The Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts (NIPE) is one of eleven chapters of The Prairie Enthusiasts (TPE), a grassroots conservation organization and land trust, dedicated to the protection, restoration, and management of prairies, savannas, and other native grassland ecosystems in the Upper Midwest.
TPE is a 501(c)3 corporation registered in the States of Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Your contributions to NIPE are fully tax-deductible.
NIPE is largely supported by members, local landowners, and our friends in the wider conservation community. Our principal activity is to create nature preserves which support rare native plants and animals. Typically, ninety percent or more of our expenses are for land protection and management.
TPE was founded in 1984 by the merger of several small groups concerned about disappearing grasslands, especially our endangered hill prairies. Members working in Illinois formed a northwest Illinois chapter in 1993. Since then, the organization has grown to over 1,500 members working in three states.
To date, we have created 2,066 acres of nature preserve at 30 sites, helped over 300 private landowners manage/restore their property, and have actively participated in public projects which have protected more than 12,000 acres. Still, there is much work to be done to fulfill our mission.
The mission of the Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts is to:
- Preserve our remaining grasslands by implementing on-the-ground protection, restoration, and management programs,
- Convey to the public an appreciation of the beauty and complexity of native grasslands through topical events and publications, and to
- Assist other organizations, both public agencies and private groups, that share our goals and our science-based approach to conservation.
What can you do to help? JOIN US!
Your interest and enthusiasm will help keep us energized. Become a member or help with a donation. Members receive a quarterly newsletter which focuses on conservation practices and volunteer opportunities.
Of course, there are meetings, workshops, field trips, picnics, work parties, and so forth. Check the calendar to find an event you're interested in and sign up. If you have a particular project in mind, use the 'contact nipe' page to send us an email or see the contact information below.
Board of Directors
These are the people who focus and direct our programs:
- President: John Day, Stockton Illinois
- Vice-President: Laura Dufford, Stockton, Illinois
- Secretary: Ulrike Rachuy, Stockton, Illinois
- Treasurer: Karin Strenski, Galena, Illinois
- Land Manager: Ed Strenski, Galena, Illinois
- Director: Paul Rode, Elizabeth, Illinois
- Director: Paul Hansen, Stockton, Illinois
- Director: Barbara Siekowski, Hanover, Illinois
- Director: Jim Rachuy, Stockton, Illinois
Partners and Affiliations
Among the many organizations we work with are:
- Prairie State Conservation Coalition
- JoDaviess Conservation Foundation
- Natural Land Institute
- The Nature Conservancy
- Conservation Guardians of Northwest Illinois
Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts
413 Madison Street
Galena, Illinois 61036