Thank you to all that came out to OakTober Fest! We planted 68 trees and shrubs while enjoying the beautiful outdoors at Far Field Nature Preserve.
October 13th, 1:00-3:00
At Far Field Nature Preserve
(On the corner of Lake Cook Rd. and Old Sutton Rd., Barrington Hills)
Join the Barrington Area Conservation Trust for our annual Fall family festival. Enjoy live music and a bonfire while you relish the beauty of Mother Nature. Plant native plants, learn about bees, and enjoy seed collecting. Please bring your shovels and gloves. This event is free and open to the public. Snacks for purchase.
OakTober Fest will take place rain or shine. In the event of unsafe weather, lightning, tornadoes, etc. BACT will close the property.
Preserving open space and the vital natural resources that impact the entire region is an important part of the work we do at Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT).
Through conservation easements, heritage corridors, and community focused programs BACT works to protect our rural heritage and the environmental health of our entire region.
Did you know that the Barrington area lies in the Upper Fox River watershed? This means that most of the rainwater that falls in our area flows into the Fox River. From there, water flows west and south into the Illinois River, then into the Mississippi River and finally, into the Gulf of Mexico. As you can see, what enters our water from our land impacts many. Through water we are all connected.
BACT is acting to address the growing concern about our local and global water resources by offering support in your yard, in our community, and in the classroom.
The Conservation@Home, Conservation@Work, and Conservation@School programs bring education and tools to area residents, employees, and students to help apply conservation principles to their own landscapes.
Interested in joining our efforts? Sign up for an upcoming work day, plan to attend an event, or make a financial donation.
Together we can continue the important work of protecting the open space heritage of our community and our region and positively impact the environment.
To raise awareness for the Illinois state tree, Governor Bruce Rauner has designated October as Oaktober, Oak Awareness Month. Come celebrate with us on BACT owned Far Field Preserve, currently being restored to its original oak savanna heritage. We will plant oak trees and saplings, collect native seeds, roast marshmallows and listen to music on a beautiful fall day. There is fun for the whole family.
In addition, BACT is hosting our annual oak contest. The Great Oaks contest has three categories: tree size, classic beauty and personal story (a short narrative on why/how this particular tree has impacted your life). Nine winning oak trees will be named; first, second, and third place in each category. Category winners will be announced on October 8 at the BACT Oaktober Fest.
Please read on for contest rules and entry form.
BACT will join the fun as Fred Fest returns to the Fox River Forest Preserve in Port Barrington, Saturday, August 20, from 1–8 pm. The event features a diverse lineup of local bands, food and drinks for purchase, and family-friendly activities.
Fred Fest benefits the Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves, raising funds for the restoration of of Grassy Lake Forest Preserve in Lake Barrington. Efforts include restoring nearly 100 acres along the Fox River to its pre-settlement condition by removing invasive species and planting native species.
Join us for games and crafts. Please note there is no rain date.
In June, five Barrington High School students participated in the BACT intern program where they learned about habitat restoration at BACT owned Pederson Preserve and Far Field Preserve. They also participated in stream monitoring at Pederson Preserve.
Each student was asked to complete a questionnaire prior to and after the week program to help the program coordinator, Susan Lenz, gauge program effectiveness. At the end of each day, Susan asked the students to complete a “reflection log”, answering a few brief questions on what was learned that day. Susan also challenged the students to prepare a short presentation for parents and BACT board and staff members to illustrate what they learned through their experiences.
The development of future stewards through the various presentations is evident by the video above, created by intern Sean Lucas. Each student received a framed certificate to commemorate their participation.
Thank you to each student for contributing to BACT’s mission to preserve our community’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations.
BACT hosted speaker, Chad Pregracke, at the 2016 Annual Gathering on Tuesday, April 26 in the ballroom at Barrington’s White House.
Chad was a perfect fit for the gathering, whose theme was water and the connectedness we all share through our waterways, as his story mirrors the journey BACT has begun with the high school students in our area. Chad recognized the impact of the BACT Conservation@School program with Barrington High School as an integral way to educate the students on the health of our local streams and inspire students to become more aware and active in local conservation efforts. As students are being introduced to the life teeming inside Flint Creek on the BHS campus, the effects of the creek on our local watershed, and sharing in clean-up efforts in and along the creek, an environmental ethic is being cultivated in these students.
Chad Pregracke, President and Founder of Living Lands & Waters (LL&W) and 2013 CNN Hero of the Year, led a room full of BACT guests on his personal journey full of challenges and adventures which started as a young adult living on a garbage filled Mississippi River to his current and ongoing efforts to clean this and other rivers’ trash. Chad’s enthusiasm and perseverance was infectious as he recounted, through a captivating, genuine, and oftentimes humorous presentation, his experiences growing up on the banks of the Mississippi River and the formation of his non-profit river cleanup organization, LL&W.
We have had a wonderful response to our Volunteer Kick-off meetings and are excited to offer another opportunity to join us and get a brief background of the organization along with ways you can join as a volunteer.
Join Barrington Area Conservation Trust for pizza on Tuesday, July 19 as we welcome new volunteers and thank our current volunteers, who have logged in over 1180 total volunteer hours!
Come alone or bring a friend and meet at the BACT office in Barrington’s White House, 145 W. Main Street, 2nd floor, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. Enter through the back door.
Please contact Emily at email@example.com by July 18th to RSVP or for more information.
We can not fulfill our mission to preserve our community’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations without the help of community members like you!
Students: This is a great opportunity to earn volunteer hours.
BACT joined thousands of others worldwide to celebrate Earth Day on Friday April 22.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who joined us at Pederson Preserve located across from Barrington High School on Earth Day.
Over 30 volunteers met to plant 2000 echinacea seedlings and gather two garbage bins of debris from the road side. The seedlings, grown by BHS horticulture classes in the school greenhouse this winter, were gently planted in pre-drilled holes and tenderly covered with compost and water. These new seedlings will give way to a spectacular display of native flowers adding to the beauty of this preserve which has been undergoing restoration efforts since its purchase in 2011.
Spring is in the air in the horticulture classrooms.
This past week, as part of Barrington Area Conservation Trust’s Conservation@School program, Mr. Ardente and Mr. Kedzie’s Horticulture classes planted 9900 echinacea seeds (purple coneflowers) in the Barrington High School greenhouse.
These native plant seeds will be nurtured in the greenhouse until they are planted on Earth Day at BACT owned Pederson Preserve located across from BHS.
Save the date to join Earth Day festivities on April 22nd and help plant the seedlings. We will meet at 2:45 in front of the BHS tennis courts and walk over to the planting site. For more information on how you can participate, contact Susan Lenz, BACT Conservation@School Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landscaping with native trees, shrubs, and plants in strategic parts of your yard (in partnership with your turf grass) adds beauty as well as conservation benefits.
Order pick-up is scheduled for Friday, May 20 between noon and 3:00 p.m. in the parking lot at Barrington Village Hall.
To get started with a home consultation, click here or contact our Conservation@Home coordinator Beth Adler at (847) 387-3149.
Due to the low temperature and subsequent cancellation of our National Day of Service Work Day, we have set an alternate work day:
Sunday, January 24 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.
The location remains at Far Field Preserve located at Old Sutton and Lake-Cook Roads. Click here for a map and parking information. Please let us know if you will be able to attend the alternate day by sending us an email at email@example.com.
We hope to see you there! For questions, please call our office at 847-387-3149.
As an opportunity to students entering tenth through twelfth grades, BACT is offering four internships that will help gain an understanding of and experience with habitat restoration and stream monitoring. Through assisting with native plant installation and identification as well as invasive plant removal, Flint Creek stream monitoring, and stream data collection/reporting students will be able to participate in activities to broaden their understanding of ecology and environmental topics.
For more information and to apply, please click here.
Deadline to submit applications is April 23, 2016.
On the evening of December 2, Lake County Stormwater Management Commission honored BACT’s Conservation@Home program with their 2015 Education, Outreach, and Media Award.
The Conservation@Home program affects water quality in the Fox River Watershed by educating, assisting and recognizing landowners who strive to maintain their land using conservation practices that benefit wildlife, water quality, and the environment.
Michael D. Warner, Executive Director of Lake County Stormwater Management Commission commented that the “program’s success lies in providing landowners with feedback and guidance on ways to improve their properties to better manage stormwater runoff and provide healthy habitat”. He also commended BACT for “reaching out and educating other groups on conservation values”.
On Sunday, November 8th volunteers helped to continue restoration work on our Far Field Preserve in Barrington Hills by piling buckthorn and other brush and burning those piles to clear the perimeter of the field near the road.
Barrington Area Conservation Trust is excited to announce Chad Pregracke, 2013 CNN Hero of the Year Award recipient, as featured speaker at our 2016 Annual Gathering.
This years’ gathering will be held on Tuesday, April 26th from 7:00 p.m to 9:00 p.m. in the Barrington White House Ballroom. Our gathering is free to members and students. $15.00 for non-members. Light snacks will be served with a cash bar.(Interested in becoming a member? Click here to learn more and join.)
Chad Pregracke is President and Founder of Living Lands & Waters (LL&W), the world’s only “industrial strength” not-for-profit river cleanup organization. After spending his life growing up and working on the Mississippi River, Chad formed LL&W in 1998 at age 23. He was appalled by the amount of garbage in the river and as a driven teenager started his own campaign to clean up the shores. His determination has grown his quest into a national effort with a full staff and fleet of equipment cleaning rivers around the US.
Chad is a perfect fit for our event as his story mirrors the journey we are beginning to undertake with high school students in our area. Through BACT’s Conservation@School program with Barrington High School students, we are inspiring future generations here in our own community. As we introduce students to local impacts on Flint Creek, which runs through the high school campus as well as much of our community, we are helping to create an environmental ethic in young people and develop our next generation of environmental stewards.
On the eve of Thursday, September 24th, Elizabeth (Betsy) Hamill Bramsen, along with two other Illinois residents, was inducted into the 2015 Illinois Outdoors Hall of Fame at the Illinois Conservation Foundation Induction Ceremony and Fundraising Dinner. Betsy also received the Chairman’s award from Wayne Rosenthal for her efforts on behalf of youth conservation education.
Betsy is a founding board member at Barrington Area Conservation Trust and has been instrumental in our work in and around the Barrington communities. Betsy has helped develop the Barrington High School Conservation Leadership Project that is helping students develop meaningful connections to nature through classroom and field experiences.