About Us


(Western Illinois Nature Group)

Contact Us at blackthornhill@gmail.com.

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.

Board of Directors


Chair, Ron Hunt 309-342-0873, 309-509-1524, cast6314@gmail.comSecond 3 year term thru 2023

Vice Chair, Lucas Robison309-299-1449, ltrobison@comcast.net First 3 year term thru 2022

Treasurer, Lora Wright 309-337-9020, loraw72@gmail.com Second 3 year term thru 2022

Secretary, Rose Moore 309-371-2306, oxbowfarm@yahoo.com First 3 year term thru 2023

Board Members at large

Tony Kloppenborg

217-785-4134, Tony.Kloppenborg@illinois.gov 3 year term thru 2022

Martin Reichel

309-342-0209H, 309-342-6512W, mreichel2@comcast.net 3 year term thru 2023

Pat Trant

309-335-6789, pattrant@yahoo.com 3 year term thru 2022

Pat Smith

309-569-9336 3 year term thru 2023

Ellie Repp

elliekjhs@hotmail.com 3 year term thru 2023

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