Created by a public vote in 1922, the FPWC now encompasses 11,500 acres of woods, wetlands, rivers, prairies, and ponds. Hundreds of species of plants and animals inhabit these restored and managed lands.
The Forest Preserves of Winnebago County was the third forest preserve district to be created in Illinois under the act which enabled counties to levy a tax and acquire land for recreation, education and preservation. As prescribed by the Downstate Forest Preserve Act, the District was governed by a board composed of the same individuals serving on the county board. The first forest preserve, Hononegah, was purchased in 1924.
A detailed and fascinating history of FPWC and each individual forest preserve was written by David Bishop and Craig G. Campbell in 1979. History of the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County chronicles the district through from 1922 through 1979.
The Forest Preserve of Winnebago County is dedicated to protecting, conserving, enhancing and promoting Winnebago County's natural heritage for the environmental, educational, and recreational benefit of present and future generations.
• Protecting and preserving natural lands and natural communities.
• Connecting people to nature.
• Educating the community on the benefits and history of the land.
• Being responsive to recreational needs while minimizing impact on the environment.