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Mission

The Wetlands Initiative is  dedicated to restoring the wetland resources of the Midwest to improve water quality, increase wildlife habitat and biodiversity, and reduce flood damage.

Featured News


  • hickory hollow ftd news

    The Dixon Refuge is expanding!

    On December 17, 2014, the Wetlands Initiative acquired a new parcel along the southeastern border of our award-winning restoration in Hennepin, Illinois. Read more in the Chicago Sun-Times article here.

  • shrike ftd news

    Looking for “Uppies” and butcherbirds

    In this Field Note, TWI Grants Manager Vera Leopold writes about her experience helping to survey two fascinating and rare grassland bird species at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie ... more.

  • team site visit ftd news

    UIC students help TWI design wetland

    In spring 2014, a team of three engineering students from the University of Illinois at Chicago helped design a farm-based wetland to capture nutrient runoff for TWI’s Big Bureau Creek project ... more.

  • oak savanna area ftd news

    New habitat, trails coming to Refuge

    The Wetlands Initiative will begin the Oak Ridge project at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge in 2014, which will restore rare oak savanna and more than double the existing trail system ... more.

  • coke event ftd news

    Coke jumpstarts new Midewin work

    A grant from Coca-Cola is helping TWI expand its restoration work at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie to a large new parcel known as the South Prairie Creek Outwash Plain ... more.

  • ruddy duck annual report

    Great duck-cess at the Dixon Refuge

    Numbers of migratory waterfowl visiting the Wetlands Initiative's Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes this fall are the highest that have ever been recorded at the site ... more.

  • al pyott ftd news

    Al Pyott receives conservation award

    Illinois Audubon Society has named TWI co-founder Al Pyott their Conservationist of the Year for 2013, recognizing his long career of advancing conservation initiatives in Illinois ... more.

Get to Know Wetlands


  • dixon_refuge_location_map

    Experience the Dixon Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes

    Climb the observation tower, hike a boardwalk trail, paddle through a marsh, or enjoy excellent bird-watching at the Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge ... more.

  • ar cover ftd news

    Read our new Annual Report

    Our 2013 Annual Report is now available online. Read about the wetland restoration work your support makes possible, and learn how people are an integral part of the TWI landscape ... more.

  • midewin location map

    Visit the region's largest prairie restoration at Midewin

    Discover Illinois' original prairie-wetland landscape at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, where waving grasses and wildflowers stretch to the horizon ... more.