Aull Nature Preserve (ANP) is an independent 501 (c)(3) nonprofit charity dedicated to maintaining and restoring 2.25 acres of wetland in Lake Bluff, Illinois as a private preserve dedicated to nature. Janice and Gary Aull purchased the property in January 2022 and formed ANP in August 2022.

ANP is governed by Janice, who serves as president and secretary; Gary, who serves as vice president and treasurer; and a volunteer board of directors, listed below.

Janice Aull

Janice was born and raised in Lake County, she has many wonderful memories of exploring nature, delighting in finding spotted salamanders, trilliums, and other wildlife. In the mid-90s Janice and Gary started landscaping with native plants. The more natural they made their property the more diverse birds, plants and other wildlife appeared; which led to the property being called Nature’s Haven.

Gary Aull

Born and raised in Chicago, IL., Gary would spend all his free time playing outside, especially down by the Chicago River searching for turtles and other wildlife. During the summers, Gary enjoyed staying at the small farm his Grandpa and Grandma Flosi had in Knollwood, IL. Gary
has a passion for nature and animals. Over the years he has rescued, nursed, and cared for hundreds (if not thousands) of domestic and wild animals, earning him the nickname “Dr. Gar”.

Brett Peto

Brett Peto has worked in environmental communications for eight years. He uses storytelling techniques such as feature writing, photography, videography, podcast episodes and social media content to inspire people to connect with nature. Brett believes that local, grassroots action to protect and preserve habitats is vital, and he is honored to serve on the board of ANP.

Connor Wood

Connor Wood graduated from Iowa state following a passion for nature and aquatic ecology. He loves to do work with an observable positive impact of the planet and currently works with ILM Environments. His favorite trees are American Pawpaw and Bur Oak, and he has a cat named Jo. Connor looks forward to using his education to help steward ANP and build a connection to the land and local community. 

Dianne Phillips

Diane has been a volunteer with the LCFPD for over 30 years. During this time, she continues to learn about the importance of restoration, preservation and how important native plants are for our environment. Being part of The Aull Nature Preserve’s board will allow Diane to be actively involved in making a difference  in nature.

Grace Reilly

Grace’s passions lie in ecosystem restoration, environmental education, and encouraging a sense of belonging in nature. Grace currently works for the Forest Preserves of Cook County at a Nature Center where she does interpretive programing, animal care, and restoration. She is also a Master Naturalist Intern and volunteers regularly in the forest preserves.

Kelley Blake

Kelley graduated with a B.S. in Environmental Restoration and Biodiversity from Northern Illinois University. She has worked as an environmental restoration professional for 8 years both as a field technician and project manager in the Great Lakes Region. During free time from work she has volunteered for environmental efforts in the desert southwest and South Africa. She is looking forward to continuing her restoration work with the Aull Nature Preserve in Lake County, Illinois.

Lisa Bomrad

Lisa has over 30 years of experience as a Human Resources executive. Her specialty is working with start-ups, turn-arounds, and high growth businesses. Lisa believes in giving back to the community and is an active board member and advisor on multiple non-profit boards. 

Creating and preserving a healthy natural ecosystem that holds floodwater, purifies water, and provides habitat and a corridor for wildlife to thrive. Creating this ecosystem will also provide green space for the well-being of the community for generations.

Leveraging available resources to educate surrounding property owners and the community to restore and conserve available green space, creating a large, high-quality natural area and habitat.

Collaborating with property owners surrounding the Aull Nature Preserve to restore and create conservation easements for their land.


In the mid-90s Janice and Gary started landscaping with native plants. The more natural they made their property the more diverse birds, plants and other wildlife appeared; which led to the property being called Nature’s Haven.  Gary and Janice are grateful for the opportunity to expand and share their love for the natural community.  Restoring, protecting, and preserving the Aull Nature Preserve will require a collaborative journey with others that share a passion to embrace the natural environment. 

Come learn more about us! On March 14th, 2023, Janice will be presenting at Green Drinks. Aull In: Defending a Wetland! Drinks and food beginning at 6:00PM Speaker at 6:45PM. Please arrive early to allow ample time to order food and drinks.

Program Description: Bringing passion and purpose to the cause, Janice Aull and co-founder Gary Aull pulled funds together to protect a 2.25 acre patch of wetland. They created a private conservancy in Knollwood, a mile east of Café Pom, named the Aull Nature Preserve. They’ve hauled a lot of trash out, absorbing expertise every step of the way. The Preserve embodies their personal crusade for conservation. The acreage is now a 501c3 nonprofit, and governed by a board blessed with newly-minted conservation professionals.

Due to the current condition of the site, access is by permission only.

Let’s build something together.