We work with these groups...and more!

Indian Creek Watershed Project, Ltd. (ICWP) stakeholders
Concerned stakeholders formed the Indian Creek Watershed Project, Ltd. in July of 2000 to oversee IEPA Section 319 Clean Water Act Grants received in 2001 and to promote education and begin watershed planning. Board and other members were involved in watershed meetings, planning and as volunteers on various projects. The ICWP citizens played an important role in the development of a stakeholder committee for creating goals and objectives for the Indian Creek watershed plan and to guide the ICWP.

Indian Creek Watershed Committee (ICWC)
Download Jurisdictional Map for Indian Creek Villages and Townships

The Indian Creek Watershed Committee is a group of concerned watershed residents and stakeholders dedicated to the preservation, protection, and improvement of the Indian Creek Watershed. The committee formed to provide stakeholder input for the Indian Creek planning process led by the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission under an IEPA Section 319 Clean Water Act. The plan has been completed and is due to be adopted by Lake County in fall of 2008. The ICWC played an important role in plan implementation throughout the watershed.



ICWP partnered with Shedd Aquarium’s teacher training program in July 2006. The teachers learned about watersheds and the benefits of native plants while helping Sylvan Lake restabilize a parkside slope.


Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR)

• Office of Water Resources (OWR)
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Water Resources (OWR) is the state's lead agency on regulating floodplain development and structural flood control and flood mitigation. Three divisions within the OWR provide assistance in local floodplain regulation and flood mitigation efforts.

• Office of Realty and Environmental Planning (OREP)

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources Office of Realty and Environmental Planning (OREP) is responsible for natural resource and outdoor recreation planning.

• The Division of Natural Resource Review and Coordination
administers the Illinois Endangered Species and Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Acts. These Acts require local units of government (municipalities and counties) to participate in a consultation process with OREP prior to approving, funding or performing activities that will disturb water, land or air (development). The Division will issue a biological opinion if threatened or endangered species or Illinois natural area sites are impacted by development.

Conservation 2000 Ecosystems Program. IDNR provides technical assistance and funding through a grant program to established partnerships. The Indian Creek Watershed is a subwatershed of the Des Plaines River, and is part of the Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Partnerships.

• Illinois EcoWatch Network
This program utilizes trained volunteers to monitor ecosystems and natural areas throughout the state of Illinois. Through partnerships with environmental organizations and various C2000 Program Ecosystems Partnerships, Ecowatch volunteers collect data in river, stream, forest, prairie, and wetland ecosystems and analyze data to assess ecological management techniques. Indian Creek collects data from at least four stream locations under the Riverwatch program.

• Illinois Nature Preserves Commission

The Illinois Natural Areas Preservation Act (525 ILCS 30) governs the Commission today and charges the INPC to preserve, protect and defend natural areas and endangered species habitat for the benefit of the public. When land is dedicated as a nature preserve, it is protected forever for future generations to enjoy and learn from. Illinois Beach, in Lake County, became the first nature preserve in 1964… since then, the INPc has helped protect some of Illinois' most rare and valuable habitat throughout 71,700 acres of private and public land in 93 of Illinois' 102 counties. ICWP has worked with the INPC staff, Steve Byers, Kelly Neal and Loretta Aurient at Reed-Turner Woodland Nature Preserve.

Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA)
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has been delegated authority by the federal government (under the Clean Water Act) to monitor and initiate programs and practices that protect the chemical, biological, and physical condition of the state's water resources. With this authority IEPA regulates point and nonpoint source pollutant discharges into the state's waters through both regulatory (permit & monitoring requirements) and non-regulatory programs. National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase I and II permits regulate wastewater and stormwater runoff, thereby reducing pollutants to our nation's waters.

The Chicago Wilderness coalition's Chicago Region Biodiversity Council
The ICWP recently joined the Chicago Region Biodiversity Council coalition of Chicago Wilderness. CW is a partnership of more than 170 public and private organizations that have joined forces to protect, restore and manage the region's natural lands and the plants and animals that inhabit them. The member organizations, and the thousands of volunteers who work with them, are pooling their resources and expertise to study, protect, manage and restore our rich natural heritage. The consortium's mission is to restore the region's natural communities to long term viability, enrich local residents' quality of life, and contribute to the preservation of global biodiversity.

Lake County
The Lake County Board and a number of county departments and agencies are key stakeholders in the Indian Creek Watershed. The county has the same role and responsibility as municipalities for land use planning, development, natural resource protection and drainage system maintenance in the unincorporated areas of the watershed. The County also maintains separate public works and transportation departments to install and maintain sewer systems, county roads and bridges.

• The Lake County Board (CB) is composed of 23 board members. The County Board has decision-making authority for county policies and ordinances (including the Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO) and Unified Development Ordinance (UDO)). Board members Diana O'Kelly, Carol Calabresa, Pam Newton, Michael Talbett, Suzi Schmidt, Ann Maine and Sandy Cole have all supported efforts in Indian Creek.

• The Lake County Department of Transportation (LCDOT) is responsible for all county roads, bridges, road culverts, and drainage in the road right-of-way. LCDOT and Marty Buehler helped the ICWP to develop and place signs for the Indian Creek Watershed. Laura Lensi has worked with ICWP to promote Lake County Adopt-A-Highway.

• The Lake County Health Department Lake Management Unit (LMU) is active in collecting lake data for 15 lakes in the Indian Creek Watershed. These studies are completed to assess the shoreline, water quality, vegetation, and available wildlife habitat. Mark Pfister, Chris Brant and Mary Colwell have supported the ICWP with meetings and as resource people.

• The Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) provides Natural Resource Inventories (NRIs) and technical assistance to communities within the District's boundaries. Lake County residents benefit from SWCD assistance through their cooperative work with other agencies and one-on-one assistance.

• The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (LCSMC), composed of 6 county board members and 6 municipal mayors or village presidents, was formed in 1990 to address stormwater management issues on a watershed basis throughout the county. LCSMC performs planning, regulatory and advisory functions for the County of Lake and its 52 municipalities. LCSMC staff administers the countywide Watershed Development Ordinance (WDO) through a permitting program, provides consultant services for stormwater best management practices to communities and citizens, develops watershed plans for the county's 26 subwatersheds, and coordinates multi-jurisdictional stormwater management projects.
LCSMC has played a vital role in initiating development of the Indian Creek Watershed Plan by contributing a 60% match to the IEPA Section 319 Grant funds, developing a team to complete the watershed study, and assisting stakeholders and project team members in defining project goals. Key staff supporters to ICWP projects have been Ward Miller, Sean Wiedel, Tony Wolff, Mike Werner, Perry Danler, Susan Vancil, Patty Werner and Jeff Laramy.

Municipalities have a principal role in watershed management. They have primary responsibility for land use and development decisions within their jurisdiction. Municipalities use comprehensive land use planning and zoning, subdivision, erosion control, stormwater, natural resource protection and landscaping ordinances to govern where and how development will occur in their jurisdictions. The following municipalities are located in the Indian Creek Watershed: Buffalo Grove, Hawthorn Woods, Indian Creek, Lake Zurich, Libertyville, Lincolnshire, Long Grove, Kildeer, Mundelein, and Vernon Hills.
ICWP has worked on projects with the Villages of Vernon Hills and Lincolnshire and hopes to work with others.

Northeastern Illinois Plan Commission (NIPC)
The Northeastern Illinois Plan Commission has developed model ordinances on stormwater management, soil erosion and sediment control, streams and wetlands, and floodplains for local governments to use in developing regulatory programs. NIPC provides technical assistance and training opportunities to local governments to improve watershed management activities -including watershed planning and stormwater management. NIPC assisted the ICWP in a supervisory capacity during ICWP's 319 Grant. Jason Navota was the helpful project adminsitrator during that project.

Park Districts (PD)
Many of the municipalities in the Indian Creek Watershed each have their own park district or parks and recreation department to maintain open space. Park districts generally work closely with their affiliated municipal government in park planning and acquisition. The Indian Creek Watershed Project would like to develop projects with their area park districts. They have worked with the Long Grove Park District and explored projects with the park districts of Vernon Hills and Mundelein.

Townships (TWP)
Most land within Libertyville and Vernon townships has been annexed and incorporated, leaving municipalities with the role of watershed management. Most unincorporated land is within Ela and Fremont Townships; these townships will play a small role in watershed management. The ICWP has worked with Fremont Township Highway Department and would like to develop projects with other townships.

Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Partnerships (UDPREP)
Ecosystem partnerships have been through funding by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Ecosystems Program of Conservation 2000. UDPREP helps to promote education and grant projects for the Upper Des Plaines subwatersheds. The Indian Creek Watershed has been an active supporter of the Upper Des Plaines River Ecosystem Partnership. Coordinators Alison Cook and Ingrid West (former) have been key supporters of efforts in the Indian Creek Watershed.

• US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)
The USACE is the most significant regulatory influence on wetland protection in the watershed through Section 404 (of the Clean Water Act) permit requirements for wetland alterations. The success of a watershed policy of no-net-loss of wetlands will depend largely on the Corps regulatory practices and mitigation requirements. The Chicago District of the USACE is in charge of watershed permitting in Indian Creek and has conducted stream surveys and other studies in the Indian Creek watershed.

• US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS)
The US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), like the NRCS, provides many technical assistance services to watershed organizations and communities. USFWS also has several grant and cost-share programs that fund wetland and aquatic habitat restoration.

• USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS - formerly Soil Conservation Service)
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) offers significant technical expertise in soil erosion/sediment control, wetland restoration and community planning. NRCS has been a key partner in many Lake County watershed projects and helped the Indian Creek stakeholders begin initial planning in the watershed. The ICWP has enjoyed working with Dave Brandt and David Misek

Homeowners Associations
• Sylvan Lake Homeowners - Sylvan Lake residents claim the first man-made lake in the Indian Creek Watershed. This neighborhood has been actively working on a variety of projects to clean up the Sylvan watershed, improve the lake and stabilize its banks and tributaries. They have been very supportive of our efforts, especially Jeri Swanson, and Gen Connor, our website designer.

• Countryside Lake Association - Countryside Lake is the largest lake in the Indian Creek Watershed. The CLA residents are actively working to develop plans for ways to improve conditions and bank conditions on the lake. Rosemary Aitken, avid ICWP supporter, leads an active student watershed education committee.

Contractors who have helped us:

Integrated Lakes Management, in Gurnee Illinois, Jim and Pat Bland and all the staff.
Witness Tree Native Landscapes in Dundee, Illinois. Mary Zaander, June Keibler and the staff.
Applied Ecological Services in West Dundee, Illinois. Mark O'Leary, Steve Zimmerman, Iva McRoberts, Matt Stone and staff.

Other supporting businesses:

Michael Silver and Company, Certified Public Accountants, in Skokie, Illinois especially Larry Isaacson, Harvey Fayer, and Susan Waterloo.
Strauss and Malk Attorneys at Law in Northbrook, Illinois especially Benton Strauss and H. Jay Glaubinger.

Sections and some text adapted from the Indian Creek Watershed Plan, 2004/Prioritized Action Plan Chapter Written by Contractors- Applied Ecological Services and Futurity, Inc. and Funded by LCSMC under an IEPA 319 Grant