The Liberty Prairie Foundation
The Liberty Prairie Foundation’s mission is to promote the integration of healthy ecosystems and the vibrant human communities they support.
The Liberty Prairie Foundation is nationally recognized as a leader in developing and supporting enterprises that build and strengthen our local food system while enhancing the natural landscape.
The Foundation provides leadership and financial support for local food system development, social entrepreneurship, land conservation, environmental education, and civic engagement. We envision a world where people of all ages are deeply connected to their food, land and community, and therefore make choices toward sustainable systems in nature and society.
The Liberty Prairie Foundation has been working to develop a sustainable local food system since 1993. Over the years, we have built many innovative partnerships locally, regionally and nationally and have leveraged these efforts to advance our work in Lake County.
Facilities and Programs
The Liberty Prairie Foundation owns and is headquartered at the 100 acre certified organic Prairie Crossing Farm. To advance our mission, the Liberty Prairie Foundation operates the following programs and facilities:
Sandhill Family Farms is a for-profit independent owner operated business that leases land from the Liberty Prairie Foundation, and is also located at the Prairie Crossing Farm.
The Liberty Prairie Foundation has created or collaborated with others to produce the following resources aligned with our mission:
Liberty Prairie Reserve Master Plan and summary brochure. After two years of collaboration, we are pleased to share the results of our collective efforts to update the Liberty Prairie Reserve Master Plan through a CMAP Local Technical Assistance (LTA) project, described on the project=webpage. In addition to the Liberty Prairie Reserve Master Plan, this project also produced the Lake County Sustainable Local Foods Systems Report described below.
- Lake County Sustainable Local Food Systems Report. Sustainable local food systems balance economic prosperity, environmental preservation, and public health while moving agricultural products from farmer to consumer. National, regional, and local trends indicate a shift in farming practices and consumer demand, as well as present an opportunity for Lake County to capitalize on this growing economic sector.
- Waukegan Local Food Resource Guide. This resource guide was compiled by the Liberty Prairie Foundation as part of the Waukegan Local Food Project. The capacity building and technical assistance initiative was designed to support Waukegan organizations pursuing local food projects and ultimately strengthen the community's local food system.
- Building Communities with Farms. This report is an outgrowth of a Liberty Prairie Foundation workshop at Prairie Crossing with developers, architects, and farmers from across the country.
- Local Food Systems. This website is a result of Lake County food systems planning partnership with the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), Liberty Prairie Foundation, Conserve Lake County, the Lake County Forest Preserve District, Openlands and others.
- Farmer Training Roundtable Summary (2012). In partnership with the Illinois Local Food, Farms & Jobs Council, the Liberty Prairie Foundation hosted/facilitated a statewide roundtable on farmer training.
- Route 53/120 Blue Ribbon Advisory Council. The Liberty Prairie Foundation played a key role in the Blue Ribbon Advisory Council. George A. Ranney, Jr., Board Member , co-chaired the Blue Ribbon Commission and Mike Sands, Senior Associate, chaired the Environmental & Sustainability working group.