Calumet Stewardship Initiative

Illinois Department of Natural Resources

Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is a state agency whose mission is to manage, conserve and protect Illinois' natural, recreational and cultural resources, further the public's understanding and appreciation of those resources, and promote the education, science and public safety of Illinois' natural resources for present and future generations. IDNR is an active land manager in the Calumet region as it owns and manages the William W. Powers State Recreation Area, located along the Illinois and Indiana State line between 120th and 134th streets. In addition, IDNR is a lead agency for the Millennium Reserve, an initiative that reinvests in the ecology, culture, and economy of the Calumet region. The Millennium Reserve’s geographic area includes neighborhoods on the far southeast and southwest sides of Chicago as well as 35 south suburban communities.

The immediate impetus for the Millennium Reserve is President Obama's America's Great Outdoors initiative (AGO), which seeks to create a 21st Century approach to federal conservation efforts by listening to conservation voices at the state and local level, and then aligning federal programs behind those local efforts. Millennium Reserve is designed to transform the Calumet area into a one-of-a- kind public destination that honors the cultural and industrial past, protects and enhances the natural ecosystems, supports healthy and prosperous communities and residents, and stimulates vigorous and diverse economic growth. Millennium Reserve is innovative in that it goes beyond a simple conservation vision. It recognizes that conservation in urban areas is inextricably linked to healthy communities and a robust economy, all of which contribute to quality of life. The initiative incorporates and extends plans previously developed by local stakeholders and also coordinates existing resources of partnering federal, state, county, and municipal agencies around a common vision for the area.
 
To become involved in the Millennium Reserve, contact IDNR at ania.ruszaj@illinois.gov and we will add you to our email communication list. We are currently working on delineating the best way for different groups and people to participate. The First round of model projects was announced in August 2012. We hope to make this an annual event, and by the end of 2012 we will announce the process for considering model projects for 2013. IDNR and Millennium Reserve can help by including your project information in the project portfolios that are being developed through a collaborative process. Once we identify funding and human resource needs, we will solicit partner input to determine priorities and also decide what resources IDNR can commit to various projects.
 
The Calumet Stewardship Initiative (CSI) is considered a key partner and stakeholder in the Calumet region, and Millennium Reserve complements the work performed by CSI. Millennium Reserve partners with organizations in the Calumet region, such as CSI, to further ecology, community, and economy goals for the region. Millennium Reserve unites and engages partners to achieve a grand overall vision while addressing individual organizational goals and objectives in a holistic and cooperative fashion. Partners provide their individual human and capital resources as part of the larger initiative and work more cohesively, effectively, and efficiently to achieve desired outcomes. Only by leveraging the power of these partnerships can we best utilize limited state, federal, county, municipal, and private resources to unleash the full potential of Millennium Reserve.
 
Contact Information:  IDNR Region II Office - Northeastern Illinois (847) 608-3100
 

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