Citizens for Conservation

Welcome! CFC is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to environmental preservation and restoration of the wider biodiversity that once covered northeast Illinois. CFC is based in Barrington, Illinois where the organization owns and carefully manages over 431 acres in eleven property locations.
We don't just hold land, however; we actively restore it through volunteerism and financial aid from generous donors who want to see the beauty and biodiversity of our land remain for generations to come. Our restoration efforts, education programs, and a variety of other activities are driven by volunteers with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests.
If you are inspired to join us in saving living space for living things, we welcome you to volunteer, attend one of our seminars or outdoor activities, or just stop by and say 'hi.' You'll be glad you did!

CFC's Mission: To Protect, Educate and Restore



We protect natural areas - CFC led the initiative to protect over 3100 acres of public land in the Barrington, Illinois area. Years of planning, urging and negotiating resulted in the creation of four new forest preserves: Ela Marsh, Fox River, Grassy Lake/Flint Creek and Baker's Lake Younghusband Prairie. CFC itself owns eleven preserves encompassing 431 acres. Much of this land has been generously donated, but CFC has purchased over 133 acres through fundraising campaigns.



We educate the community about the value of natural resources and foster good environmental ethics and practices. Hundreds of people have attended adult education programs that we offer to the public on a variety of subjects. Our Adventures in Nature program allows children to discover and explore nature, thereby fostering an interest and passion for the outdoors. We regularly open our preserves to the public for guided nature walks and birdwatching. CFC can approve volunteer hours of applicants to the High School National Honor Society or community service programs. Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Eagle Scouts perform projects on our properties under our guidance.



We restore native plant communities - prairie, oak savanna and wetland. CFC's prairie restoration successes have been the subject of articles in two British publications, and its floating islands installations and grassland bird restoration efforts have been featured in two nationally broadcast TV programs. Restoration helps perpetuate the diverse species of plants and animals that give our communities their special character. Acting as stewards of the land, we transplant wildflowers, remove weeds, clear brush, collect seed, and conduct controlled burns.

CFC's Fall Plant Sale is now open for pre-orders!

Autumn is an ideal time to plant shrubs and trees. Cool weather allows woody plants to establish roots in their new location before spring rains and summer heat stimulate new growth.

Ordering: Order online here or download our order form (available here August 2) to fill out by hand and mail in with your preferred payment method.

Pre-Order Deadline: September 1, 2016. Order Pick-Up Date and Time: Saturday, September 17, 9:30 AM – Noon at CFC headquarters (across from Good Shepherd Hospital).

Upcoming Events

  • Special Events

    August 23, 2016
    • Fall Native Tree and Shrub Online Order

      August 1, 2016 - September 1, 2016

      Online Sale

      See more details

    September 4, 2016
    • Self-Guided Prairie Walks

      September 4, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
      Citizens for Conservation, 459 IL-22, Barrington, IL 60010, United States

      Citizens for Conservation is hosting its last interactive, self-guided prairie walk of the season on Sunday, September 4th, from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The walks are free and open to the public. Flint Creek Savanna is located at CFC's Headquarters, 459 W. Hwy 22 in Lake Barrington. A CFC member will guide you to Six plaques that are posted along the trail with QR Codes* that can access videos of CFC Restoration Experts telling about the Founder Waid Vanderpoel, Native Seed Gardens, the plants and animals of the prairie, the birds of the savanna, and the award-winning restoration efforts.
      This walk will feature the prairie at its best, with many different colors of Asters and possibly rare Gentians hiding in some grasses. Be sure to wear good hiking shoes. Bring your cell phone with a Scan app to access the videos by restoration experts along the trail.

      QR Code* (Quick Response Code) - a mobile phone readable barcode label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. To scan a QR code or barcode simply open the QR App (search in the App Store on your smart phone), point the camera at the code, and you’re done! There is no need to take a photo or press a button. The app will automatically recognize any code your camera is pointing at.

      See more details

    September 17, 2016
    • Fall Native Tree and Shrub Pick-Up

      September 17, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 12:00 pm

      Linda Krauss

      See more details

  • Youth Education

    Nothing from August 23, 2016 to September 22, 2016.

  • Workdays

    August 25, 2016
    • Workday 9-11 am

      August 25, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
      Citizens for Conservation, 459 IL-22, Barrington, IL 60010, United States

      Summer Workday. Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring work gloves. Apply sunscreen and insect repellent if necessary. Bring something to drink to keep hydrated.

      Non-native plant removal (commonly called weeding), cutting, digging, or pulling non-native plants from Barrington area nature preserves.

      No experience is necessary. You do not need to register or give us advance notice unless you are bringing a large group.

      See more details

    August 27, 2016
    • Workday 9-11am

      August 27, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
      Meet at CFC headquarters: 459 w. Hwy 22, Lake Barrington, IL 60022

      Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring work gloves. Apply sunscreen and insect repellent if necessary. Bring something to drink to keep hydrated.

      No experience is necessary. You do not need to register or give us advance notice unless you are bringing a large group.

      See more details

    September 1, 2016
    • Workday 9-11 am

      September 1, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am
      Citizens for Conservation, 459 IL-22, Barrington, IL 60010, United States

      Fall Workday. Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring work gloves. Apply sunscreen and insect repellent if necessary. Bring something to drink to keep hydrated.

      Seed collecting: a fun and easy activity for all generations.

      No experience is necessary. You do not need to register or give us advance notice unless you are bringing a large group.

      See more details

CFC Membership and Donations

Your support makes a huge difference. As a member of Citizens for Conservation you are part of an organization that not only directly benefits you, but also your neighbors and the entire Barrington area community. Our conservation and educational efforts could not exist the way they do without our volunteers, members and the generosity of our donors. Please consider joining or donating today. Thank you!

  • Our Preserves

    During 2010 and 2011, CFC News ran a feature called "Preserve Profile." In the articles we described the salient features of some of our beautiful properties and provided maps showing their size, shape, and location. Please click on any of the properties listed here to read its Preserve Profile.

  • Barrington Bog

    Barrington_BogWet, prolific, and vital, Barrington Bog is a graminoid (grassy) bog owned by Citizens for Conservation and dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve. It is located at the northeast corner of Route 59 and Grandview Road in Lake Barrington. There is little if any access since it is very wet and boggy!  Learn More!

  • Farm Trails North

    Farm_Trails_NorthFarm Trails North (FTN) is a fen owned by Citizens for Conservation. The 20-acre site in Lake Barrington is part of an extensive deep kettle wetland which extends a half mile west to the Fox River. Located at the southeast corner of Roberts and River Roads, it was donated to CFC as a gift from the developers of the Farm Trails Subdivision Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hagemann and Richard & Bonnie Johnson.  Learn More!

  • Flint Creek Savanna

    Flint_Creek_SavannaFlint Creek Savanna (FCS) is Citizens for Conservation’s largest and most diverse preserve with savanna, creek, wetland and prairie restorations. FCS is the only property that CFC has purchased rather than received by donation from a developer or landowner. The initial thirty-three acres acquired in 1988 have grown to 146 acres with the latest thirteen-acre acquisition in 2015. CFC member have donated the millions of  dollars that this property cost, an extraordinary accomplishment.  Learn More!

  • Grigsby Prairie

    grigsby_sign_8418_smGrigsby Prairie is Citizens for Conservation’s top prairie restoration. All forty-two acres at Grigsby were donated to CFC by Ms. Peggy Grigsby Richards. Ms. Richards, who named the preserve for her father who had farmed it for many years, wishes to preserve the land as open space and particularly wants to see the grassland birds that inhabited her hay meadows remain.  Learn More!

  • Heron Marsh / Twin Ponds

    Twin_PondsHeron Marsh/Longeway is located in Lake County on Route 22 west of Kelsey Road and Pheasant Ridge subdivision. Thomas and Jacqueline Longeway of Classic Sunglasses and Robert Orbesen of Hubschman Group donated the land in two parcels, one in 1986 and the second in 1987 for a total of 48.5 acres.  Learn More!

  • Steyermark Woods

    Steyermark_WoodsSteyermark Woods is one of CFC’s smallest preserves. It is located in North Barrington on Eton Drive just east of Biltmore Drive. Though it is small in size, its beauty is grand.  Learn more!

  • Wagner Fen

    Wagner Fen SignWagner Fen, one of CFC’s lesser-known preserves, lies just east of River Road and south of Roberts Road in Lake Barrington. It has been recognized as an Illinois Nature Preserve due to its variety of rare native plants. The land was donated to CFC in years 1980 through 1984 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hagemann, Mr. and Mrs. William Muench, and Mr. Gregory Daul. CFC owns 42 acres, most of the north portion of the fen; Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD) owns the south portion, and the remainder is owned by Tower Lakes homeowners association.  Learn More!

Community Programs and Education

  • Habitat Corridors

    Habitat Corridors is a program developed by Citizens for Conservation to educate and assist local property owners in using their land in an area-wide expansion of native habitats that encourage native birds and butterflies and the plants and space they need. Corridors rather than isolated parcels of land are critical to helping species find the food, shelter, and breeding opportunities they need to thrive. Every yard, no matter how small, becomes part of the solution.

    >> Read More!
  • Native Seed Gardeners

    The Native Seed Gardeners (NSG) is a pilot program developed by Friends of Spring Creek Forest Preserves and Citizens for Conservation (CFC) with support from Audubon-Chicago Region, according to Sam Oliver, who made the presentation on behalf of both groups. Starter plants for the project are being grown this winter by the Chicago Botanic Garden. This program's purpose is to increase the amount of seed that is available to restore ecological health and diversity to the area's woodlands and prairies.

    >> More about NSG
  • Conservation Monitoring

    Monitoring ecosystems helps us determine our success in restoring native habitat and warns us if an area is suffering declining health. Our bluebird and wood duck monitors actively facilitate breeding success. Anyone can become a monitor as long as he or she can be committed to be in the field checking the status of the subject area at the appropriate times. Training is available. Most monitoring takes place on CFC property, but as resources permit, may also include local forest preserves and parks. We have a definite need for birdhouse monitoring as there are many established bluebird and wood duck trails that need to be maintained.

    >> Learn More!
  • CFC Needs Your Help!

    Your tax-deductible cash donation helps fund our community and educational programs and ensures CFC can continue saving living space for living things. Thank you!!

  • Would you like to hear about upcoming news, events and volunteer opportunities? Please subscribe to our mailing list. We never share our list outside of CFC.