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 agencies.

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.

Triple Match Grant for Kickapoo Rail Trail

The Kickapoo Rail Trail has received a grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. They will be matching donations made to the Kickapoo Rail Trail. For every dollar you donate to the KRT, ICECF will donate $3.

The Kickapoo Rail Trail is a valuable strip of both remnant prairie and savanna ecosystems. We will be restoring 4.5 acres of these remnant prairies and savannas along the KRT in Champaign County.

Grant funds will be used for the removal of non-native and invasive trees and shrubs along the KRT, and the collection and planting of local seeds.  These restored ecosystems will allow birds, pollinator insects, mammals, and other wildlife to exist in a landscape surrounded by agricultural development.

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Estate Giving

Are you looking for ways to support the Champaign County Forest Preserve District along with its facilities, programs, goals, and missions during your lifetime or as a lasting legacy? Then consider the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation as a means of satisfying this lifetime charitable objective or as a legacy under your estate plan.

Lifetime gifts to the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation can be made in a variety of forms including cash, appreciated securities, and real estate. These types of gifts can provide you with financial benefit in the form of income tax deductions and reduction of capital gains tax all while benefiting the Champaign County Forest Preserve District.

Legacy gifts of cash, securities, and real estate can also be made to the Champaign County Forest Preserve Friends Foundation by naming the Foundation as a beneficiary under a Will or Trust. This allows you to continue your current lifestyle through the use of these assets during your lifetime together with the flexibility to change your plans as necessary due to life changes, all while ultimately benefiting the Champaign County Forest Preserve District after your death. Estate tax benefits may also be obtained by such legacy gifts.

 A lifetime and legacy gift might also include establishing a Charitable Remainder Trust.  Such a trust can provide regular payments for yourself, your spouse, or a loved one for life and benefit the Champaign County Forest Preserve Friends Foundation as the beneficiary of the Trust after death. Charitable Remainder Trusts can provide income tax deductions, can eliminate capital gains tax on lifetime gifts, and provide estate tax savings at death.

Other simple forms of assets and means to consider in leaving a legacy to the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation might include naming the Foundation as beneficiary of retirement plan assets, life insurance, bank accounts, or investment accounts. Naming the Foundation as direct beneficiary of retirement plan assets provides a way of transferring assets to the Foundation on a tax-free basis.

 If you are interested in discussing these ideas with us, please contact or your personal legal or financial advisor.

Board Members

  • Will Timmons, Chairman
  • Joe Lamb, Vice President 
  • Meredith Mills, Treasurer
  • Bob Espeseth, Secretary
  • Rod Beyers
  • Peg Busch
  • Matt Hausman
  • Roger Laramee
  • Sarah Livesay
  • Merry Mitchell
  • Dan Noel
  • Jennifer Vallowe
  • Mary Ellen Wuellner, Executive Director CCFPD