Why talk about Millennium Reserve tonight?While the goals and geographic area are farther south than Evanston, Millennium Reserve demonstrates our agency’s commitment to respecting the history, challenges, and goals of a region. The Reserve also demonstrates DNR’s role as a facilitator and, most importantly, a partner.
Millennium Reserve is a partnership of nearly 100 public agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations working together to:* stimulate economic growth in the Calumet region;* restore and enhance its natural ecosystems; and,* improve quality of life.Millennium Reserve is also a geographic area stretches from downtown Chicago east to the Indiana border and southwest to Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, Illinois. The immediate focus within this area is the Calumet Core region encompassing numerous neighborhoods on Chicago’s south side, the southeast lakefront, and 35 south suburban municipalities.
The Calumet region of Illinois and Indiana is an ecological area of international significance.It includes one of the most important migratory bird flight routes in North America and an amazing array of plants, animals, and ecosystems. But post-settlement by non-indigenous people eventually uprooted much of the ecological wonder of the region.Settlement and regional development was driven by the Calumet’s strategic location for transportation.Ironically, industrial development also left rare pockets of untouched natural areas which still exist today.
Millennium Reserve is just that…a 220-square mile opportunity to transform a region in transition. It recognizes that conservation and sustainable land use are inextricably linked to healthy communities and a robust economy. It is also not starting from scratch. We are building on existing plans and action agendas such “Go to 2040” by CMAP and “Green TIME Zone” by Center for Neighborhood Technology and South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association …as well as many others.
President Obama took a new approach to conservation and recreation with his America’s Great Outdoors initiative. That initiative provides the foundation of Millennium Reserve.
In its early program development phase, IDNR engaged dozens of partners and other stakeholders in helping shape a vision for Millennium Reserve.Governor Quinn formalized this collaborative model in March 2013 by appointing a 22-member Steering Committee to: Galvanize efforts around opportunities of regional significance in Millennium Reserve
The shared leadership structure helps ensure diverse stakeholders and interests are represented.
This group’s primary, short-term focus is to:Develop an action agendaZero in on “tipping point” projects for the regionIdentify resources to make those projects happen
The Governor also appointed a 5-members state agency task force to Inform and support Steering Committee prioritiesThis task force includes: (see slide)
Dozens of partners are doing outstanding work in the Calumet region now. To make Millennium Reserve more tangible, we thought it would be helpful to share some examples of their work.
First: Chicago Park District Wetlands Restoration, which is a project at Big Marsh and Hegewisch Marsh.These parcels total over 400 acres near Lake Calumet and provide critical habitat for wetland birds. The wetlands restoration will provide habitat and support nesting for rare species, which draw many birders to the area. Birders play an important role in eco-tourism and related spending.
A new extension of the City of Chicago’s successful GreenCorps initiative is providing job training and invasive species control at 15 city and suburban sites. In addition to local ecosystem benefits, the program contributes to economic and job development by hiring and training individuals with barriers to employment.
The State of Illinois is investing over $5 million to construct new sections of:* the Thorn Creek Trail, bringing its length to 17.5 miles; and, * Cal-Sag Trail, making it a 30-mile paved, multi-use trail that connects more than 185,000 people in 14 communities. Both trails are key connectors for the 100-mile loop of Southland trails that bolster recreational opportunities, eco-tourism, and related consumer spending in the region.
With curricula that correlate to Illinois science learning standards, Mighty Acorns fosters a personal connection between young people and the natural areas in their communities. The Millennium Reserve partnership has allowed the Field Museum, which runs Mighty Acorns, to expand the program’s reach in Calumet. This expansion is bringing classroom lessons and in-the-field Calumet site study and stewardship to 400 fourth through sixth grade students, many from underserved communities.
Scheduled to open in fall 2014, the new Tillman Maritime Academy is an alternative high school for low-income, at risk, primarily African American young people aged 16-24 who have been unsuccessful in traditional academic settings. Its special areas of focus include environmental education, job training, and service learning. Located along the Little Calumet River in Chicago’s Riverdale neighborhood and adjacent to Altgeld Gardens, Tillman will immerse students in a coastal setting to gain employable skills and develop career pathways in maritime technology, waterway safety, and conservation stewardship.
IDNR has played a funding, technical assistance, program development, and/or other supporting role in each of these partnership-driven projects. From IDNR top leaders like Director Marc Miller to Chris Rollins, site supervisor at William Powers State Park on the far south side of Chicago, to grounds keeper Mike and receptionist Terry at William Powers, our role is be proactive, responsive, accessible, and a partner. The project examples I highlighted represent just a handful of the exciting things that are already happening specifically as a result of the Reserve partnership framework.
IDNR and our Millennium Reserve partners aim to stimulate and steward LONG-TERM, strategic, and focused investment in:Environmental enhancement and outdoor recreationEconomic redevelopmentStronger neighborhoods and communitiesIt starts with an environmental and economic renewal plan for the Calumet region that weaves nature into the fabric of healthy communities. By connecting innovative projects with the necessary resources, Millennium Reserve will enhance open space and create sustainable economic growth. You can measure our success by the numbers of acres, natural resources, and jobs protected and restored. We are guided by local partners who understand community priorities and know how to make the most of the region’s assets. And that collaborative process is what will make Millennium Reserve the new model for urban redevelopment.
Illinois was the last eligible state for inclusion in NOAA’s Coastal Management Program. Joining the program has allowed IDNR to bring staff and additional financial resources to the Illinois Coast. The purpose of our program is to connect, strengthen and support partnerships that benefit our Illinois Coast . And clearly, there are so many partnerships already in this region!ICMP is organized to enhance the state’s role in supporting partnerships among governmental agencies, and organizations. The ICMP strengthens local stakeholder capacity, and initiates andcontinues effective coastal management consistent with identified state standards and criteria. The ICMP plays an important role in shaping coastal ecosystem management policies, streamliningprocedures, and providing a clearinghouse for information on coastal regulatory programs. It increases public awareness, involvement, and opportunities for citizens to participate in decisions affecting our Lake Michigan coastal resources.
The coastal zone varies tremendously through its 63 miles and the boundaries of the Coastal Zone are quite narrow in some places. This is in part because the flow of water in this region has been changed so much that most of the surface water and rainfall flows away from the lake under normal circumstances. The Pike-Root area includes large, high-quality natural communities where management for diverse native vegetation is needed. In the central area of the Chicago coast, habitat areas are more modest and interspersed with non-native park plantings. Enhancing shoreline and riverfront parks for migratory birds will be a key focus. In the Calumet region, the focus will extend to wetland management techniques to improve hydrology at heavily modified sites to restore marsh types needed by breeding birds.
Watershed WikiTool for tracking the status of Illinois’ coastal projectsReporting mechanism for a wide variety of public and private stakeholdersNetworking opportunity to foster watershed-wide dialoguesMindMixer – Web-based Community EngagementVirtual Town Hall meeting Simple to use, low barrier to participationIntroduce ideasRanking and prioritizing capabilitiesComplementary to Wiki information
IDNR Presentation on Opportunities for Evanston Partnership
City of Evanston
Morton Civic Center
January 15, 2014
General Background on IDNR
Who we are/ How we work
Great Lakes Leadership
Coastal Management Program
Background and Initiatives
Illinois Lake Michigan Implementation Plan
Coastal Community Assistance
Possibilities for the Harley Clarke Facility
Questions and Answers
Some of DNR’s Responsibilities:
State Lands Management (Parks)
(Fish, Wildlife, Forestry, Private lands- including
Hunting and Fishing)
Conservation Law Enforcement
Mines and Minerals Regulation
Water Resources Regulation (drinking
Realty and Environmental Planning
Architecture, Engineering and Grants (Projects)
Strategic Services (Licensing, permits, education)
Illinois State Museum
IDNR- Making a Difference
Manage 324 State Parks and
supports 90,000 jobs
and $32 billion
worth of economic
Facilities with 45 million
Annually review 21,000
projects to assure no adverse
impacts to state natural
Permit energy production
(mining, oil and gas, etc.)
supporting 50,000 jobs.
Manage water supply for 7
million people in 200
communities, and regulate
Examples of IDNR Programs and
Asian Carp and Invasive Species
Regional Great Lakes Leadership
Millennium Reserve: Calumet Core
Coastal Management Program
Asian Carp Control Strategy
Goal: Prevent establishment of selfsustaining carp populations in the
A collaborative effort of federal, state
and local agencies.
Transition from single point of defense
at the electric barriers to multi-tiered
High Impact Invaders
Sea Lamprey in the 1920’s
Zebra Mussels in the 1980’s
Quagga Mussels in the 1980’s
Governor Pat Quinn
signed a deal with a
Chinese Food processing
company to purchase 50
million pounds of Illinois
River Asian Carp creating
180 direct and indirect
Providing Leadership to Great Lakes
Great Lakes Commission
Council of Great Lakes Governors
Governor Quinn is Co-Chair
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement
Great Lakes Compact Council/Regional body
IDNR Conservation Congress
Illinois Conservation Congress is a way for IDNR constituents to
propose and advocate actions that can protect and conserve the
natural resources of the State of Illinois.
The Conservation Congress process gives the public an
opportunity to help IDNR set priorities on a wide range of natural
Opportunities to engage with IDNR through Conservation
Online survey of conservation issues
Open week of Jan. 13: www.dnr.illinois.gov
Live webcasts: Thursdays with IDNR - www.dnr.illinois.gov
January 23: Habitat Restoration & Protection
January 30: Land & Water Management
February 6: Outdoor Recreation
February 13: Partnerships to Promote Education & Volunteerism
February 20: Communications & Customer Service
Shaping the Future of
the Calumet Region
Senior Advisor – Millennium Reserve
Illinois Department of Natural
January 15, 2014
Ecological Region of Significance
Industrial Heritage and Legacy
Chicago West Pullman and Southern Railroad
served US Steel and Pullman.
Republic Steel (built 1876) at Avenue O & Calumet River
Calumet River: a working river
100th Street Train
Station c. 1900
St Archangel Michael
Serbian Orthodox Church
106th and Torrence
Mid-1980s: 200,000 jobs lost
Wisconsin Steel: boom (1875) and bust (1982)
US Steel South Works: heyday (early 1900s) and today
“[Let’s] talk about the shuttered mills that once provided a decent life for men and
women of every race.” – Presidential candidate Barack Obama, March 18, 2008
Calumet Area Open Space Reserve
Calumet Area Land Use Plan
Opportunity to Build on Existing Efforts
America’s Great Outdoors
A promise to future generations…
children, to America's outdoors
Build upon local priorities for
the conservation of
land, water, wildlife, historic, a
nd cultural resources
management practices to
restore and protect our lands
and waters for future
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
The Field Museum
Forest Preserve District of Cook
Funk Linko Inc.
Calumet Stewardship Initiative
Illinois Department of Natural
The Chicago Community Trust
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for
Chicago Park District
City of Chicago
Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley
Illinois International Port
Metropolitan Planning Council
Metropolitan Water Reclamation
District of Greater Chicago
The Pullman Civic Organization
South Suburban Mayors &
Steering Committee Duties
Develop action agenda for environmental
restoration, outdoor recreation, and economic and
Identify projects and major policy initiatives of
Identify resources to carry out projects
Create and implement short- and long-term work
Coordinate and engage with Indiana
State Agency Task Force
Inform and consider
priorities and specific
actions of Steering
Align and focus State of
Illinois resources and
report, recommendations, and action plan to
Announcement by the Governor
Examples of Partnership-driven
Projects and Accomplishments
Chicago Park District Wetlands Restoration
Big Marsh and Hegewisch Marsh
parcels total over 400 acres of
natural wetlands near Lake
Restoring water levels necessary
to provide habitat and support
nesting for rare birds
These sites are critical locations
for wetland bird populations in
Lead Agency: Chicago Park District
Main Partner: IDNR
Green job training and invasive
species control at 15 city and
Benefits both the local
ecosystem and economy by
hiring and training individuals
with barriers to employment
Lead Agency: City of Chicago
Key Partners: Chicago Park
District, FPDCC, IDNR, US EPA
New Funds for Southland Trails
Key connectors for the 100-mile loop of
Cal-Sag Trail: new sections will connect
185,000+ people in 14 communities
Thorn Creek Trail extension to 17.5 miles
related consumer spending in the region
Lead Agency: Forest Preserve District of Cook County
Key Partners: Active Transportation
Alliance, IDNR, Illinois Department of
Transportation, Openlands, National Park
Service, Trails for Illinois
Curriculum is correlated to the Illinois STEM Standards
Fosters a personal connection between students and
natural areas in their communities
First-step opportunities for conservation career
Lead Agency: Field Museum
Key Partners: Calumet Stewardship Initiative, FPDCC, IDNR
Tillman Maritime Academy
This new program
training, and service
learning for lowincome, at
risk, primarily African
people aged 16-24.
Lead Agency: Prologue
Current & Prospective Partners:
Green, GreenCorps, IL
Conservation Police – Marine
IDNR’s role in project examples
Other supporting role(s) in each of these partnership-
Strategic and focused investment in:
and outdoor recreation
Illinois Coastal Management Program
Illinois was officially approved
as a Coastal Management
Program on Jan 31, 2012
1. Support partnerships among governmental agencies, and organizations.
2. Strengthen local stakeholder capacity,
3. Initiate and continue effective coastal management.
Illinois Lake Michigan
Implementation Plan (ILMIP)
ILMIP is our blueprint for identifying and implementing
priority management activities in the Illinois Coastal
Goals of the plan were:
To guide program direction and set funding
priorities for Coastal Grants Program.
To increase the number and diversity of Coastal
and Lake Michigan stakeholders
To develop a system to gather and prioritize
future stakeholder input.
Chicago & Evanston
Chicago & Evanston:
• Improve habitat value of
• Restore riparian areas for
• Green infrastructure to
Community Assistance: Climate Adaptation
Historically low water levels…
High Intensity Storms…
Community Assistance: Recreation
1. To increase recreational access and
opportunities throughout the Illinois
2. To better connect land based trails and
water trails with their coastal
communities and amenities.
Photo by Kathy Siegrist, CASKA
1. Access Points for Lake Michigan Water
2. Extending lake shore trails where
3. Creating known connections among
various trails and communities.
4. Supporting amenities for trail users .
5. Increasing awareness and publicity of
Coastal Grant Program
Project Types- Education and
Outreach, Planning, Low Cost
Construction, Habitat Restoration, Land
The Ripple Effect: Building a Community
that Cares About Our Great Lake
Grantee: Park District of Highland Park
Project Focus: Interpretive signage, outreach materials,
and specialized scientific equipment to enhance
visitor learning about nearshore, dune, and ravine
ecosystems at the new Lakefront Interpretive Center.
Stormwater from the Ground Up
Grantee: League of Women Voters
Project Focus: Public information campaign
to educate citizens about the problems
associated with stormwater
runoff, emphasizing actions that
individuals, communities, and regions can
take to alleviate flooding.
Harley Clarke Opportunities
Keeping Public Assets Public:
Coastal Education Center – open to public
Beach, park, and recreational access
Coastal Science Classroom for schools
A regional public meeting space
Coastal program for a prominent Lakefront
site is a great fit!
IDNR service center for
Restore and manage
natural habitats- training
Support lake- and
Education and research
Potential Improvements to Harley
Upgrades to meet safety and
other building codes.
Opportunities for improved
energy efficiency and
Demonstration site for
environmentally sustainable best
management practices (e.g.
water and waste management)
Potential Grounds Improvements
Green Infrastructure to protect water
quality (e.g. permeable pavement
parking lots, rain gardens, bioswales)
management to promote
passive recreation (e.g.
birding, wildlife watching).
species removal and
native planting and
Why is IDNR interested….
Logical central lakefront location within our
coastal program boundary.
Excellent opportunity to expand education
and recreational activities.
Natural Resource Agency facility in
partnership with widely recognized Green
IDNR’s Coastal programming is a great fit with
the Evanston Lakefront Master Plan.
Evanston is a special place ….IDNR feels that
there is a great opportunity for partnership.