The Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves is welcoming Amy Doll as its first director.
Doll will be responsible for leading the nonprofit organization as they build collaborations throughout the state to provide support for the Illinois Nature Preserve System.
Doll joins the Friends with more than 15 years of Illinois public lands experience, most recently leading the DeKalb Park District for the past 5 years. She brings her passion and energy for conservation and natural lands protection, along with experience in developing collaborative partnerships.
"We are thrilled to have Amy lead our organization as we build capacity throughout the state," said Matt Evans, board president. "Our vision is an organization that brings a positive approach to support for the Illinois Nature Preserve System, and Amy's collaborative approach to projects and relationship development is what we were looking for in our first director."
Launched in 2020, the central goal of the Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves is to help the state's Nature Preserve System achieve its far-sighted goals.
The Friends work to promote support, constituency, and resources for the nation's first Nature Preserves system. In its short history, Friends have already seen success in assembling volunteer steward communities at seven preserves in six counties, raising funds for individual preserves, and building partnerships with preserve owners. The Friends recently received an important vote of confidence through a capacity-building grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation.
"When I saw that the Friends of Illinois Nature Preserves was hiring, I told myself that I had found my dream job," Doll said. "I am fortunate to be able to combine administrative and organizational skills with my love for 'The Prairie State' and our natural heritage. I am excited to begin working to bring more friends and resources to the beauty and biodiversity of our valuable Nature Preserves."
The Illinois Nature Preserves System was established by state law in 1963. In preserves owned by scores of agencies, organizations and individuals, dependent upon popular support and inter-agency collaboration, the 607 preserves and reserves protect the state's finest woodlands, prairies, and wetlands for the benefit of science, the public, and for the survival of nature itself. These lands and their rare and endangered species represent thousands of years of heritage and millions of years of evolution. They are crucial resources for the future. They are also beautiful and thrilling to visit. Preserves vary in size from as little as one acre to as large as 2,000 acres. As Friends, they support the dedicated staff and volunteers of the Commission and the many owning agencies while raising additional resources for long-needed needed care, including invasives control, prescribed burns, and other stewardship.