Saving Living Space for Living Things

Citizens for Conservation (CFC) is a volunteer-based organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment that once covered northeastern Illinois. CFC is based in Barrington, Illinois where we are diligently working to restore and maintain over 431 acres across 11 separate nearby locations.
Thanks to many volunteers with a wide variety of backgrounds and interests who give their time, as well as the generosity of many financial donors, we’re actively restoring the beauty and biodiversity of our land for generations to come. If you are inspired by what we do, please join us. We welcome you to get to know us better, as well as help us make the world around us a little better.

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 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!

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!