Pederson Preserve Will Protect Land Along Flint Creek

To protect an important part of Flint Creek and its watershed, the Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT) has purchased a 5.6-acre parcel of land adjacent to the creek at the southwest corner of Lake-Cook Road and Hart Road. Karen Yancey, BACT Executive Director, announced the purchase to more than 100 members and supporters at the trust’s annual meeting at Makray Memorial Golf Club on October 12.

The parcel was purchased by BACT from the Grace H. Schurecht Trust in a bargain sale priced below the appraised value of the property. (In a bargain sale, the seller donates the difference in value between the appraised value and the purchase price as a charitable contribution.) Funds for the purchase were provided by a generous grant from Frederica “Freddie” Smith Pederson and the BACT’s “Save the Countryside” Fund. The property will be named the “Pederson Preserve” in honor of Freddie’s late husband, Keith Pederson, who was a distinguished Barrington citizen.

Pederson Photo

The BACT plans to apply for grants to help restore the stream bank and native habitat surrounding the creek. The new Pederson Preserve connects to the east with more than 20 acres of prairie and wetlands currently being restored by employees at the PepsiCo Research and Development Technical Center on Lake-Cook Road. It also connects on the west with another five-acre conservation easement held by the BACT.

“The parcel’s strategic location just west of town helps our community create a corridor of connected land protection in a vital area surrounding Flint Creek, which will now remain forever as open space and unharmed from development,” said BACT Board President Dave Nelson. “With the Pederson Preserve, we can now connect more than 30 preserved acres in the Flint Creek watershed. This will help reduce flooding in Barrington, protect our groundwater and other natural resources and improve water quality.”

The south branch of Flint Creek flows through the Pederson Preserve. This southern tributary begins at Braymore Lake in Inverness and continues through Hawthorne, Hawley, Keene and Heather Lakes in Barrington Hills. It then flows north through Barrington, Barrington Hills and Lake Barrington into the Fox River. The quality of the stream has deteriorated over the last century due to development, which increases stormwater and other runoff into the creek. This water pollution harms native plant and animal populations. The runoff also creates flooding, which causes stream bank erosion, silt deposits and reduced water quality in lakes and wetlands fed by the creek.

“Our goal is to apply for grants to stabilize the stream bank on the preserve, which has deteriorated from flooding and erosion over the years,” said Yancey. “We also hope to remove the buckthorn and other invasive species and replant native wetland and prairie plants that tie in with the PepsiCo restored prairie.”

Because of the new preserve’s close proximity to Barrington High School, the BACT hopes to involve high school students in the restoration process of the Pederson Preserve. The BACT is a member of the Flint Creek Watershed Partnership, which is comprised of more than a dozen conservation groups and municipal governments in Barrington and is dedicated to the preservation, protection and improvement of the Flint Creek sub-watershed of the Fox River.

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