"Two hundred years ago Illinois was one immense natural area, dotted with islands of human development. Today, Illinois is an almost completely developed landscape with islands of natural habitat occurring across the landscape. It's as if a vast quilt of development has settled upon Illinois, but one with threadbare patches that allow remnants of the original landscape to show through. These natural areas are our biological heritage and show us what the landscape of Illinois once was. They act as reservoirs for much of the state's biodiversity and serve as templates for current and future restoration efforts."
-Michael Jeffords, 2003
Survey for New INAI Sites is funded by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources ($4,641,600)
Reassessment of Existing Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI) Sites was funded by Grand Victoria Foundation($2,000,000), Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation ($400,000), the Illinois Association of Conservation and Forest Preserve Districts ($161,000). The Boeing Corporation provided a gift of $50,000 to Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), that INHS used to produce brochures on 20 Cook County INAI sites, and to fund any outstanding balance on the project. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources provided $127,000 in 2008 for a pilot project.
Natural Areas Integrity and Restorability Index for NorthEast Illinois was funded by the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation ($117,000).