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About Us

An Up-And-Coming Conservation Organization With A Down-To-Earth Mission

We’re in a race to save natural areas in Illinois. Almost gone are the “oceans of grass” prairies that pioneers saw. Less than one-tenth of one percent of our original prairie remains. Disappearing fast are oak ecosystems, the State’s signature tree. They once covered 1,000,000 acres of our region’s land area. Today it’s just 173,000 acres. 90 percent of wetlands have vanished in 150 years. Dundee Township has a compelling opportunity to become a bright spot in this dark picture. Within its borders, more than 2,000 acres of land have already been set aside as Township Open Space and Forest Preserves. Yet, legal protection alone of this land is not enough. A special effort to restore these lands to a natural state is needed. Restoration involves “rewilding”– from healing land infested by invasive vegetation all the way to starting from scratch; reseeding and replanting former cropland devoid of native plants. Restoration of 2,000 acres of public land is no quick turnaround. The number of government employees engaged in the process can almost be counted on one hand. Another challenge is the cost – up to $2,000 per acre. Thus rewilding can be frustratingly slow, stretching out from months to years. But we need not wait for the government to provide more money and more people to help save our natural areas. That, greatly simplified, is the mission of Friends of Dundee Natural Areas (FDNA). We are a non-government, not-for-profit charity. We seek donations to support the enhancement of natural areas exclusively in Dundee Township. And we invite citizen-conservationists like you to join us as volunteers in the field.

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Our Story

Friends of Dundee Natural Areas sprang from the shared ideals of a Dundee Township “kitchen table” group of local nature lovers. Some enjoy widespread recognition as environmental experts. Most enjoy getting their hands dirty as fieldworkers and stewards in Dundee Township’s Open Space Volunteers program. In addition to their passion for restoring our local natural areas, these folks share deep concerns about the scarcity of tax dollars available for restoration, preservation and upkeep of our natural areas. Fortunately, they and other members of our community cared enough to step forward with volunteered time and donated funding to fill the gap. They have founded Friends of Dundee Natural Areas (FDNA) to provide non-tax dollars to the ongoing efforts to restore, preserve and maintain our local natural areas. The FDNA mission: to help public and private landowners of natural areas within the greater Dundee Township area to overcome the challenges of limited resources in preservation, ecological restoration and protection of these open spaces. To support this mission, FDNA invites your tax-deductible donations. Further, your support will benefit only natural areas in or contiguous to Dundee Township.

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Our Values

If We Love Mother Nature She’ll Love Us Back

Why heal the land? It’s no exaggeration to say that the annihilation of natural areas is now an emergency that threatens humanity. The relationship is indisputable between natural ecosystems and species diversity: the interdependent web of all living things in the environment. Humanity has wiped out 60% of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles since 1970. Like the game Jenga, removing one piece at a time creates a progressively more unstable structure. Until it reaches a tipping point. And comes crashing down. High- quality natural areas improve biological diversity. Diversity in nature leads to the quality-of- life essentials we humans take for granted; clean water: deep rooted prairie plants slowly soak up rainwater and filter it to aquifers instead of flooding into streets and streams. Native vegetation sequesters carbon and releases oxygen, giving us clean air to breathe. Natural area vegetation provides habitat for pollinators, without which we’d have no food. Nature even provides proven mental health benefits. The sight of a prairie in full bloom is nature’s tranquilizer. It’s why we need your help to start restoring what was almost gone.

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FDNA Board Members

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