Normal, IL – Undergraduate students from Illinois State University have formed the newest Pheasants Forever chapter in the nation, and the fourth-ever Pheasants Forever or Quail Forever collegiate chapter. Known as the Illinois State University Pheasants Forever chapter, the group will provide future land stewards with conservation experience through education, fundraising and hands-on youth work.
“Being a college chapter, one of our goals is conservation education,” says Ashley Bishop, the chapter’s first president and Illinois native who previously served as a Pheasants Forever youth ambassador, “We plan on using the university’s five-acre horticultural center to showcase native Illinois grasses with walk-through signs explaining the importance of the forbs to not only pheasants, quail and other wildlife, but to our environment and daily lives.” Bishop, who has been involved with her father’s Pheasant Forever chapter since she was six years old, notes the college chapter will also be partnering with the McLean County Pheasants Forever chapter, located in Bloomington, Ill., with their youth mentored hunt, “When being introduced to hunting and the outdoors, it helps to have someone closer to your own age that you can relate to, and all of our members are looking forward to helping foster another generation’s passion for the outdoors.”
As a Pheasants Forever chapter, Illinois State University Pheasants Forever will hold annual fundraising events, and then use those funds to accomplish wildlife habitat projects and public awareness for conservation. The Illinois State University chapter will function like all Pheasants Forever chapters. Pheasants Forever provides its local chapters the ability to decide how 100 percent of their fundraised dollars are spent. This local control gives chapters and members the ability to make things happen for wildlife in their communities, while belonging to a national organization advocating for wildlife and conservation in policy discussions in Washington, D.C.
“The Illinois State University chapter is a great example of the next generation’s willingness to grab the baton and lead the charge in conservation and outdoor education,” says Tim Caughran, Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever’s Regional Wildlife Biologist in Illinois, “Many of the members are from Pheasants Forever families, so they have hit the ground running, and we are anxious to see the great things this chapter will accomplish in the coming months and years.”
Illinois State University Pheasants Forever chapter
- The Illinois State University chapter has also elected Stacy Durbin as Treasurer, and Leslie Annis as Public Relations and Recruiting Officer. The chapter’s Faculty Advisor is Dr. Rick Whitacre.
- The chapter’s next meeting will be announced on the Illinois State Pheasants Forever chapter’s Facebook page.
- For more information about the chapter, including upcoming meetings and events, Email Ashley or (217) 313-107.
Illinois is home to 64 Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever chapters and more than 10,000 combined Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever members. For information on “The Habitat Organization” in Illinois, contact Tim Caughran, Pheasants Forever’s Regional Wildlife Biologist, at (618) 467-2586 / Email Tim. For all other information, contact Rehan Nana, Public Relation Specialist for Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever, at (651) 209-4973 / Email Rehan.
Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever empower county and local chapters with the responsibility to determine how 100 percent of their locally raised conservation funds will be spent – the only national conservation organization that operates through this truly grassroots structure. As a result, chapter volunteers are able to see the fruits of their efforts locally, while belonging to a larger national organization with a voice on federal and state conservation policy.