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 6th, 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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”.
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.
Barrington Area Conservation Trust offices have moved to Barrington’s White House, the new community and cultural center in the heart of downtown Barrington.
Located in Suite 201 at 145 W. Main Street, BACT is neighbors with Let It Be Us and Barrington Children’s Charities. The historic house boasts a lovely third floor ballroom that may be rented for events and special celebrations. First floor parlors are also available to rent and several events have been planned for the public. For more information click here or visit the Events page on the Barrington White House website.
On Tuesday, September 22 Barrington Area Conservation Trust ‘s Conservation Leadership Project Coordinator, Susan Lenz, led approximately 220 Barrington High School students on a quest in Flint Creek. The objective? To input their real world data into a stream monitoring program that will make comparisons between sites from season to season and year to year.
These students from five Barrington High School AP and Honors Environmental Science classes visited one of five sites on a portion of Flint Creek located on the BHS campus. They performed physical, chemical, and biological tests. The students will revisit the same site several times throughout the school year and monitor their observations.
BHS teachers from these classes commented that for some of the students this was the first time they had been in a river. The students reactions were surprise at the variety of living organisms in the river. The Science Department Chair, Julie Baylor, stated that “everyone is really happy and excited for the next monitoring experience”.
Watch for updated information on the Conservation Leadership Project Stream Monitoring.
Giving Tuesday was started in 2012 by the 92nd Street Y and the United Nations Foundation. It is a movement that was created as a national day of giving at the beginning of the Christmas and holiday season as a response to commercialization and consumerism in the post-Thanksgiving season (Black Friday and Cyber Monday).
BACT’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.