To promote harmonious coexistence between the people and wildlife of DuPage County. And to promote diverse and healthy wildlife populations through public education and wildlife rehabilitation.
This mission is achieved through the combined efforts of the Willowbrook staff and volunteers and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to:
- Guide county residents to an understanding of their ecological role and the impact their actions and inactions have on ecosystems in DuPage County and the Earth as a whole.
- Serve as the best source of up-to-date and accurate information about DuPage County’s wildlife, including habitat preservation, wildlife populations, species identification, wildlife diseases and the best, long-term solutions to conflicts between people and wildlife.
- Develop and present educational programs, which teach people, especially children, about wildlife, nature, and their relationship with these things.
- Identify causes of wildlife injuries or distress for which people are responsible, and seek to eliminate such causes through education and public policy change.
- Create an enjoyable place where people can visit and learn about wildlife and wildlife-human relations.
- Apply the highest professional and humane standards in rehabilitating native wild animals that have been injured or distressed by people, focusing on the ones that can ultimately be released responsibly and humanely.
- Track wildlife diseases for impacts on native wildlife and human populations, providing indications of ecosystem health.
- Conduct original research in environmental education, wildlife medicine and rehabilitation.
- Provide volunteer opportunities for those who wish to participate in public education, wildlife rehabilitation and other wildlife-related services.
- Support District habitat restoration and management efforts through public education, propagation of rare species for release into suitable habitats and other wildlife-related services.
Willowbrook Wildlife Center is a wildlife rehabilitation facility that provides care and medical treatment for injured and orphaned animals that are native to northeastern Illinois. As an education center, it serves as a resource for people who want to learn more about the natural world and how to live harmoniously with diverse, healthy wildlife populations.
The center opened in 1952 as Willowbrook Wildlife Haven, a rehabilitation center and refuge operated by individuals who were concerned about the welfare of wild animals. In 1956 the owner deeded Willowbrook Forest Preserve to the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, which added an education and treatment center and an outdoor exhibit area in 1981. In 1993 after over 40 years of operation, the facility was renamed Willowbrook Wildlife Center.
Willowbrook is a 50-acre preserve in Glen Ellyn and are open to the public 7 days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Permanently disabled eagles, songbirds, owls, raccoons, and foxes are just a few of the 80 native Illinois animals on display here.