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About the Excellence in Ecological Restoration Program

 

The Excellence in Ecological Restoration Program (EERP) recognizes large, high-quality natural areas and the organizations that manage them. Program accreditations are presented biannually.

Applications are currently closed. The next application cycle is in 2021. Applications may only be submitted by the legal owner of the site; however, partners may assist in completing the application for the agency/organization.

Application Materials

Qualifications 

All nominated sites must meet the following requirements:

  • Located in the Chicago Wilderness Region 
  • Contain a natural area with a remnant resource and/or recreation resource that is more than 100 acres; 
  • Owned, or otherwise protected, by a public agency or private organizations dedicated to preserving and protecting lands with significant natural resources;
  • Actively managed for at least the last five years
  • Have a management plan in place

Applications may only be submitted by the legal owner of the site; however, partners may assist in completing the application for the agency/organization.

2017 SITES

Platinum

The Grant Creek Prairie 
(Illinois Department of Natural Resources)

Lake in the Hills Fen
(McHenry County Conservation District, the Village of Lake in the Hills and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources)

MacArthur Woods
(Lake County Forest Preserves)

MacArthur Woods
(Lake County Forest Preserves)

Shoe Factory Road Prairie
(Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Poplar Creek Prairie Stewards)

Gold

Lockport Prairie East
(Forest Preserve District of Will County and the Lockport Township Park District)

2014 Sites

Platinum

Bluff Spring Fen, Elgin, IL, Forest Preserves of Cook County

Hickory Creek Barrens Nature Preserve, New Lenox, IL, Forest Preserve District of Will County

Johnson's Mound Forest Preserve, Elburn, IL, Forest Preserve District of Kane County

Middlefork Savanna Forest Preserve, Lake Forest, IL, Lake County Forest Preserves

The East Woods and Schulenberg Prairie and Savanna, Lisle, IL, The Morton Arboretum

Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, Woodstock, IL, McHenry County Conservation District

Illinois Beach State Park, Zion, IL, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Gold

Goose Lake Prairie Nature Preserve, Morris, IL, Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Silver

Deer Run, Oak Ridge & McKiski Forest Preserves, Cherry Valley, IL, Forest Preserves of Winnebago County

Ambler Flatwoods, Michigan City, IN, Shirley Heinze Land Trust

2013 Sites

Platinum 

Forest Preserve District of Will County—Braidwood Dunes & Savanna Nature Preserve

Lake County Forest Preserves—Spring Bluff Forest Preserve

McHenry County Conservation District—North Branch Conservation Area

The Nature Conservancy—Indian Boundary Prairies

Gold  

Chicago Botanic Garden—McDonald Woods

Forest Preserve District of Kane County—Dick Young Forest Preserve

Bronze 

Forest Preserves of Cook County—Powderhorn Marsh and Prairie Nature Preserve