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About Us

Our business meetings are held on the First Thursday of each month, 6:30 pm, at the historic Jefferson House, at 1841 S. River Road, Des Plaines. Come check us out!

As like-minded conservationists, anglers, hunters, and nature lovers of all walks of life, we work locally to promote our conservation mission.  Our chapter's primary interests are focused on local issues modeling & advocating sustainable community development and encouraging outdoor users to protect our valuable natural resources while they continue to enjoy the great outdoors.


For 100 years, the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) has been an extraordinary champion and defender, fighting for clean air and water, healthy soil, fish and wildlife habitats, and preserving special places for future generations to enjoy. 

The Izaak Walton League is one of America’s oldest and most successful conservation organizations, training, equipping, and coordinating volunteer water quality monitors on a national scale. It is responsible in part for the creation of the Boundary Waters, the preservation of the Indiana Dunes, the banning of DDT, and the passing of the 1972 Clean Water Act, among other efforts, keeping healthy fish and wildlife habitat and conserving nature's wonders for future generations.  Learn more about our programs and results. . .


The Des Plaines Chapter of the Izaak Walton League is one of the country's oldest chapters and has been housed since 1929 in one of the most historic buildings in the river valley.  Hiram Jefferson and his family came from Vermont with his family and settled here along the Des Plaines River in 1835, and maintained a large dairy farm on the property until the early 1900s.  The Jefferson Homestead was built in 1856 by a family who helped build a thriving agricultural and commercial outpost. 

The building and property were acquired by the Cook County Forest Preserve in 1918, and in 1926 the Des Plaines Chapter was formed in Chicago, Illinois.  In 1929 the Forest Preserve District granted the Des Plaines Chapter use of the building and grounds, where we still meet, maintaining the building and property entirely at our own expense.

As a 501(C)3 tax-exempt organization, the Izaak Walton League is dedicated to the protection and restoration of America's soil, woods, waters, air, and wildlife with all of our funding coming from donations and contributions through our fun and engaging activities and events from people like you.  

Throughout the year, we host community activities and events that range from honey-making, pig roasts, campfires, storytelling, trail maintenance, fishing derbies, scout camping, riverbank clean-up, and more. 

If you value the outdoors; the beauty of nature, enjoy fishing, hunting, camping, scouting, and outdoor recreation; If you are concerned about clean water, clear air, and a healthy environment for future generations, please consider becoming a member of the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) Des Plaines Chapter 206.  

The future of conservation is YOU!

Our Pledge

To strive for the purity of water, the clarity of air, and the wise stewardship of the land and its resources; to know the beauty and understanding of nature and the value of wildlife, woodlands, and open space; to the preservation of this heritage and to man's sharing in it.

I pledge myself as a member of the Izaak Walton League of America.

Hands in the Soil

Our Mission

To promote the sustainable use and enjoyment of our natural resources.  To conserve, maintain, protect and restore the soil, air, woods, waters, and wildlife. To promote means and opportunities for the education of the public with respect to our all of natural resources ensuring their enjoyed and appreciated by future generations.

Through the Tree Branch

Our Goals

  • Grow our membership to protect our natural resources for future generations

  • Model sustainable community development

  • Preserve the Historic Jefferson Home to honor and preserve our past

  • Expand nature-based education

  • Host fun and engaging fundraising activities and events that support outdoor education & much-needed equipment to maintain the buildings and grounds.

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