For the first 75 years of its history, the Illinois Audubon Society’s involvement in saving wildlife and habitat was purely as an “advocate for wildlife”–sponsoring or supporting legislation to protect birds, acting to educate and change public attitudes about wildlife and the natural environment, helping partner organizations raise money for projects and campaigning to enlarge state parks and nature preserves.
This changed in the 1970’s, when the Society was given several gifts of land and became an active steward of its own sanctuaries. Today, the Society owns 3154 acres in statewide wildlife sanctuaries. The Society serves a vital role in preserving Illinois open space by pre-acquiring land for State and Federal government by using funds dedicated to land acquisition. Income from the sale of these properties, sold at fair market value, are placed back into the land acquisition fund to be used for future purchases. The Society makes no profit from these transactions.