Guided walk at Bluff Spring Fen


Join us on Saturday, May 2 from 10am – noon for a spring hike with Steven Byers field representative at the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission who has been doing restoration work there since 1980.  Steven will highlight the wonders of Bluff Spring Fen, a rare wetland ecosystem.

bluff springA fen is a wetland fed by the constant flow of water bubbling up from the ground. The crucially alkaline water comes to the surface at a constant 53 degrees year-round picking up calcium and other minerals from the underground limestone. When it comes to the surface the alkaline environment it creates is not pleasant to most plants.  Because fens are rare, the species of plant that have adapted to survive this evnironment are also rare.  Places where you can see the alkaline water coming up to the surface, known as calcareous seep fens, are rare and quite special.

The Bluff Spring Fen area was once used for mining, dumping abandoned cars, and for off-road vehicle driving.  Since the first restoration workday in 1980, it has been lovingly restored into several different and beautiful habitats.

Bluff Spring Fen is located just off Route 25 in Elgin, IL.  Click here for directions and more information.  Please dress for the weather and wear comfortable, water resistant shoes.  Reservations are not required, but strongly recommended.  Parking is available.

Click here to register.



International coyote expert shares fascinating findings


stan-gehrt-winterWhat is the impact of coyotes on an urban landscape, and the implications for people, pets, and other wildlife? Find out during an informative presentation led by international coyote expert Dr. Stanley D. Gehrt.

In Urban Carnivores, Gehrt shares his passion for mammalian ecology in urban settings from experience. As Principal Investigator of the Cook County Coyote Project, Dr. Gehrt has spent the past 15 years researching coyote behavior in urban Chicago in response to growing concerns about increased coyote sightings in the 1990’s. Since the beginning of the study, his team has caught and tagged nearly 700 coyotes to observe their behavior in the urban landscape.

While most coyotes don’t pose a threat to humans, this research has provided important insights into peaceful coexistence with a fellow mammal that has adapted to the city life. To learn more of Gehrt’s research, plan to attend his Myths & Truths of Chicago Coyotes presentation on May 14th at 7 pm .  Upstairs Room at McGonigal’s Pub, 105 S. Main Street, Barrington. Advanced purchase tickets required.

Ticket price per person


Welcome spring with a Conservation@Home visit


Let us help you find the right plants for your yard

sidebar-native-plantsLet’s face it, the snow isn’t going to be around forever and you’re going to have to deal with the spot where nothing seems to grow because it’s too shady, too sunny, or too wet.

Why keep struggling with turf or annuals when you can find native perennials that can blanket that “trouble spot” with beauty season after season, year after year?

Native plants are sustainable plants adapted to the local climate, which provide year round interest and color, and habitat for wildlife, while providing practical assistance with backyard stormwater management.

A Conservation@Home visit allows you to ask questions and get answers to native landscape questions that pertain to your specific needs. A free service to all BACT members, and $25 for non-members, a Conservation@Home visit provides practical solutions to your home landscape conundrums from experienced professional naturalists.

Schedule your visit today by calling Beth Adler at (847) 387-3149.


BHS students & BACT help natural area


Guys with sedge trayOn February 20, seventy-five Barrington High School horticulture students planted over 270 native sedge plugs with horticulture instructor John Ardente, Barrington Area Conservation executive director Lisa Woolford, and naturalist April Anderson.

After attending an “Understanding Habitat Restoration” presentation delivered by Anderson a few days prior to the planting day, the students gained valuable hands-on experience working with native plants donated by Pizzo Native Plant Nursery.

Once the hand-sized plugs reach gallon-size, the students together with other volunteers like you, will plant them on Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day) from 2:15 – 4:30 pm at Barrington Area Conservation Trust’s Pederson Preserve.

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Join us for Arbor Day (April 23)


Arbor Day – Thursday, April 23 , 7:00 pm

AnnamarietreeOn Thursday, April 23rd — Arbor Day — join BACT and the Barrington Area Library at the library meeting room on the main floor at 7pm.  BACT Conservation@ Home coordinator Beth Adler and ISA-certified arborist Charlie Keppel will present information about native trees, ways to landscape with native plants, and the reasons this is so important to our community. BACT will be giving oak tree saplings to participants. Naturalist Anderson will present Great Oaks of Barrington awards, too! Visit to reserve your spot.