U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was in Chicago to announce 12 conservation projects for Millennium Reserve: Calumet Core initiative.
One project, the Calumet Invasive Species Conservation Corps, is eradicating invasive species on 227 acres at four Calumet Forest Preserves.
The Mighty Acorns Program: Calumet Partnership will engage 400 students from five Calumet region schools in land stewardship and education.
The Burnham Wildlife Corridor project will convert 60 acres of parkland into woodland, savanna, and prairie habitats.
Last week in Chicago, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced 12 conservation projects for the Millennium Reserve: Calumet Core initiative. These model projects are designed to further transform the Calumet region by, as Salazar noted, "restoring native habitat while also creating new opportunities for millions of Americans to enjoy the great outdoors.” Salazar was joined at the announcement by Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, who declared Millennium Reserve "a 21st century conservation and recreation program that will serve as a lasting gift to future generations of Chicagoans."
As part of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative, Millennium Reserve follows a new model of federal conservation that observes efforts at the state and local levels and then aligns federal goals to match those efforts. In the Calumet, strong existing partnerships among entities such as the Field Museum, Chicago Wildnerness, Openlands, Southeast Environmental Task Force, and many others provided a solid foundation for Millennium Reserve's vision of a "revived Calumet region built on reinvestment in its ecology, community, and economy."
We are proud to be a partner of the Millennium Reserve as part of our Calumet Land Conservation initiative. Millennium Reserve's 12 model projects represent an amibitious commitment to the Calumet region's communities and landscape. Led as they are by dedicated local partner organizations, the projects have on-the-ground expertise to meet that amibition. As Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller said, “This first round of model projects announced today are tangible results that define the potential of the Millennium Reserve. They represent real actions that will improve the local economy, community and the environment.”
Read more about the Model Projects of Millennium Reserve on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website.