CDF provides integrated water-based ecological design. Our collaborative process results in the enduring qualities of beauty, authenticity, and community—tailored to the unique attributes of people, place, and program. We Strive To:

    • reconnect people to their place and each other by integrating a living environment into every place where we live and learn, work and play.
    • pursue sustainable approaches to the stewardship of our land and other resources.
    • foster a diverse team of committed professionals who enjoy finding creative solutions by working together.
    • deliver the highest quality services for our clients and colleagues.
    • learn from yesterday, glory in today, and respect tomorrow...




    Green Leadership

    Conservation Design Forum (CDF) is a nationally recognized design firm that explores and creates integrated, water-based design strategies that promote economic, social, and ecological sustainability.


    Receipt of water as a resource in any environment – a building, a site, a neighborhood, or a region -- will lead to superior function, economy, and the beautiful restoration of ecosystems. At CDF, our unique approach to planning and design is rooted in an appreciation that fresh water is a precious resource critical to all life.


    CDF and its principals are recognized leaders in the evolution of “green” design and development practices. Through our built work, research, and outreach, CDF has been intimately involved in a widespread promotion of sustainable practices.


    We are proud to have inspired a growing body of professionals, regulators, and business owners to incorporate sustainable practices into their projects.




    Sustainable Solutions

    The “Forum” concept is based on the spirit of open-minded collaboration that yields integrated, high-performance solutions that are acheieved collectively.


    CDF’s multi-disciplinary professional team includes landscape architects, planners, botanists, biologists, ecologists, civil engineers, hydrologists, artists, and craftsmen.


    We expand our capabilities through routine collaboration with world-renowned practitioners. Their expertise includes green building, wastewater reuse, energy conservation, and community planning grounded in ecologically based New Urbanist principles.


    Our patrons view’s are long-term, focused on the endurance of communities, the health of our economy, and the wellness of future generations.


    Read more of the Founder's Inspirations (PDF)



    A Natural Law

    “Plants grow in habitats to which they are adapted. If one changes the habitat – one changes the inhabitants."

          Gerould Wilhelm





    The Reith Village at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center










    Midewin Tallgrass Prairie Site Inventory Assessment

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