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Fishing at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes will reopen in 2015

The Wetlands Initiative is committed to public fishing at our Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes in north-central Illinois starting this year. The organization is currently working with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on the specifics, including a starting date.

Dixon Waterfowl Refuge gains additional acreage, new habitats

The Wetlands Initiative has acquired a 417-acre parcel to expand its Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes in north-central Illinois.

Demolition before restoration: Tackling a new area of Midewin

Through a major ongoing partnership with the National Forest Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service, the Wetlands Initiative is doing significant restoration work this year within a new area at the Forest Service’s Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie called the South Prairie Creek Outwash Plain.

New Oak Ridge project moves forward at Dixon Refuge

Key work items have begun and TWI is already seeing progress on the 27-month Oak Ridge Trail and Restoration Project at our Dixon Waterfowl Refuge, which began in May 2014.

UIC engineering students help TWI design farm-based wetland

In spring 2014, a team of three students from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Engineering helped design a farm-based wetland to capture nutrient runoff for TWI’s project in the Big Bureau Creek Watershed in north-central Illinois. The students turned the opportunity into their senior design project, while the partnership allowed TWI to complete a needed initial engineering design at no cost.

Oak Ridge project will mean new habitat, trails to explore at Refuge

The Wetlands Initiative will begin a new project at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge in 2014 that will restore rare oak savanna habitat and more than double the existing trail system, allowing visitors to access and explore the interior of the 3.5-square-mile site for the first time.

Coca-Cola funds help jumpstart new work at Midewin

A grant from Coca-Cola, together with match funding from the National Forest Foundation (NFF), 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.

Record waterfowl numbers and native fish thriving at Dixon Refuge

With no traces remaining of any invasive carp, numbers of migratory waterfowl visiting the Wetlands Initiative's Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes this fall are the highest ever recorded, and populations of reintroduced game and native fish are thriving.

Massive Gulf “dead zone” underscores need for more wetlands

In July, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that the Gulf of Mexico's toxic "dead zone" measures 5,840 square miles this year—about the size of Connecticut. But many small wetlands placed far upstream can help solve this very large problem.

Getting technical: TWI staff at national restoration conference

Several members of TWI's technical staff got a chance to share their work with peers at the fifth National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration (NCER), held in Schaumburg, Illinois, from July 29 to August 2.

Upcoming Events

  • Sojourn in Nature

    2nd Annual Women’s Retreat at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge
    Presented by TWI and the Illinois Audubon Society
    April 25–26, 2015

    Enjoy guided hiking and birdwatching while staying on-site in a spacious farmhouse.

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Mission Statement

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.