Introducing our Conservation Leadership Project

IMG_2050BACT’s new Conservation Leadership Project is a cooperative community effort that provides classroom programming, hands-on  fieldwork, career exploration, internship opportunities, and extracurricular activities for Barrington High School students interested in conservation.

The BHS Department of Science and Engineering is working closely with BACT to develop a curriculum to promote science literacy though hands-on research.  Students will perform field tests on an area stream at 4-5 different locations and repeat the tests throughout the year, then compile data to assess the quality of the stream.

Continue reading

2015 Annual Concert for Conservation

Swinging Sixties  Bact’s 2015 Annual Concert for Conservation.

VolunteersOur annual Concert for Conservation being held today Saturday, August 29th will still take place!  Gates will open at 3 p.m. and the band begins at 4 p.m.

We are watching the radar closely and will post any further updates as necessary.

Velocity, a 7-piece band sponsored by Northern Trust, will bring a dynamic and high energy performance to our outdoor concert.  This year’s Swinging Sixties theme will bring us back to the lazy summer days of the groovy 1960’s where free spirits let the grass tickle their toes and the sun kiss their shoulders.  Bring your picnic including favorite foods, cocktails, soft drinks and water along with your blankets, lawn chairs and Ravinia tables and share this afternoon with loved ones at our unique outdoor concert fundraiser.

Continue reading

Native Plants Available Through Fall

Purchase your native plants through Barrington Area Conservation Trust this year!  Your purchase supports environmentally friendly practices in your yard and supports the work of BACT.  Members receive a 20% discount.

bluff spring

Not a member?  Click here to become a member today!

 

Contact us for a Conservation@ Home visit and receive helpful information on creating and maintaining conservation focused practices in your yard such as solutions that inhibit storm water run off and shoreline plants that help filter water as it runs into a lake or stream.

Horizon Farms Update

Released today by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County is the following update on Horizon Farms.Horizon farms sign

 June 2015: A major portion of Horizon Farm is now open to the public for hiking, biking and riding on both paved and mowed trails. Parking for vehicles and horse trailers is available through the entrance on the west side of the site off Old Sutton Road. The public may also ride or walk in on the bridle trail on the east side of the site off of Trader’s Estate road. Trails at Horizon Farm connect to trails in the Spring Creek Preserve west of Old Sutton Road. Most of the southern portion of the site remains closed to the public while the Forest Preserves continues to assess the condition of buildings and explore potential uses of the property.  Click here to visit the site map.  

Continue reading

Flint Creek River Monitoring at Pederson Preserve

DSCN0423On July 9th, a group of Barrington High School students assisted Barrington Area Conservation Trust as part of the Riverwatch Monitoring Program within the BACT/BHS Conservation Leadership Project. A monitoring site was selected on Flint Creek at Pederson Preserve. Students recorded the stream’s physical characteristics and collected biological macro invertebrate samples (small stream organisms) which are bio-indicators of water quality.

Continue reading

Volunteer Work Day

Celebrate the end of school while earning service hours and de-stressing with your friends!

Kids at work

WHAT: Buckthorn Blowout Volunteer Work Day
WHERE: BACT’s Far Field Preserve at the corner of Lake Cook & Old Sutton Road (parking available along the north side of Lake Cook Road)
WHO: You and your friends
WHEN: Thursday, June 11 9:30 am – 12 pm
WHY: To get rid of invasive buckthorn trees promoting the recovery of the Far Field to its former oak savanna state.
WHAT TO BRING/HOW TO DRESS: Wear long pants, long sleeves (over a t-shirt), hiking boots or study shoes, sunscreen, insect repellent, water bottle.

No experience necessary — we will provide training.

Click on the Volunteer tab above to fill out a liability waiver and photo release.  Questions or problems finding us, please call April at (847) 289-9760.

ComEd helps Mondschine Preserve

DSCN4506 (800x600)On the chilly morning of May 20, a team of energetic volunteers from ComEd came to Mondschine Preserve to learn about garlic mustard and help remove this weed from the oak ravine to restore precious habitat for wildlife. Massive piles of the weed were burned to efficiently remove seeds and dispose of plants.

Everyone left with a great sense of accomplishment since just about every flowering garlic mustard plant had been eradicated from an entire section of the preserve. Next, all participants were encouraged to put their new knowledge to work in their own backyards. Work days reinforce community while accomplishing tasks that would be impossible without many hands. Do you have a business, organization, congregation, or group that would like to make a difference in the natural world? Please contact April(at)bactrust.org or call (847) 387-3149.

International coyote expert shares fascinating findings

The impact of coyotes on an urban landscape, and the implications for people, pets, and other wildlife was discussed during a fascinating presentation led by international coyote expert Dr. Stanley D. Gehrt on Thusday, May 14.

Guests were able to enjoy the ambience of the upstairs room at McGonigal’s Pub while Dr. Gehrt shared information compiled from years of research as Principal Investigator of the Cook County Coyote Project since 2000.  As Chair of Research at Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation and Associate Professor & Wildlife Extension Specialist at the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University, Dr. Gehrt has an arsenal of engaging facts and touching personal stories of these members of the Canidae family.  Dr. Gehrt refers to coyotes affectionately as Ghost Dogs because although we see some of them trot across our yards, the majority (approximately 95%) are not usually seen during the day by humans.

Continue reading

Guided walk at Bluff Spring Fen

Steve addressing the group with information on the fen.

On Saturday, May 2 several BACT staff, members and guests met for a delightful spring hike with Steven Byers, field representative at the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, who has been doing restoration work there since 1980.  Steve imparted some of  his vast knowledge to highlight the wonders of Bluff Spring Fen, a rare wetland ecosystem.

 

 

 

Continue reading

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.

 

Make a difference at a work day

 

DSC_3024Wed, May 20  8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Mondschine Preserve 

Remove invasive garlic mustard plants from a beautiful oak ravine at Mondschine Preserve, so native wildflowers can return to the area. See what you discover in the woods.. Directions: The metal gate entrance to Mondschine is located just north of 10605 and just south of 10601  Haeger’s Bend Road, south of Chapel Road in Barrington Hills. Feeling lost? Call April at (847) 289-9760.

  • Go to the volunteer tab and complete a waiver form
  • Wear old clothes that can get dirty – long pants, long sleeves (so you don’t get scratched up!), work boots or protective shoes, & insect repellent
  • Bring a refillable water bottle

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.

Continue reading

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 www.barringtonarealibrary.org to reserve your spot.

Great Oaks of Barrington Contest

Entries due Monday, March 2 Annamarietree

The BACT | Great Oaks of Barrington Contest recognizes people who care for our area’s precious oak trees – from those who plant oaks to those who clear out invasive species beneath our community’s long-lived sentinels – because we understand and value this ecosystem. Renowned ecologist and entomologist Doug Tallamy linked a single white oak tree to 534 species of moths and butterflies. To download an entry form, please click here.

Continue reading

Volunteer with native landscape restoration

AG7A2362Sunday, March 29 — 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Join us for an afternoon work day at Far Field Preserve on the southeast corner of West County Line Road and Old Sutton Road in Barrington Hills. Bring your family and friends, and have fun making a difference in the natural world. No experience necessary. Please dress to be comfortable outdoors. We will post updates here as well as Facebook in the event of questionable weather. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Please contact april(at)bactrust.org for information.

 

Plan your (native) garden

Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 – 8:30 pmIMG_3973

Wondering what you can plant in wet, dry, sunny, or shady parts of  the yard that will provide habitat for birds and butterflies while enhancing the beauty of your home landscape? Join Conservation@Home coordinator Beth Adler and landscaping experts from Ringers Landscaping to get a jump on planning improvements and creating new sustainable beds in your yard. This informative program will be held in the Zimmerman Room at Barrington Area Library. Reservations are not required, but strongly recommended.

 

BACT begins restoration work at new preserve in Barrington Hills

Helping a monoculture return to its rich native roots

Oak trees will have a new place to grow

Oak trees will have a new place to grow

Late last summer, Steve and Mary Smith made a generous 12-acre donation of land in Barrington Hills to BACT. Named for its “far” distance from the home of Steve and Mary Smith, Far Field is a field that hasn’t seen oak trees or wildflowers for generations. “It has always been under plow,” says Mary Smith, who remembers the field from when she was a little girl. “Oak woods came right up to the edge of the field and stopped where the plow made cropland many decades before our time.” Wanting to protect this beautiful open space from future development, the Smiths contacted BACT | Barrington Area Conservation Trust to see what could be done.

Continue reading

BACT Annual Appeal

Because together we are BACT

BACT is a member-driven, Barrington-based 501(c)3 organization where everyone’s tax-deductible contribution works hard to preserve open space essential to our quality of life. The Annual Appeal provides the year-end convenience of joining BACT and reducing taxable income for 2014. Plus BACT membership is the perfect gift for the person who’s got it all.

Lou Flannery

Being surrounded by nature right where I live makes my heart sing. BACT helps private landowners bring conservation home. – Lou Flannery

I have been running, bicycling, and riding horses in the Barrington area for over 50 years – first with my children, and now with my grandchildren. Being in nature inspires me to do everything I can to preserve the land I love. – Elizabeth Corwith Bramsen

To learn more about the value of BACT to some of our members, see what a few of our board and staff members have to say.

 

Continue reading