Thirty-five year Volunteer steward with FPCC Co-chair Ecological Management Workgroup, North Branch Restoration Project
A now-retired hospital pharmacist, Jane Balaban is an advocate for the conservation and restoration of our region’s natural habitats. She and her husband John have volunteered since 1980 with the North Branch Restoration Project, a group of citizens who assist the Forest Preserves of Cook County in managing some of the natural lands along the North Branch of the Chicago River. She and John have a long-time interest in nature, are amateur botanists and photographers, and have been students of the natural communities of northeastern Illinois for over 40 years. In addition to serving as Volunteer Site Stewards, Jane and John are committed to the importance of outreach and education. John and Jane have both taught a variety of classes on wildflowers, grasses, sedges, dragonflies and ecological restoration. They continue to engage school groups, scouts, corporate groups and other volunteers in caring for the preserves, helping build a strong constituency for the public lands. Jane is a member of Key Stewards, a group of experienced stewards who work closely with Forest Preserves’ staff to facilitate communication and collaboration on important issues. She served on the Illinois Nature Conservancy Board of Trustees for 12 years, and continues to be involved as Trustee Emeritus. She is also long-time member of the state-wide Volunteer Stewardship Network.