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The Nature Foundation 2019 Progress Report

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2019 PROGRESS REPORT

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THANK YOU Dear Friends We believe that giving is not just about making a donation its about making a difference It s about being part of a legacy that celebrates and preserves Will County s open spaces and wild places Your support makes that happen Your support protects and restores natural areas for present and future generations Your support provides opportunities for children and families to unplug discover nature and be more active Because of you more people are using native plants and transforming their yards providing vital natural habitat for our pollinators and other wildlife Thank you for making a difference With gratitude The Nature Foundation of Will County for being the reason we are here A MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR I am honored to serve as the Foundation s Chair alongside a fully engaged and committed Board of Directors and staff From a young age some of my fondest memories were spent with my family in the preserves surrounding Chicago To this day I spend much of my free time enjoying many of the amenities and resources the Forest Preserve District and the Foundation have diligently worked to offer You may find me reading a book under one of the pavilions exercising or socializing my dog at one of the many dog parks But my favorite thing to do is hike with my dog on the natural trails There is just something about walking with my dog crossing through creeks and watching him decide if he is going to go over or under a fallen tree that reconnects my soul to the earth and helps my body thrive It is in those moments that I am reminded about all the work that we do at The Nature Foundation the wonderful workshops teaching opportunities and preserve improvements achieved through donor support that forest preserve visitors use today and will continue to use for many years to come I d like to take this moment to personally thank you for helping The Nature Foundation to accomplish its mission I encourage you to explore your forest preserves so you can enjoy your favorite activities surrounded by nature Perhaps you ll find something new to be passionate about The options offered are are vast and diverse Best Wishes HOW WE GIVE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN HOW MUCH WE GIVE JAMIE DONOVAN 2

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CARING FOR THE LAND Restore Will County Land Stewardship Grants The Restore Will County Land Stewardship Grant Program ensures that the Forest Preserve District s Volunteer Stewards have the supplies and materials they need to protect monitor and manage thousands of acres of Forest Preserve lands Grants provide Volunteer Stewards with up to 500 each to support their efforts in forest preserves throughout Will County In 2019 The Nature Foundation awarded 1 500 in grants stewards volunteered almost 2 000 hours collectively to remove invasive plants monitor rare and threatened species collect seed and restore areas with beneficial native plant species Isle a la Cache Pollinator Garden With a little revisioning this new pollinator garden is nestled within an existing gathering space the amphitheater at Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville Funded entirely by net proceeds from the Foundation s Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale held in May local pollinators school children and other museum visitors can now enjoy this new amenity and ever changing palate of colors for years to come Pollinator Garden s Native Plant List Lead Plant Amorpha canescens Common Milkweed Asclepias syriaca Butterfly Weed Asclepias tuberosa Cream Wild Indigo Baptisia bracteata Pale Purple Coneflower Echinacea pallida Sweet Joe Pye Weed Eutrochium maculatum Rough Blazing Star Liatris aspera Showy Goldenrod Solidago speciosa Heath Aster Symphyotrichum ericoides Smooth Blue Aster Symphyotrichum laeve Northern Dropseed Sporobolus heterolepis 3

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Bringing Nature Home Approximately 90 of our native insects are specialists meaning they require a native host plant in their life cycle Birds sustain their young almost exclusively on native insects primarily caterpillars It takes thousands of caterpillars and insects in order to raise and fledge a clutch of young birds With significant amounts of land in Will County privately owned the Bringing Nature Home initiative focuses on homeowners and provides them with helpful resources and educational seminars as well as an opportunity to purchase native plants at the Foundation s annual event the Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale in May In 2019 almost 900 people attended the sale and selected from more than 100 native perennials trees and shrubs available for purchase During the event shoppers had an opportunity to talk with native plant experts and organizations to learn more about native plants and nature friendly conservation practices On the eve prior to the native plant sale The Nature Foundation hosted its Friday Night Pre Sale with a reception raffles silent auction and premier access to the native plants The net proceeds from this year s event funded the pollinator garden at Isle a la Cache Museum as well as several other initiatives Possibility Place Nursery in Monee Illinois grew the native plant material for the Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale this year While the plants were busy growing the Foundation partnered with nursery and offered a series of free educational seminars designed to show homeowners how to transition to using native plants

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ARTS INTERPRETATION EDUCATION In 2019 the generosity of our donors and supporters made it possible to fund a variety of Forest Preserve initiatives designed to engage teach and inspire children families and adults Educate From traveling exhibits to special art exhibitions these initiatives reached more than 35 000 visitors to Forest Preserve visitor centers and programs in 2019 A new nature website for children also garnered 33 690 page views What s Bugging Belva Traveling Exhibition Frida Kahlo 1907 1954 created some 250 paintings and drawings in her lifetime Offered at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon this H2 Whoa Exhibition exhibition explored how Kahlo s garden the diversity of plant life in Mexico and the rich cultural history of the country nourished the artist s creativity Inspire Preserve the Moment Photo Contest Vernal Equinox Art Exhibition Reception These carts assist Naturalists at Plum Creek Nature Center to offer pop up nature exploration and discovery on the go Enrich Frida Kahlo s Garden Willy s Wilderness Website The Preserve the Moment photo contest is an initiative to engage visitors and capture a glimpse of Will County forest preserves through their lenses This awardwinning shot of an American Toad was captured by Kevin Keyes A website for kids and their parents Willy s Wilderness willyswilderness org offers Engage online crafts outdoor activities nature fun facts books and other resources to encourage discovery Roving Naturalist Carts 5

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2019 FINANCIAL REPORT As a 501 c 3 organization The Nature Foundation of Will County depends on the generosity and contributions from donors and supporters Our most recent Federal Form 990 is available on our website or by request Data presented in this financial report has not been audited Net assets as of December 31 2019 Wetland Restoration Fund 38 610 Restore Will County Land Stewardship Grants 3 237 Serve Will County Youth Service Grants 10 000 Other Restricted Funds for Projects 35 160 Working capital and operating revenue 143 159 Total Net Assets 230 166 Change in net assets versus 2018 55 820 Funding for these initiatives is restricted and is used for the purposes outlined in the fund or for those uses identified by the donor The Wetland Restoration Fund funds wetland mitigation and enhancement projects in Will County forest preserves The Restore Will County Land Stewardship Grants Program provides grants to Volunteer Stewards to support natural area restoration work The Serve Will County Youth Service Grant Program is a new grant program to provide funding to youth and scouts engaged in community service projects in Will County forest preserves Consider a Legacy Gift With your help we can make a lasting difference for Will County s open spaces and wild places Together we can pass on a legacy of open space scenic beauty clean water and air and so much more Consider making a gift that can last forever Designate The Nature Foundation of Will County as the beneficiary of your life insurance or retirement plan or include a bequest provision in your will or trust Give us a call to start the conversation No matter the size of your gift we can help you create your legacy

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2019 OPERATING BUDGET The Nature Foundation of Will County s annual operating budget includes the programs supplies and administrative costs required to carry out its mission The Foundation raised 150 071 in revenue and spent 94 128 in 2019 providing for a carryover of 55 943 which will build our capacity to sustain core programs and serve as the building block for future legacy programs and initiatives The charts below provide a breakdown of funding sources and the use of those funds It s clear how important donor contributions and events like the Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale are to the Foundation s ability to fund vital education conservation and recreation initiatives More than 200 individuals and businesses have contributed to programs and initiatives that protect nature and enrich lives here in Will County Thank You Sources of Funds Uses of Funds 7

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2019 FINANCIAL SUPPORTERS We thank the following donors who support the education conservation and recreation programs and initiatives that protect Will County s natural heritage and enrich the lives of its residents This list includes all those that made cash donations to the Foundation in 2019 10 000 25 000 Up to 149 Anonymous 2 Anonymous 3 Nancy G Lahey Buckeye Partners LLC Carol Allen L Larson Diane M Allen Robert Lewis 1 000 9 999 Stephen Aultz Warren Dawn Lindquist A J Dralle Inc John Baxter Kay MacNeil Brent Hassert Consulting LLC Kristal Belt Lee R Marek Christopher B Burke Engineering LTD David L Berchem Nancy K Morse Enbridge Phillip D Blanchette Kent Munro National Endowment for the Humanities Paul V Boetto Andy Neill Donna Craig Theimer Betsy Braun Donna Orasco Eric Judith Bridge Michael O Shaughnessy Bill Bromer Rebecca Prochnow Abigail Cano Marilyn E Quas Robert Lauralyn Carter James F Rendel John Darlene Coffey Dianne Ross Wendy Covelli Lea Schultz Fred Margaret Cox Loius J Simon Teresa Cunningham Audrey Stacoviak Samme Cuthbertson Darlene Stipe Renee Daggers Alan P Sturges Sharon DeVault Dona Thomas Szymaszek Mark Donahue Edith Edward Turkington Mike Jamie Donovan Kevin J Van Cott Jack Linda Engels Jill Velazquez Karen M Fonte Gregory Jean Verklan Robert K Fosnaugh Arlene Walsh Gerald Carolyn Funk Nancy J Walsh Lori Ann Green Deborah Warner Nancy Havener Jacob Weber Allan G Hins Mark Wieclaw Lisa Horvath James A Wind Elizabeth Huntley Kelly Wisel David Janet Knol Rosemary Wisnosky James Georgia Kulpa John Zandstra Jr 500 999 Randall Lynn Clark Richard Kavanagh Kavanagh Grumley Gorbold LLC Mahoney Silverman Cross LLC 250 499 Marcella DeMauro Gloria Edward Dollinger Cynthia A Harn Mary Ann Kwiatkowski Strand Associates Inc Wight Company 150 249 Anonymous Coeur Mining Inc Grumpy Gaucho Nothing Bundt Cakes Shorewood Plainfield Mary K Trowbridge Leslie Stompor Tribute Gifts We are also grateful to those who made a donation in recognition of friends family and beloved pets Please give us a call if you would like to learn more about making a tribute gift in honor or in memory of someone you love In memory of Bailey owned by Jack Linda Engels 8

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2019 IN KIND GIFTS Donations of materials supplies services and the like are essential and help to ensure the financial success of our fundraising initiatives and events In 2019 The Nature Foundation of Will County received more than 25 000 in inkind donations from individuals businesses and organizations Thank you for making a difference Ace Hardware Law Offices of Donald Gould LTD Caroll Bruton Amazon Lee Werner Excavating Steve Collins Autobahn Country Club Liberty Creative Solutions Inc Marcella DeMauro Berkot s Margo McDermed State Representative Ann Dralle Blaine s Farm and Fleet Nothing Bundt Cakes Plainfield Shorewood Mike Jamie Donovan The Conservation Foundation The Pollen Path Bess Egelske David Jagodzinski Photography Possibility Place Nursery Karen Fonte Elder Brewing Company Skeleton Key Brewery Cynthia Harn Evil Horse Brewing Solemn Oath Brewery Ragan Pattison Exxon Mobile Taco Bell Kayla Pennington James Flax Forest Preserve District of Will County Werk Force Brewing Company Mark Anita Schneidewind Hayden s Crossing Wight Company Phyllis Schulte Heroes West Sports Grill Will County Brewing Company Craig Donna Theimer Hickory Creek Brewing Company Will County Farm Bureau Russ Weglarz Home Depot Will County Land Use Joliet Slammers WJOL Radio Joliet Tent Company Women for Family Farms Become a Monthly Donor Automated monthly online donations are an easy and convenient way to support the education conservation and recreation initiatives that are important to you Even just 5 or 10 a month can help buy supplies for nature programs or feed the resident reptiles at the Forest Preserve s visitor centers Become a monthly donor and make a difference today Laurie McPhillips Weglarz Denise Winfrey Donors Make a Difference Thank you to everyone who supports us by using AmazonSmile AmazonSmile offers all of the same items prices and benefits of its sister website Amazon com but with one distinct difference When you shop on AmazonSmile the AmazonSmile Foundation contributes 0 5 of eligible purchases to The Nature Foundation of Will County Visit smile amazon com today and select The Nature Foundation of Will County as your charity organization 9

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2019 VOLUNTEER SUPPORT The Nature Foundation of Will County works closely with the Forest Preserve District of Will County to provide opportunities for individuals families and groups to make a positive impact on the environment and in our Will County community The Nature Foundation and the Forest Preserve District rely on generous dedicated people to help each organization achieve its mission and encourage the stewardship of our natural areas for a greener healthier and more beautiful world Thank you for your dedication Linda Brncick Merry Jo Montgomery Jo Chenell Don Espie Nelson Matthew Roth Mark Donahue Rita Dunne Barb Ferry Karen Fonte Jeanne Golec Mary Ann Hill Scott King JoAnn Kohlhagen Sue Lafferty Stan Carol Mauley Nadia Paramo Nigel Pennington Flax Joan Raiger Brenda Reiter Joe Roth Beverly Scheidt Phyllis Schulte Lea Schultz Sally Skoff Karen Tellef Sharon White These individuals are Illinois Master Gardeners Naturalists and in partnership with the Forest Preserve District The Nature Foundation and University of Illinois Extension assist each year with the Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale PARTNER SUPPORT We would like to thank the organizations and businesses that attend our Bringing Nature Home Native Plant Sale and help to make it a huge success Grumpy Gaucho Illinois Master Gardeners and Naturalists Illinois Native Plant Society Illinois Natural History Survey Milkweed for Monarchs The Conservation Foundation The Forest Preserve District of Will County The Pollen Path LLC Will South Cook Soil and Water Conservation District ALONE WE CAN DO SO LITTLE TOGETHER WE CAN DO SO MUCH HELEN KELLER

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DONOR APPRECIATION A few years ago we began looking for ways to thank donors that went beyond a note card or letter So we hosted our first Donor Appreciation Night in 2018 and we did it again in 2019 Donors gathered at Four Rivers Environmental Education Center in Channahon to enjoy the Rock the Woods Summer Concert featuring the classic rock band Infinity We had a great time seeing old friends and making new ones GIFTS FROM YOUR IRA If you are more than 70 1 2 years old you are allowed to give up to 100 000 as a Qualified Charitable Distribution QCD from your traditional IRA or Roth IRA with no tax on the transaction If you are required to make a Required Minimum Distribution RMD to yourself that is taxable you may donate all or a portion of your RMD to The Nature Foundation of Will County as a QCD To qualify as a charitable donation it is essential for a QCD to be made directly from your IRA to The Nature Foundation of Will County or any other receiving charity Please consult your financial adviser for more information and to direct your Qualified Charitable Distribution If you do choose to make a gift in this method to The Nature Foundation of Will County please contact us at 815 722 2022 so we may thank you and correctly acknowledge your gift About the Photography Many of the amazing photographs in this report were entries in the Preserve the Moment photo contest just one of the many initiatives funded with donor support Thank you Photo credits Greg Budd Kevin Coyote Lisa Dinges Jon Flodstrom Cynthia Harn Kevin Keyes Glenn P Knoblock Amanda Lorance Suzy Lyttle Byron Morgan Patti Miller Tina Riley Phyllis Schulte Michelle Wendling Jack Woodard Carter Wright 11

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LOOKING AHEAD This year has truly been a benchmark year for the Foundation Shortly after our inaugural board meeting in April of 2014 Board members worked collaboratively with the Forest Preserve District of Will County to create a road map for the future that would build the Foundation s programs and administrative functions and lead to a successful and sustainable charitable organization for the Forest Preserve District of Will County As the years went on and we began to feel rooted in good governance and sound fiscal policies and practices we asked you to Grow With Us and you have Today there is greater awareness growing support and an increased ability to provide funding to the Forest Preserve District of Will County and to support the types of programs and opportunities that matter to you our donor What does the future hold as we look ahead to our next five years We have a vision a vision that focuses on you As we move into this next year and beyond we see opportunities to connect with you and learn more about you to provide you with more opportunities to support what is important to you to enhance our digital and social media platforms so we can stay connected to expand awareness and community support to welcome new donors and supporters to fund an even wider array of Forest Preserve programs and services that protect nature and enrich lives and to share your stories We hope that you will continue to Grow With Us Corporate Business Support The Nature Foundation is grateful for the support it receives each year from corporations and small businesses serving the Will County community and is proud to partner with these businesses to fund conservation education and recreation initiatives in Will County forest preserves A J Dralle INC Kavanagh Grumley Gorbold LLC Brent Hassert Consulting LLC Mahoney Silverman Cross LLC Buckeye Partners LLC Nothing Bundt Cakes Christopher B Burke Engineering LTD Shorewood Plainfield Enbridge Strand Associates Inc Grumpy Gaucho Wight Company For more information about Community Partnerships or setting up a Corporate Giving Program for your business please contact our offices at 815 722 2022 or willcountynature fpdwc org 12

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BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair Ann Dralle Jamie Donovan Rachel Feil Vice Chair Donald Gould James Flax Meta Mueller Treasurer Ed Garner Ragan Pattison Ralph Schultz Donna Theimer Secretary Marcella DeMauro Jeff Tuminello Rachel Ventura STAFF Executive Director Cynthia Harn MISSION We work to create a legacy of giving that supports and celebrates the preservation conservation education and recreation priorities of the Forest Preserve District of Will County VISION We envision a vital dynamic and self sustaining foundation that is committed to cultivating relationships and forging solid partnerships within our community that benefit and support the Forest Preserve District s ability to protect conserve enhance and promote Will County s natural heritage for the educational recreational and environmental benefit of present and future generations VALUES We believe in Supporting and investing in high quality mission focused projects and programs Fiscal responsibility transparency and accountability in all endeavors Cultivating and maintaining positive sustainable relationships with our donors and supporters 13

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17540 W Laraway Road Joliet IL 60433 815 722 2022 willcountynature fpdwc org www willcountynature org facebook willcoforestfriends