Apply Now For Our Summer Internship Program

BACT Summer Interns Stream Monitoring in Flint Creek

Is your HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT looking for something to do this summer?  Don’t miss out on our great internship opportunity.  We are now accepting applications for our summer internship program.  Applicants must be a current high school student, including incoming freshmen through seniors who graduate the spring immediately before the program.

Completed applications for either of our two sessions must be received by May 6, 2018.  For more complete information, please click here.

Mother Nature Went on Holiday. Earth Week Celebration Workday RESCHEDULED Again for Monday, April 23

April 23, 2018 – 10:00 AM – 5:00  at Pederson Preserve

While we have looked all over, we can’t seem to locate Spring.  It appears that Mother Nature has gone on holiday.  Planting new seedlings in the snow is not ideal.  So, we are once again rescheduling our workday.  The new date will be Monday, April 23, 10:00am to 5:00pm at Pederson Preserve, directly across from the high school.  Join BACT for our first collaborative community conservation event celebrating Earth Week!  Community members, local businesses, municipalities, student and family will come together to honor Mother Nature.  Participants will plant native plants, clear buckthorn and help with habitat restoration.  All ages are welcome.  Drop in for all or just part of the day!  Parking is available in the Pepsico lot.

Fill out our volunteer waiver here.

Partners and Sponsors for this workday include:  Barrington 220 Education Foundation, Barrington High School, PepsiCo R&D, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Village of Barrington, Village of Barrington Hills.

Volunteer Highlight – Eden Solberg

This week we took a moment to interview one of our Teens4Green and active volunteers, Eden Solberg. Eden is a senior at BHS. She has been involved with BACT for the past several years and is a founding member of the Teens4Green Youth Advisory Board. Here is an excerpt from our conversation with Eden.
Why did you become involved in the BACT? I was interested in nature and the environment. I liked that BACT had outdoor educational programs for teenagers.
What do you like most about volunteering for BACT? I really enjoy the Sunday workdays watching community members being active and out working in open spaces. I also love going to Teens4Green meetings because I find the education and outreach programs fun, and I can hang out with my friends while doing something good for nature.
What have you learned since you joined BACT?  I have learned a lot about invasive species and how to protect native plants.  I have also learned a lot about butterflies, how to protect them and about how oak trees are vulnerable.
What was you favorite project with Teens4Green?  Last year, the teens made butterfly donation jars.  We planned the project during one of our meetings, and then we designed them at another meeting.  We went in groups of two to the local businesses and asked if they could put them out for a week so that we could raise money for a table at the Barrington Farmer’s Market.  We used the table at the market as an informational table to raise awareness about monarch butterflies.  I really enjoyed talking with people at the market.
What future projects do you have coming up? I work with the Barrington Buddies at the high school. I am planning a picnic at Far Field Preserve in May for the group. I picked Far Field because I have really enjoyed seeing it change over the past few years. We have planted many oak trees, native plants and prairie flowers there, and it is wonderful to see everything bloom. I think the Buddies will enjoy walking around the field.
Do you have any recommendations for other students to get involved?  I recommend that any student who likes nature and wants to get outside go to the Sunday workdays.  Also, join the Teens4Green group.  The events are fun, and the staff members are really helpful and easy going.  They are always willing to answer questions and teach you more about the environment.  Follow the link to High School Programs to see what they have going on for teens.

Friendship Village Restoration Workday

Herb Demmel of
Friendship Village

Friendship Village is a leading Chicago-area retirement community located in Schaumburg, IL.  Through the tireless efforts of resident Herb Demmel, the land next to Friendship Village, known as Sarah’s Grove, is being restored to its original oak woodland habitat. Herb served as chairman of the Land Stewardship Committee for nine years at Friendship Village. He volunteers his time clearing Sarah’s Grove of weeds, non-native plants and trees. In May 2016, BACT presented Herb with a Conservation@Home certificate for his work on Sarah’s Grove. (Click here for more information on Herb Demmel and his work.)

Join BACT and help Herb with his restoration efforts. On April 8, 12:00-3:00, we will gather at Sarah’s Grove, 350 Schaumburg, IL, and clear brush and remove non-native plants. Wear outdoor clothing and bring water. BACT will provide the tools, fun and snacks. Download Friendship Villages volunteer waiver form to participate and mail it to BACT, 145 W. Main St., Barrington, IL  60010 or bring it with the day of the event.

For questions or more information, contact Emily at or call
(847) 387-3149.

Earth Week Celebration

Adult Volunteers Needed for Earth Day Celebration, Wednesday, April 18th

BACT is celebrating Earth Day with a community wide restoration workday at
Pederson Preserve on Wednesday, April 18 th , 10:00-5:00. Community businesses
and high school students will participate throughout the day planting native plants,
cutting down buckthorn and clearing brush. Pederson Preserve is located directly
across the street from Barrington High School.

We are looking for adult volunteers to supervise planting and assist BACT staff. If
you are available and enjoy working with kids and protecting our glorious
environment , please contact Emily at We will supply the
water, treats and tools. All you need to bring is your love of mother nature. Two
volunteer shifts available, 12:00-2:30 and 2:30-5:00.

Don’t Miss Our Teens4Green Meeting Tomorrow

Teen4Green group

Student volunteers

Join us for our Teens4Green environmental student group tomorrow night, March 9 from 6:00 to 7:30pm and find out more about what we do and how you can participate in this student group.  You must be incoming 8th – 12th grade to join.  Susan Lenz our Director of Education and Engagement will be hosting the event at our office in the White House, Suite 201.  Call 847-387-3149 with any questions.


Buckthorn or Bust Bonfire with LLBean

Removing buckthorn at Far Field Nature Preserve

Join us and LLBean for a Buckthorn or Bust Bonfire at Far Field Nature Preserve on Sunday, March 4th from 10:00am -12:00pm.  Help cut down buckthorn and clear brush.  Please wear sturdy shoes and clothing and bring your own water.  We will provide tools, snacks and bonfire.  All ages are welcome.  Participants will earn volunteer hours.  Hope to see you there!

For more information on buckthorn watch this great video from the Shedd Aquarium about why this invasive species is so detrimental to native plants, trees and the surrounding eco-system.

If you have not registered with us before or are under the age of 18, please fill out our liability and photo release form here.

Many Thanks To Our Buckthorn or Bust Volunteers

We had a great turn out on Sunday for our Buckthorn or Bust Bonfire with LLBean workday.  Thank you to over 35 volunteers who spent two hours helping us remove buckthorn from our Far Field Nature Preserve.  We could not have done it without you.  Now native plants and trees will be able to thrive and support pollinators and wildlife on this wonderful nature preserve.  Please join us for our upcoming workday at Far Field on March 18th and become part of this growing group of volunteers restoring this property to its original state.

Additional Summer Work and Internship Opportunities

We would like to pass along these other summer internship opportunities in the area.  Please follow the links to find out what other cool summer programs are available.

Jobs for youth!

The Forest Preserve of Cook County is offering the following:

  • See the “FPCC JOBS” attachment for; “Seasonal Youth Outdoor Ambassador Intern.”  March 11deadline. Use this link to apply:

The Friends of the Forest Preserves is offering the following:

Make Your Reservation or Purchase Annual Meeting Tickets Now!


Annual Meeting Invite 

Join us at our 2018 Annual Meeting.  Gerard Donnelly, President and CEO of Morton Arboretum will be our speaker for the evening.  He is a trained botanist and forest ecologist and is credited with the substantial growth of the Morton Arboretum and for protecting and improving the region’s urban canopy.

Members and Students are FREE, Non-members are $20.00 per person.  Members and students,  RSVP HERE or Non-Members purchase your tickets below.  This event will fill up fast so make your reservation or purchase your tickets now!


Non-member CASH or CHECK $20.00 per person.  Please make the check out to and mail to: Barrington Area Conservation Trust, 145 W. Main, #201, Barrington, IL 60010

Non-member CREDIT CARD OR PAYPAL $20.00 + $1.00 service fee = $21.00

Sponsored by: DAVEY Care of Trees & The Barn NurseryBarn Nursery Logo




Our Volunteers Rock!

SNOW DID NOT STOP US!  Did you know Martin Luther King Day was also a “National Day Of Service”?  In recognition of this day, we were joined by over 20 volunteers and restoration specialist, Dave Eubanks, for our restoration workday at our Far Field Nature Preserve.  We removed, cut and burned buckthorn and other invasive woody species from the site.

Volunteers were supplied with work gloves, loppers and goggles and we had several bonfires to keep folks warm.  These uber volunteers, cleared enough buckthorn and other invasive species to keep three large piles of debris burning for two hours.

National Day of Service Group of Volunteers

Volunteers help with buckthorn removal at Far Field Nature Preserve

With the help of our volunteers, this preserve is well on its way to returning to its natural state.  Previously, we have also had volunteers help with clearing the land, seeding with natives and planting of over 50 oak trees. The Far Field Nature Preserve is located at County Line (Lake Cook Road) and Old Sutton Roads in Barrington Hills.

For more information on buckthorn and the adverse impact it has on native plant species, read the Bluestem Ecological Services article below to find out why this invader must be removed in order to make the surrounding plants and trees thrive.

LET IT SNOW! Come And Join Us, Snowing Or Not, We Will Still Be Hosting The “National Day Of Service” Volunteer Opportunity At Far Field Nature Preserve

A LITTLE SNOW WON’T STOP US!  Remember to dress for the weather.  Did you know Martin Luther King Day is also a “National Day Of Service”?  Join us at our next restoration workday, Monday, January 15th from 12:00pm to 2:00pm at our Far Field Nature Preserve.  We will be removing and burning buckthorn and other invasive woody species from the site.

Cutting and burning buckthorn

Cutting and burning buckthorn at Far Field Nature Preserve

We will supply work gloves, loppers and goggles and there will be a bonfire to keep folks warm.  If you have your own equipment, please bring it along as we can always use extra.  The Far Field Nature Preserve is located at County Line (Lake Cook Road) and Old Sutton Roads in Barrington Hills.  The entrance to the site is off of Old Sutton Road.

Please feel free to bring a friend(s) and remember to dress appropriately for the weather.  If you have not volunteered with us before, please take a few minutes to fill out our volunteer form here.

For more information on buckthorn and the adverse impact it has on native plant species, read the Bluestem Ecological Services article below to find out why this invader must be removed in order to make the surrounding plants and trees thrive.

Trees Matter: Help Eradicate Buckthorn

Guest Article:  Written by Jodi Legieza, Bluestem Ecological Services

View Bluestem’s Video Here!

Common buckthorn is native to Eurasia and was introduced to North America in the 1880’s as an ornamental plant.  Its abundant fruit is dispersed by birds, and it spreads rapidly, replacing native vegetation and lowering native species diversity.

Like many non-native shrubs, common buckthorn leafs out early in spring and retains its leaves late into fall, shading out spring wildflowers and tree seedlings with their canopies.  Buckthorn also alters ecosystem processes in complex ways.  It produces considerable amounts of organic matter, mainly in the form of leaves and woody debris.  The leaves of buckthorn have very high nitrogen (N) content and decompose faster than the leaves of the dominant trees in an Illinois woodland.  During this accelerated decomposition process, beneficial fungi living in the soil are killed in the process.  This fungi, called mycorrhizal fungi, actually help the good trees in our environment extract nutrients from the soil.  When the fungi dies so do our native trees, exposing even more soil for more buckthorn seeds to germinate and grow into buckthorn trees.  It’s a vicious cycle that needs to be broken!   

The above and below ground effects of buckthorn in natural field settings can be devastating.  Both effects are substantial, and researchers were surprised to find that buckthorn contaminated soils inhibit native plant growth as much, or more than, the space their canopies take over above ground  Conservation organizations like BACT are committed to eradicating buckthorn from our ecosystems.  Winter is the best time to cut down buckthorn (and treat their stumps with herbicide or smother the stumps so that the trees don’t grow back).

Visit for consultation on buckthorn removal.   Bluestem Ecological Services is a sustainable company that builds, restores and maintains native ecosystems.








What Makes Buckthorn So Bad?


NATURAL POISON – Emodin, a poisonous chemical compound produced by the leaves, fruit, and bark of invasive buckthorn, peaks with the breeding activities of several early-breeding Midwestern amphibian species, according to Lincoln Park Zoo reintroduction biologist Allison Sacerdote-Velat, Ph.D., and Northern Illinois University professor of biological sciences Richard King. Emodin naturally poisons soil and water for developing frogs and salamanders, as well as many plants.

AGGRESSIVE TENDENCIES – The shallow root system of buckthorn outcompetes native plants for moisture and nutrients, while contributing to erosion and ecological imbalance. Its leafy crown deprives other plants of sunlight and serves as a host for rust fungus and soybean aphids that impact other plants, too!

HABITAT DESTRUCTION – Buckthorn does not provide safe nesting habitat or ample migratory food for warblers, gnatcatchers, or vireos. Unlike native nut or berry trees, shrubs, or vines, buckthorn clings to berries that most animals do not like to consume.

IT ISN’T PRETTY – Buckthorn lacks the beautiful spring blossoms, autumn colors of its native counterparts, and is an eyesore of tangles branches in winter as its messy berries splatter to the ground in preparation for spring.

WHAT CAN YOU DO ABOUT BUCKTHORN? You can help by removing buckthorn from your yard a little bit at a time:

  • Cut down buckthorn and herbicide the stumps with Triclopyr or Glyphosate OR pull out seedlings by hand
  • Install native plants, trees, and shrubs to provide a visual buffer while making your land more beautiful, sustainable, and healthy for wildlife
  • Continue to monitor for buckthorn seedlings and resprouts, using controlled burns (where permitted)

After removing thickets or buckthorn around oak trees, you can scatter native grass and wildflower seeds (instead of digging). Hilly sites require erosion fabric.


  • COMMON BUCKTHORN (Rhamnus cathartica) is a tree found in disturbed woodlands and wastelands which has finely-toothed oval leaves, alternate branches, and round, black berries clustered around its stems through mid-winter. The end of the branch has a small, thin thorn.
  • GLOSSY BUCKTHORN (Rhamnus frangula) is a wetland tree with smooth, shiny, oval leaves, and round black berries clustered around its stems in late fall. A bud is at the end of each glossy buckthorn branch.


Environmental Trivia Night at Flesk Brewing

Calling all Eco Warriors! Come out for a cold brew and test your knowledge of all things nature related. You don’t have to be an environmental expert to participate. Flesk Brewing, Trivia Night, enviroment, nature, preservationJust bring yourself, your friends or your team and join us for our first Trivia Night at FLESK BREWING. Hope to see you there. $5.00 donation at the door. Only 21 and older please. CLICK HERE for more information.

Our Next Project: Overseeding of 5.6 Acres At Pederson Preserve

 The Barrington Area Conservation Trust will be working with students from Barrington High School and local scout troops on a large-scale seeding project at Pederson Nature Preserve, Lake Cook and Hart Roads in Barrington, on November 19 from 10:00 a.m. – noon. The public is invited to help disperse 47.6 pounds of pollinator seed mix at the 5.6 acre parcel of land, which is adjacent to Flint Creek and across from Barrington High School.  Wear appropriate clothing and shoes and remember to bring your own water. 
Funding for the project is provided in part from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, and the Barrington Junior Women’s Club, as well as donor designated gifts.  Click here for the volunteer release form.

Register For Our Gravel Hill Prairie Hike and Lite Yoga

Join us from 10:00am – 12:00pm  for our Hike and Lite Yoga outing at the Gravel Hill Prairie.  Enjoy a crisp morning of hiking at the beautiful Gravel Hill Prairie followed by lite yoga instruction led our own Susan Lenz, Director of Community Engagement.  Remember to wear appropriate clothing and shoes and don’t forget your water bottle and a yoga mat! 

BACT members are free. Non-members are $20.00 per person.   The fee for a non-member paid by cash or check is $20.00 per person which can be dropped at our offices or mailed to:  Barrington Area Conservation Trust, 145 W. Main Street, Suite 201, Barrington, Illinois  60010.

If you choose to pay by Paypal below an extra $ .91 handling fee will be added at the time of processing.  Please call our offices at 847.387.3149 with any questions Monday – Thursday from 9:00am to 4:00pm or email

Join Us For Our OakTober Family Fest

Join us for our 2nd annual FREE OakTober Family Fest at Far Field Nature Preserve in Barrington Hills located at Lake Cook and Old Sutton roads.  This is event is free and will include child friendly activities, tree planting, music, bonfires and S’mores.  Last year this event brought a large crowd of families, friends and supporters of the BACT and a great time was had by all.  Bring the whole family and remember to wear suitable shoes and to dress accordingly as we will have this event rain or shine!  If you have any questions please feel free to call our offices at 847.387.3149, visit our facebook page or check back here for any updates.

Far Field Nature Preserve

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Free and open to the public