About Us

(Western Illinois Nature Group)

Our mission

The mission of Western Illinois Nature Group is to support Blackthorn Hill Nature Preserve and to provide outdoor experiences to the public for education and appreciation of nature.

Our goals

.       to provide nature and environmental education to youth and adults;

.       to obtain and maintain a safe facility for progressive youth camping;

.       to maintain and preserve the natural resources on a property;

.       to develop a year-round nature center for public use.

Western Illinois Nature Group was created to find and purchase a forested property in west central Illinois to accomplish the above goals. We seek the financial support and encouragement of area communities and organizations, as well as the dedication of our membership, to preserve a beautifully wooded area for enjoyment well beyond this century. The generosity of corporate and private foundations and local businesses is essential.

About the Organization

Western Illinois Nature Group is:

.       a public charitable organization incorporated in the State of Illinois in 1998. All contributions to the Corporation will be tax deductible and all earnings by the corporation will be tax exempt.

.       a membership-based democratic organization relying on people interested in the out-of-doors who contribute a membership fee and assist in whatever way they can to conserve natural resources and protect the environment and nature.

.       Additional membership, as well as board members, will be sought from other organizations and communities as may further the purpose of this organization.

-Scroll to the bottom of this page for a link to the page with  our By-Laws and Committee Structure

Board of Directors




Chair, Ron Hunt 309-342-0873, 309-509-1524, cast6314@gmail.com                   

Chair           309-251-1340 


Vice Chair, Lucas Robison309-299-1449, ltrobison@comcast.net

Vice-chair    309-342-0209


Treasurer, Lora Wright 309-337-9020, loraw72@gmail.com

Treasurer     309-342-5493  


Secretary, Pat Smith 309-251-1340

Secretary     309-337-9020


Board Members at large




Mariette Smith
309-368-0652, sitc1934@yahoo.com



Dennis Crist

309-335-7155, belfast_13@yahoo.com



Martin Reichel

309-342-0209H, 309-342-6512W, mreichel2@comcast.net

Pat Trant

309-335-6789, pattrant@yahoo.com



If interested in joining our board, send a brief bio to blackthornhill@gmail.com .



Finance Committee


Lora Wright



Martin Reichel.

Opal Murray




Membership Committee


Pat Smith



Ron Hunt



Property Committee


Mike Wright

Volunteer 309-337-8664

Lucas Robison

Pat Trant

Dennis Crist



Public Relations Committee


Lora Wright





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