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  1. Governor
  2. Millennium Reserve
  3. Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions 

  1. Where did the concept for millennium reserve come from?

    The Millennium Reserve Initiative (MR) is Illinois’ contribution to President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to reconnect Americans, especially children, to America's rich outdoor treasures; build upon public, private, and tribal priorities for conservation and recreation lands; and use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations.

  2. What other local groups are participating in MR?

    There are two main advisory groups. The first group consists of Local NGO’s and stakeholders, the second consists of government agencies at the Federal State and Local level.

  3. How many projects are involved with MR?

    The Millennium Reserve: Calumet Core will have over 15000 acres of open space and 53 miles of trails connecting to Millennium Park in downtown Chicago.

  4. What kinds of projects are being developed within the MR initiative?

    The Millennium Reserve will have three distinct land designations that define the goals for the areas and prescribe the level and types of conservation management and stewardship. CORE natural lands contain important high-quality biological communities and support rare plants and animals, TRANSITION or buffer lands that are the natural or undeveloped lands surrounding CORE Lands or providing opportunities for connectivity, and ENTERPRISE lands that include both developed and undeveloped lands such as brownfields, residential neighborhoods, commercial properties, industrial lands.

  5. How many of those projects have real funding and can start now?

    The Millennium Reserve will begin by including open space and other lands publicly held by its partners. Additional acquisitions and focus areas will be added as resources become available.

  6. How long before all the projects in the MR initiative are complete and the area is completely transformed?

    The Millennium Reserve is perpetual.

  7. How much money has/ or is being invested by the state in MR?

    IDNR has committed $17 million in PARC grants, this year and future funding will come from Coastal Zone program funding, local and federal partners, and the private sector.

  8. How much money will it take to complete all these projects?

    TBD

  9. Can the state really afford to invest in this kind of initiative when it is so far in debt?

    The Millennium Reserve is designed to leverage currently existing resources in a cohesive plan, which is the appropriate path given the challenging fiscal environment faced at all levels of government. Outdoor recreation has an enormous impact on Illinois economy. A 2006 study published by the US Fish and Wildlife Service found over $2 billion is spent each year as a result of outdoor recreation in Illinois.

  10. Why was this area chosen as the site for this initiative?

    The Millennium Reserve builds on the decades of work that has been done in the Calumet area by local stakeholders, non-profits, foundations, the City of Chicago, the IDNR, the CCFPD, the Chicago Park District and our other local and state partners.

  11. What is the Burnham Gap and why is it so crucial to MR?

    The Burnham Greenway gap is the missing link in a crossroads of several trails of regional, state and national significance. This keystone location of strategic importance is a two-mile gap in the 11-mile Burnham Greenway, a former railroad right-of-way linking Chicago to Lansing. Closing the Burnham Greenway gap is a major Green Legacy goal of the Burnham Centennial plan and creates a hub tying together hundreds of miles of local, state and inter-state trails.

  12. With work going into planning for many of these projects for years, what have been some road blocks to getting them completed?

    The Calumet Area is an industrial area and contains some of the most troubling pollution “hot spots” of our industrial legacy. It also boasts some of the richest Biodiversity in the state including federal threatened and endangered species. Building on past successes and planning efforts, the Federal, State and local governments involved in MR have the vision and drive to continue development of the project from planning to reality.

  13. What is the difference between MR and other concepts in the past such as the Calumet Open Space Reserve?

    The Millennium Reserve builds and expands the planning, concepts and area developed in the Calumet Open Space reserve.

  14. What is the state’s role in MR?

    The Millennium Reserve Initiative is being led by the Department of Natural Resources.

  15. What role does the Federal Government have?

    The Millennium Reserve Initiative (MR) is part of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative to reconnect Americans, especially children, to America's rich outdoor treasures; build upon public, private, and tribal priorities for conservation and recreation lands; and use science-based management practices to restore and protect our lands and waters for future generations.

  16. What role does the City of Chicago have?

    The City of Chicago and the Chicago Park District are full partners in the Millennium Reserve.