Big or small, Illinois land trusts increasingly are meeting the needs of their communities through partnerships, engagement and outreach.
That’s about 192,039 football fields!
Illinois land trusts are community-led and supported and protect lands and waters that help the entire state.
125 years old (1897)
15 years old (2007)
38 years old
Acre by acre, land trusts are helping to conserve Illinois lands, waters and ways of life.
Disclaimer: Land trusts conserve land in many different ways and every project is unique. Category totals may change depending on how acres are reported by survey respondents to reflect the most current data and minimize double-counting. In some instances, the total may be greater than the sum of the separate categories due to organizations that provided total acres not broken down by category.
This information reflects data collected in the National Land Trust Census, the longest-running comprehensive survey of private land conservation in America. Learn more about the Census and see which land trusts participated in the 2020 National Land Trust Census.
Land trusts across the state are helping find solutions to some of Illinois' most pressing issues.
Providing access to land for all: The accredited Lake Forest Open Lands manages the Center for Conservation Leadership to provide sustained programming to students who have shown an interest in nature and the environment but are not yet ready for, or do not have access to, internships at some of the major conservation organizations. The land trust also reached beyond Lake Forest, an affluent north shore suburb of Chicago, to include students from an economically and socially diverse range of neighboring communities in Lake County.Read more
Tackling climate change: The accredited Openlands provides TreePlanters Grants to communities in Chicago and the near south suburbs to provide new trees. The grants encourage resilience through planting trees and creating a network of neighbors to care for the trees. Planting trees is one of the simplest nature-based solutions to climate change and is a tangible way for individuals to make a positive impact on the environment.Read more
Saving family farms: The accredited Land Conservancy of McHenry County has been holding workshops for women who own farmland. The concept came from an organization based in Iowa called the Women, Food and Agriculture Network. The workshops are meant to provide a crucial link between women farmland owners and the resources they need to achieve their conservation goals by holding women-only meetings.Read more
Land Trust Alliance member land trusts, listed below, commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.