Donate to restore Willow Pond at Middle Fork River Forest Preserve!

Save this natural asset for future generations!

Donate to restore Willow Pond at Middle Fork River Forest Preserve! image


raised towards $250,000 goal


Days Left


Save this natural asset for future generations!

Restore Champaign County's only public swim beach, Willow Pond!

It’s a hot, summer day. The beach is crowded with moms, dads, and kids of all ages. The smell of coconut suntan lotion wafts through the air, while a game of ‘chicken’ breaks out in the water. A nearby fisherman anxiously anticipates a nibble at his hook. Teens have gathered for a game of sand volleyball, while toddlers cautiously dip their toes in the cool, clear water... This was the daily scene in the heyday of Willow Pond.

All living things have a life expectancy, and Willow Pond is no exception. Dredging the pond, deepening it, and adding a new clay liner are needed to improve water quality and create a healthy habitat for fish and shorebirds.

Along with pond improvements, other recreational features are planned to make the pond more accessible and bring back the fun! Fishing nodes jutting out from the bank, an accessible walking path along the shore, and an all-weather bags game are all included in the innovative design. You told us and we listened. In today’s digital age it is more important than ever to provide parks and recreation programs and places where children can play and be physically active.

Together we can make a difference.

Currently, there are no granting agencies that could fund such a project for Willow Pond. Staff at the Forest Preserves have done the research and this project simply does not qualify for state or federal funds. We turn now to people who love Willow Pond, who use it to create family memories, and have the dreams of preserving this natural resource for the future. Won't you please make a gift today to the Willow Pond Restoration project through the Forest Preserve Friends Foundation?

The estimated total cost stands at $350,000. The Forest Preserve District has reserved $100,000 towards this project, leaving a balance of $250,000 left to raise.We know that’s a big number. But we also know that if many people give just $50, and some give more, we can join together to get the job done. What a satisfying memory that would be for everyone who enjoys the tranquility of Willow Pond. And what a treasure to pass on for your children and grandchildren to enjoy.