Hunters & Anglers Raise $726k in License Purchases
Voluntary Donation of $5 to Illinois Conservation Foundation Supports Youth Programs
Illinois hunters and anglers have raised $726,000 for youth hunting and fishing programs since 2006. This year’s license renewals pushed total donations past the $726,000 mark, and well on the way to a goal of $1 million raised, hopefully sometime in 2019. When licenses are purchased, individuals are asked to make a $5 donation for the Illinois Conservation Foundation.
“Our long-time supporters know that the ICF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to educating youth about the outdoors,” said ICF Executive Director Eric Schmidt. “We couldn’t do this without the support of so many hunters and anglers who have a vested interest in making sure our children have the same outdoor experiences as we did growing up.”
“Hunters and anglers already support our conservation efforts through their purchases of licenses and stamps,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Director Wayne Rosenthal. “I’m not surprised that our sportsmen and women have stepped up again to fund the Foundation’s important work to educate the next generation of conservationists.”
As the charitable partner of the IDNR, the ICF serves more than 6,000 children annually at the Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center (TYCEC) outside of Rockford, where kids are introduced to hunting, camping and nature observation and sustainability on site, often for the first times in their lives.
Youth hunting education around the state includes mentored experiences with deer, turkey, duck, pheasant, dove, goose and squirrel hunts. These hunts are often in partnership with other organizations, such as Ducks Unlimited, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Pheasants Forever.
This spring, thanks to several donors, the ICF will have a brand new fishing pond at the TYCEC. The IDNR will help to fully stock this pond so children who visit the property will have a chance to learn about and experience catch-and-release fishing. Education can also be taken off the property anywhere in the state with the Torstenson Education Station, a mobile classroom equipped with a myriad of hunting and fishing gear available for children to get hands-on experience with.
With a mission of inspiring the next generation of conservation leaders and outdoor sportsmen and women, the ICF uses all funding to support programs such as the ones above. You can learn more about the ICF at www.ilcf.org. Most licenses are renewed in April, May and June. When you go online or to your favorite retailer to renew your fishing license, please consider making that $5 donation to the ICF.
For more information on the ICF, or to arrange individual or corporate support for ICF educational and other programs, contact the Foundation at 217-785-2003 or online at www.ilcf.org.