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Climate-smart Natural Areas

The IDNR Climate Action Plan describes strategies to address the impacts of climate change on Illinois natural areas and resources. These strategies focus on the resilience of natural systems and species as well as the carbon sequestration and storage potential of IDNR properties.

There are three main goals for climate-smart natural areas:

  • Enhance resilience of natural systems and species by acquiring critical land parcels and implementing sustainable site management practices.
  • Increase biological carbon sequestration and storage on IDNR properties
  • Implement best management practices across agricultural lands.

Climate Corner

What you can do:

IDNR is working to develop and maintain climate-smart natural areas, and we need your help!  

  • Each of us play a role in protecting our state parks and natural areas. Consider the impact of your actions on Illinois plants, animals, and ecosystems. Follow the National Park Services Leave No Trace principles to minimize those impacts.  
  • Support policies and practices that protect Illinois lands, water, and natural resources.  This might include restoring and protecting wetlands, forests, and native prairies or supporting efforts to decrease the amount of nitrogen fertilizer that gets into our waterways.  
  • Support community efforts to make the natural areas near you “climate smart.” You might participate in activities to remove non-native species. You might help turn polluted lands into a community garden that feeds your neighborhood. You might stay on marked trails to reduce soil erosion. You might plant trees and native plants in your community to improve water infiltration, decrease flooding, and provide habitat for animals and insects.