Oaktober Fest


Join Barrington Area Conservation Trust for its annual fall family festival.   All ages are invited to enjoy live music in beautiful Far Field Preserve.   Mane in Heaven will be there with their miniature horses too! Plant native plants and learn about nature!  Please bring your shovels and gloves.  This event is free and open to the public.   Oaktober Fest will take place rain or shine.

Tartans for the Trust…. Buy Tickets now!



Barrington Area Conservation Trust will host “Tartans for the Trust,” a new and exciting festival never seen before in the Barrington area on August 31st.   The Barrington Hills Park District Riding Club will be transformed to the Highlands to include bagpipes, pub bands, games and activities for all ages!   Traditional Celtic music will reverberate through the hills from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.  “Tartans for the Trust” will be a multi-generational family celebration for all to enjoy.  Pack a picnic, grab your favorite libation and join us for a unique evening of merrymaking.

Tickets are $100 per person.

17 and under free. Must be accompanied by an adult.

Purchase Tickets Here

Entrance Fee100.00 USD
Your confirmation will be emailed to your PayPal email address

(Once tickets are purchased, your name will be added to the guest list and you will check in at the door.  No physical tickets needed.)

Purchase Raffle Tickets Here

The winner will be chosen at the event on August 31st, 2019.  Winner does not need be present to win.  The winner of the raffle will choose one of the three prizes within 2 weeks.  There is no expiration but it is recommended to book the trip within a year.

1 Raffle Ticket100.00 USD
3 Raffle Tickets250.00 USD
10 Raffle Tickets500.00 USD
Your information will be recorded and you will be entered into the raffle

Click here for more information on the Ireland Trip

Click here for more information on the Scotland Trip

If you are interested in sponsoring the event, please contact Michelle Maison at michelle@bactrust.org

Earth Day Celebration

Barrington area residents of all ages came together at the Earth Day Celebration hosted by Barrington Area Conservation Trust on Monday, April 22 at Pederson Preserve.   Over 350 people participated in planting nearly 1000 plants, removing buckthorn, and restoring this exceptional natural area in our community.  Nine high school science classes walked to the Preserve during the school day to deliver plants they nurtured in the high school greenhouse and to take part in this conservation work.  The Village of Barrington Hills generously provided oak saplings for participants to take home.  BACT also offers special thanks to the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, Barrington 220 Educational Foundation, the Village of Barrington, PepsiCo Global R&D, and Barrington High School for sponsoring this event.  

Earth Day Celebration

Earth Day Celebration poster 2019-FINAL1


Join Barrington Area Conservation Trust in a conservation event that joins the entire community in celebrating Earth Week!  Local businesses, municipalities, foundations, students and families are coming together to honor Mother Nature and restore the Barrington area’s natural beauty.  Participants will plant native plants, clear buckthorn and help with habitat restoration.  Children are welcome! Crafts and educational opportunities will be available for those younger land stewards in the community.  BACT will provide free potted oak tree saplings to all attendees.

Earth Day Celebration

Earth Day Celebration, Monday, April 22th

BACT is celebrating Earth Day with a community wide restoration workday at
Pederson Preserve on Monday, April 22 th , 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. 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 Jennifer at jennifer@bactrust.org. We will supply the water, treats and tools.

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 1, 2019.  For more complete information, please click here.

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.


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








For the next two weeks, BACT is holding a contest on Facebook and Instagram to raise money for Pederson Preserve.


The money raised from this project will provide funding for the educational area adjacent access to Flint Creek at Pederson Preserve.
Help us reach our goal of $7,500 and we will receive a 20% match ($1,500)!

To enter:  Head over to our facebook page and….
1. For an entry, DONATE! Every $5 = 1 entry “use the link below”
2. For additional entries FOLLOW! On Instagram and/ or Facebook
3. Tag 5 friends in the comments section to SHARE.

Donate here:

Project – Shoreline Flint Creek Student Access Project | Donorvest

Annual Appeal Time

It’s that time of year where many of you are inundated with appeal letters from various non-profits.  There are so many worthy causes, locally and globally.  We get it.  However, please consider giving to BACT this year.  A healthy ecosystem lends itself to a healthy community.  We have been blessed to live in an area with rare and exceptional open space.  Let’s work together and conserve this gift in our area.  Give now and support our winter appeal.

Land Preservation and Conservation Easements

Join BACT and the Fox Valley Hound Heritage Foundation to better understand how conservation easements work as a land preservation tool for private landowners and how preserved open space increases land values in a community. Speaker Holley Groshek of the Equine Land Conservation Resource and Lou Harrison of Harrison and Held will share their expertise on horse related conservation easements and the tax benefits associated with conservation easements.

Order Your Native Perennials Now!

DID YOU KNOW……The fall season is a great opportunity to plant your native plants for next spring.  The Barrington Area Conservation Trust has partnered with The Barn Nursery to provide high quality native perennials to the local community.  By ordering native plants through this website you will not only encourage the use of native plants and provide a home for native species, you also help raise money for the Barrington Area Conservation Trust.  All orders can be picked up at The Barn Nursery & Landscape Center in Cary, IL within 5-7 days of placing your order.  You will receive an email notification when your order is ready for pick up.  Thank you for your support!  Place your order here.

CHECK IT OUT!  Here are before and after pictures of a monarch garden planted last year and in full bloom this year!

Teddy Roosevelt A Smashing Success

On Tuesday, May 22, BACT hosted Teddy Roosevelt reprisor, Joe Wiegand, at the Sanfilippo Carousel Pavilion in Barrington Hills. Joe has been featured as President Roosevelt in “The Men Who Built America” on the History Channel and has a feature role in the “National Parks Adventure” film. He has also appeared at the White House in Washington, D.C.
Joe came in character and regaled the crowd of over 200 with stories about Teddy and his fascinating life in politics and conservation.  This fabulous evening included dinner, drinks and entertainment as well as the opportunity to tour the steam engines housed in the Carosuel Pavilion and ride the carousel.
This magical evening was sponsored by:  John and Meredith Klaas

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 Emily@bactrust.org or call
(847) 387-3149.

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.