About the Refuge

Photo of a Monarch Swarm by Mike Budd/USFWS

The Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area embodies the commitment of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to work with others to restore and manage wildlife through partnerships.

Refuge Contact Information  

Mailing Address 

Kankakee National and Wildlife Refuge & Conservation Area 
6316 Harts Rd Ringwood, IL 60072   

Physical Location of Visitor Parking Area 

Navigating by GPS? Enter the following coordinates for visitor parking at the Kolar Savanna Unit: 41° 0'29.60"N, 87°32'31.33"W

Telephone Number

815-678-4532 

For more Refuge-specific information, contact Refuge Manager Todd Boonstra at 815-678-4532 ext. 8206.  

Hours of Operation    

The Kankakee National and Wildlife Refuge welcomes the public free of charge. Access to refuge land is open one-half hour before sunrise, and closes one-half hour after sunset unless otherwise posted or stated in hunting regulations. 

Refuge Background  

The Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area was established on May 25, 2016 following a 66-acre donation from the Friends of the Kankakee, an organization dedicated to supporting the USFWS in its goal to preserve biological and cultural diversity in the Kankakee River Basin. Refuge staff are working hard to achieve this mission, as well as to increase existing recreation opportunities for the continued enjoyment of visitors for generations. 

The mission for Kankakee National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area is to protect, restore, and manage ecological processes within the Kankakee River Basin that benefit threatened and endangered species, migratory birds, native fish, and diverse flora and fauna populations, while providing the public, to the extent possible, high quality wildlife-dependent environmental interpretation, education, and recreation experiences that build an understanding and appreciation for these resources, and the role humankind plays in their stewardship.