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.

Continue reading

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.

 

 

 

Continue reading

Welcome spring with a Conservation@Home visit

Let us help you find the right plants for your yard

sidebar-native-plantsLet’s face it, the snow isn’t going to be around forever and you’re going to have to deal with the spot where nothing seems to grow because it’s too shady, too sunny, or too wet.

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.

 

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.

Continue reading

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.

Great Oaks of Barrington Contest

Entries due Monday, March 2 Annamarietree

The BACT | Great Oaks of Barrington Contest recognizes people who care for our area’s precious oak trees – from those who plant oaks to those who clear out invasive species beneath our community’s long-lived sentinels – because we understand and value this ecosystem. Renowned ecologist and entomologist Doug Tallamy linked a single white oak tree to 534 species of moths and butterflies. To download an entry form, please click here.

Continue reading

Volunteer with native landscape restoration

AG7A2362Sunday, March 29 — 1:00 – 4:00 pm

Join us for an afternoon work day at Far Field Preserve on the southeast corner of West County Line Road and Old Sutton Road in Barrington Hills. Bring your family and friends, and have fun making a difference in the natural world. No experience necessary. Please dress to be comfortable outdoors. We will post updates here as well as Facebook in the event of questionable weather. Reservations are recommended, but not required. Please contact april(at)bactrust.org for information.

 

Plan your (native) garden

Tuesday, March 10, 7:00 – 8:30 pmIMG_3973

Wondering what you can plant in wet, dry, sunny, or shady parts of  the yard that will provide habitat for birds and butterflies while enhancing the beauty of your home landscape? Join Conservation@Home coordinator Beth Adler and landscaping experts from Ringers Landscaping to get a jump on planning improvements and creating new sustainable beds in your yard. This informative program will be held in the Zimmerman Room at Barrington Area Library. Reservations are not required, but strongly recommended.

 

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.

Continue reading

BACT Annual Appeal

Because together we are BACT

BACT is a member-driven, Barrington-based 501(c)3 organization where everyone’s tax-deductible contribution works hard to preserve open space essential to our quality of life. The Annual Appeal provides the year-end convenience of joining BACT and reducing taxable income for 2014. Plus BACT membership is the perfect gift for the person who’s got it all.

Lou Flannery

Being surrounded by nature right where I live makes my heart sing. BACT helps private landowners bring conservation home. – Lou Flannery

I have been running, bicycling, and riding horses in the Barrington area for over 50 years – first with my children, and now with my grandchildren. Being in nature inspires me to do everything I can to preserve the land I love. – Elizabeth Corwith Bramsen

To learn more about the value of BACT to some of our members, see what a few of our board and staff members have to say.

 

Continue reading

Learn how to create a backyard sanctuary

Sunday, September 21, 9:00 – 10:00 am

Enjoy an educational Conservation@Home presentation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 337 Ridge Road, Barrington, Illinois with BACT executive director Lisa Woolford. Find out how your yard can provide valuable habitat for birds, butterflies, and other wildlife, while addressing problem areas and improving water quality.

C@HcertifSusanBoe

Continue reading

Family Planting Day 2014

 An afternoon that brought people together to do something good

WoodchipWheelbarrow

On the afternoon of Sunday, September 14, students from Barrington High School, the BHS Football Team, National Honor Society, Boy Scout Troop 21, individuals, and families came out for a beautiful afternoon installing 400 native plants at Pederson Preserve under the watchful eye of Eagle Scout candidate Matt Parsons along with the staff from BACT. Great work and many thanks 🙂

BACT | Concert for Conservation – Great Success!

Summertime Swing Promo 2[1]

This year’s BACT | Concert for Conservation was hosted at a beautiful estate in Barrington Hills on Saturday, August 30, 2014.

Let’s Dance! performed classic swing melodies after the talented students of Barrington Suzuki Strings shared their talents with a joyous crowd.

Thanks to everyone who made this evening a positive experience & successful fundraiser for Barrington Area Conservation Trust. See you at a wonderful new local venue next year!

New Chapter for Horizon Farms

20140603_085614 (1)Although our role as co-holders of the conservation easement protecting Horizon Farms has not changed, the BACT looks forward to working with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) on the future of Horizon Farms.

Since 2003, Barrington Hills’ Horizon Farms has been protected by a legally binding, site-specific conservation easement co-held by Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT) and The Conservation Foundation (TCF). Conservation easements are documents specifically crafted to preserve land in perpetuity as open space. While Horizon Farms is currently undergoing a transition from private ownership to the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC), the conservation easement remains unchanged.
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