Forest Preserves of Cook County in Illinois has engaged Stantec on a major ecological consulting project.
Global leaders in sustainable design and innovative engineering, Stantec, has been awarded a US$8.5m six-year, master services agreement with the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), Illinois.
The contract provides for habitat restoration throughout the 70,000-acres forest preserve, including services such as vegetation management, prescription burning, ecological assessment, hydrological consultation and nursery services.
Established more than 100 years ago, the FPCC manages about 70,000 acres of open space in the Chicagoland region. The FPCC is one of the oldest and largest forest preserve districts in the US and provides outdoor recreation and educational programmes and some of the plant and animal diversity on its lands is on par with the most diverse ecosystems in the world.
The contract builds on a ten-year relationship between Stantec and FPCC. Since 2013, Stantec has worked on over 26,000 acres of FPCC property, including 16,500 acres of invasive species control, 8,150 acres of prescriptive burning and 1,500 acres of invasive brush and tree removal. These properties encompass a variety of ecosystems, including various sensitive and rare ecotypes of prairies, woodlands and wetlands. Many of these locations are designated Illinois State Nature Preserves, which are permanently protected by state law.
Senior ecologist and project manager, Eric Johnson, said: “Stantec has a passion for preserving and enhancing open spaces and improving our communities. We’re honoured to continue our partnership with FPCC to achieve their restoration plans for these unique lands.”
The FPCC lands draw an estimated 62 million visits annually, providing an outdoor escape and natural beauty near one of the nation’s most populous areas.
Troy Showerman, resource project manager for the FPCC, said: “The work Stantec does on our lands is critical for preserving its ecological integrity and improving its function and value for both people and nature. We appreciate Stantec’s technical expertise and practical experience and look forward to continuing to work together.”