The Forest Preserve Friends Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation organized for charitable and educational purposes. The Foundation supports the facilities, programs, services, goals and mission of the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. In turn, it generates grant support and collaborative relationships with other agenices.

Your contributions to the Foundation support the projects and activities at the Champaign County Forest Preserve District. Whether helping to acquire land, maintain natural and recreational areas, provide educational experiences, or preserve the County's natural and cultural resources, your gift will touch the lives of generations to come.

2017 Initiatives

Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden 

For over four decades, the beloved Mabery Gelvin Botanical Garden Pond and Waterfall at the Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve has been the center of family gatherings, big events, childhood explorations, and a romantic location to exchange vows. The pond and waterfall that created so many fond memories now needs your attention. Please join a number of dedicated individuals whose donations are helping to restore the area so that it can be enjoyed by generations to come. Plans include major renovations to rebuild the pond and waterfall and increase accessibility, all while paying homage to the original design borrowed from a concept at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Kickapoo Rail Trail

It’s been an eventful year, quite literally. We had no idea how many friends we have in this community, all of whom are dedicated to getting this project underway.

In February, the CCFPD Board of Commissioners voted to move ahead with Phase 1 construction of the trail. Construction started on the 6.7 miles from Main Street, Urbana, to Main Street, St. Joseph, in May and will likely continue through early summer 2017. The trail will remain closed during construction of this 6.7-mile portion.

Donations are still needed to bridge the gap in funding. Click here to donate.

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Mail-In Form

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Contribute by Phone

(217) 586-3360

Board Members

  • Meredith Mills, Treasurer
  • Bob Espeseth, Secretary
  • Joe Lamb, Vice President
  • Dan Noel, President
  • Tom Berns
  • Rod Beyers
  • Roger Laramee
  • Sarah Livesay
  • Terry Rathgeber
  • Will Timmons
  • Dan Olson, Executive Director CCFPD
  • Mary Ellen Wuellner, Deputy Executive Director CCFPD