• Natural Resource Restoration- Often times the practices of the past either altered or damaged the natural balance. Sometimes this was done out of necessity or by accident. The make-up of our forests have changed as invasive and foreign plants have forced out the native undergrowth and diversity of trees. The great prairies were all but eliminated to stop wildfires and to provide room for growing agriculture. Wetland were often drained to stop disease or to free land for other uses. We now know that all of this impacts the careful system nature put in place. Tall grass prairies and wetlands control and filter the water we all need. Healthy forest last longer and provide a home to wildlife. Modern conservation practices seek to return that balance. Removing invasive species and returning the native plants is intensive and conducted over the long-term. The methods vary and are selected with careful concern.
  • Preservation- Many of our natural and heritage resources face threats. Conservationist work hard to maintain these resources for the future. It may be a threatened formation or waterway; it may be a historical structure or artifacts; but these are all part of the story and legacy to pass down.
  • Volunteers- Our friends and supporters are the life-blood of our conservation efforts. The dedicated professionals and the funds available are simply not enough to do everything. Educated volunteers not only serve their agencies facilities, programming and missions; but they help spread the word. They take our philosophy and utilize it in their own lives. They encourage others and they build the appreciation and support needed to sustain our efforts for years to come.


Our Philosophy

We are committed to conservation. What exactly is conservation? It is a philosophy and practice dedicated to the sustainability and use of our natural resources. Conservation strives to find the balance between human enjoyment of those resources and protection/restoration with an eye towards the long term. Conservationist work hard to pass down healthy resources to the next generation.


Conservation acknowledges that our resources exist in a world with political concerns across a broad spectrum. Conservation agencies, such as our members, must make local decisions about how they operate while maintaining a commitment to state, national and international standards and practices. Each agency may operate several natural areas; and each natural area within a single agency may have different levels of protection or public access.


The conservation mission is broad and uses many tools to further our goals:


  • Education- A major component of our agencies is education. They strive to develop relevant programs which engage the public. Whether it is mini-camps for toddlers or cultural engagement for adults, conservation education programing fosters learning and appreciation for natural experiences. When educational efforts are successful, the public takes our philosophy to heart and becomes partners in conservation.
  • Recreation- Seeing, touching and experiencing nature are often the best ways to engage our constituents. Hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, canoeing, and horse riding are only a small sample of the recreation opportunities found in our agencies' natural areas. Visitors can find green spaces, prairie grasslands, playground/picnic areas, wetlands and forest to enjoy and grow in. Hopefully a love of this natural setting grows into a commitment to our common goals.