Check Yes for Youth Conservation

Chris Young
Check Yes for Youth Conservation
SPRINGFIELD, IL – Studies show there are fewer children participating in outdoor activities, and the Illinois Conservation Foundation is playing a role in introducing Illinois youth to hunting, fishing and conservation activities.  With the new Illinois license season beginning now, those purchasing hunting, fishing or trapping licenses are asked to please check "yes" to support youth conservation education.

“When you choose to support youth programs in our state, your $5 donation will go directly toward ICF programs around the state," said Eric Schmidt, Executive Director of the Illinois Conservation Foundation. “We're thankful for so many hunters and anglers who make sure to give children the same outdoors recreation opportunities we all had while growing up.”

As the charitable partner of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR), the ICF serves more than 7,000 children annually.  The Torstenson Youth Conservation Education Center (TYCEC) near Rockford, operated by the ICF, is where kids are introduced to hunting, camping and nature observation and sustainability on-site, often for the first times in their lives. 

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.  During 2015, the education station visited spots throughout the state, from Mt. Vernon to Bloomington to Chicago.

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 the National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, and Ducks Unlimited.

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. 

“Learn more about the ICF on our website at – and when you go online or to your favorite retailer to renew your fishing, hunting or trapping license, please consider making your $5 donation to the ICF,” Schmidt added.

The ICF is an IRS 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit corporation established in 1994 to support the programs of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.  The ICF inspires today’s youth – tomorrow’s leaders – by providing quality outdoor education and programs that instill interest in conservation, ecology and sustainability.

Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. 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
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