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.
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.
Barrington Area Conservation Trust’s offices have moved to the second floor of Barrington’s White House Community and Cultural Center. We are excited to be a part of the ongoing history of this magnificent house.
Please join us for the White House Open House on Saturday, September 26 and Sunday, September 27 from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. and view the efforts of so many who worked to restore the beauty and increase the functionality of this 1898 Barrington landmark.
When students at two schools in Fox River Grove District 3 came back to school this fall, they were greeted with a beautiful natural landscape that now supports native plants, wildlife, and sustainable habitats.
Both Fox River Grove Middle School and Algonquin Road Elementary School were recently awarded Conservation@School certification by the Barrington Area Conservation Trust for their work with Ringers Landscaping to transform the schools’ outdoor areas into extensions of the classroom that provide educational opportunities about our environment and the world in which we live.
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.
Swinging Sixties Bact’s 2015 Annual Concert for Conservation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On 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.
Celebrate the end of school while earning service hours and de-stressing with your friends!
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.
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.
Do you have an oak tree with a story?
The Great Oaks of Barrington Contest will take place again in 2016, and we’re looking forward to entries big and small. Please watch our website for details..
Here are a just a few of the stories people shared with us for the 2015 Great Oaks of Barrington Contest:
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.
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.
Let us help you find the right plants for your yard
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.
Wed, May 20 8:00 am – 12:00 pm
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
On 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.