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Triple Impact to Restore Heron Creek Forest Preserve

June 1, 2023 09:04 AM

Funds from a recent grant will be used to restore 100 acres at Heron Creek Forest Preserve in Lake Zurich.

The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF) awarded the Lake County Forest Preserves a Community Stewardship Challenge Grant. The funding will be awarded to the Preservation Foundation, the charitable partner of the Forest Preserves.

“We are thankful to receive this funding for a high-priority project,” said Erika Stergos, executive director of the Preservation Foundation. "This grant is unique in that it will triple the impact of every gift made to the Preservation Foundation to help restore Heron Creek."

ICECF will contribute $3 for every $1 the Preservation Foundation receives, up to $7,000. “This turns a $25 donation into a $100 impact,” Stergos said. Volunteering during monthly workdays at Heron Creek can also bring in additional dollars. “When we reach 400 volunteer hours, ICECF will provide us an additional $4,000.”

Donations will support removing invasive species at Heron Creek, a 242-acre preserve that features a playground and 2.5 miles of trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing. The grant will also aid collecting and replanting native seed and providing volunteers with tools and training.

Heron Creek offers rolling landscape of scenic woodlands, wetland and wide-open fields, creating exceptional wildlife habitat. “Considered a birdwatcher’s paradise, more than 116 species of birds have been observed here, including a resident population of waterfowl and herons—the site’s namesake,” Stergos said. The Indian Creek basin, which flows through Heron Creek, is an Advanced Identification Wetland, the highest wetland classification in Lake County. To donate and learn more: