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.

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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.

 

 

 

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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.

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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 www.barringtonarealibrary.org to reserve your spot.

Volunteers log in 64 1/2 hours of service in 1 day

National Day of Service brings community together

Group picFFOn Monday, January 19, volunteers made a difference at Far Field Preserve in Barrington Hills, removing invasive buckthorn, honeysuckle, and barberry from the edge of a field that is being restored to a native oak savanna. Special thanks to Bob Lee for taking this photo and many more!

Currently planning our work day schedule for 2015, we’re looking for individuals, organizations, businesses, and congregations that would like to partner with us to accomplish great things. Please contact April Anderson or call (847) 387-3149 to learn more.

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.

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Onion Pub & Brewery becomes first local business to receive Conservation@Work certification

How one local family is building a sustainable business

Jennifer&sign

The native trees, shrubs, grasses, and wildflowers adorning the parking lot islands of Onion Pub & Brewery only tell part of the story. Meeting with BACT |Barrington Area Conservation Trust Conservation@Work coordinator Beth Adler, Jennifer Kainz shared how the Kainz family is taking positive strides to make a difference in the natural world through habitat restoration, energy conservation, water conservation, recycling, and on-site composting.

 

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The Garlands welcomes birds & butterflies

Interior designers bring talent outdoors earning Conservation@Work certification for their business

Ann&Cindyhoriz

Four years ago, interior design director Ann Pateros together with The Garlands’ assistant interior design coordinator Cindy Baldocchi offered to add landscaping to their arsenal of responsibilities to improve the quality of their members’ lives.

Wanting to bring back the natural wildlife for the enjoyment of their members, Ann and Cindy embraced native landscaping, installing marsh milkweed for monarch butterflies to lay eggs and bluebird houses to welcome their first families of bluebirds this past spring. Continue reading

Call your senator today

The Conservation Easement Incentive Act needs your support

Pasture with white fence and Birch treeThe Conservation Easement Incentive Act needs your support to pass in the Senate. Contact Senator Dick Durbin (202) 224-2152 or and Mark Kirk (202) 224-2854 to vote “yes” for this important legislation.

With the Conservation Easement Incentive Act:

+ the maximum deduction a donor can take for donating a conservation easement will rise from 30% of their adjusted gross income (AGI) to 50%

+ qualified farmers and ranchers will be able deduct up to 100% of their AGI Continue reading

Growing & flourishing

A message from Lisa Woolford, Executive Director

Thank you for caring about the natural world and the future of this precious resource in our region. Serving as BLisa at EDWDACT’s director of land preservation for the past three years, I have appreciated the opportunities I’ve had to preserve everything from a rare gravel hill prairie and fen wetland to the picturesque country roads, horse trails, and waterways that are so vital to our quality of life.  Continue reading

Planting seeds & harvesting rain

In his book, Bringing Nature Home, entomologist Doug Tallamy writes, “native plants support and produce more insects than alien plants and therefore more numbers and species of other animals (such as birds, amphibians, small mammals).” While it may seem undesirable to find sporadic holes in the leaves of your plants, the insects that made these holes are essential to the food web. “The self-sustaining balance we seek in garden communities is only achieved through complexity.” Continue reading