Urban Programs Resource Network

About Extension

Natural Resources Management

The environment is a major concern to most people today because they want to preserve our natural resources for future generations. As a society, we have accepted the fact that the quantity and quality of our resources and environment affect the overall quality of life, economic growth, and, in some instances, our very existence. University of Illinois Extension has identified the management of our natural resources in urban and rural area as a major program component.

By helping rural and urban residents (landowners, apartment dwellers, resource users, preservationists, farmers, gardners, and other individuals and organizations) understand the interconnectedness of many of our resources and how they are used, it is hoped the most judicious management practices can be used.

Often natural resource management is thought of as a rural issue, but what happens in rural areas impacts on society as a whole. Drinking water quality, preserving groundwater quality and quantity, land use, soil erosion, tree management, pesticide use, and waste disposal are issues concerning everyone. In suburban areas where farming and rural land use is still present and increasingly interfacing with more urban life-styles, many times issues surrounding natural resource use can be catalysts for rural-urban conflicts on an individual or community level.

Many natural resource management issues involve a broad spectrum of governmental and private decision-makers. Extension is available to network with such individuals and organizations to explore issues, priorities, and possible programming in areas such as:

  • soil eroision management in urban and rural areas;
  • land preservation/conservation easements for landowners;
  • reduced pesticide use for garderners and homeowners;
  • home hazardous waste management and disposal;
  • abandoned well sealing;
  • understanding of groundwater and the hydrologic cycle;
  • urban forestry;
  • drinking water quality;
  • reduced yard wastes;
  • water conservation; and
  • rural-urban conflicts.