2007, the South Patrol Road Restoration Project, TWI’s first Midewin project, was honored nationally by the Forest Service for outstanding habitat conservation in a public-private partnership. The Wetlands Initiative is a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to restoring the Midwest’s valuable wetland ecosystems, through restoration of degraded ecosystems and innovation of financing strategies for large-scale restoration.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Chicago District: COE works closely with Midewin to plan and monitor wetland restoration. 
  • U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Chicago Field Office: USFWS works closely with Midewin under an interagency agreement to establish a nursery population and propagule source of Mead’s milkweed (Asclepias meadii) to assist in the recovery of this federally threatened species.

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https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/midewin/workingtogether/partnerships