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Liberty Prairie Foundation



Focus Areas:

  • Food Access
  • Nutrition / Food / Gardening Education
  • School Programs / Youth Education
  • Workforce Development
  • Environmental Organizations

Organization Mission:

We work across Lake County and the region to incubate and mentor beginning sustainable local food farmers, provide fresh food access in underserved communities, educate and inspire youth, connect farmers with land, and shape policy that affects our local food system.


The Liberty Prairie Foundation was established in 1993 and is nationally recognized as a leader in developing and supporting enterprises that build and strengthen our local food system while enhancing the natural landscape. We are headquartered on and own the 100-acre certified organic Prairie Crossing Farm in the Prairie Crossing conservation community in Grayslake.

The Foundation runs several dynamic programs both on and off of the Prairie Crossing Farm, including:

  • The Foundation’s Community Food Systems Program engages the diverse communities of Lake County, connects people to healthy, sustainable food, and supports the dynamic grassroots organizations working on local food projects in the county. The program includes:
    • A local food micro-grant program to support groups working to make fresh, local food more accessible
    • Fresh food distribution programs such as our Gleaning Program and collaboration with Beacon Place, both of which provide fresh food to underserved communities.
    • A Seed and Seedling Donation Program for organizations growing food to feed vulnerable populations. Email [email protected] for information.
    • The Lake County Local Food Task Force: a group of stakeholders that convene to identify projects to support the region’s local food movement
  • The Farm Business Development Center (FBDC), located at the Prairie Crossing Farm, is a business incubator that provides land, infrastructure, and resources to help beginning farmers launch their business.
  • Our Land Access Program, in partnership with Openlands, is designed to increase sustainable local food farming on public and private lands in northeastern Illinois.
  • Our Prairie Farm Corps offers paid work opportunities and job training for diverse youth in central Lake County. Participants are involved in all aspects of a sustainable agriculture business from seed to market.

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