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Eastern Screech-owls

Eastern Screech-Owls by Matthew Zuro – Bemis Woods

In this issue:

  • Partnership Adds More Accessible Programs
  • “Bird the Preserves” During Fall Migration Season
  • 2022 Photo Contest Winners
  • Explore Thatcher Woods
  • Latest News: Learn Five Fun Facts about Bullfrogs, Save the Date: 69th Annual Powwow October 7-9, Fall Trout Fishing Season Opens October 15, Forest Preserve Foundation Offers Alternative Way to Give Back for National Public Lands Day
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Click here to view the newsletter.

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FP Tax Hike

Cook County property owners would be asked to pay about “$1.50 more a month in taxes” toward the preserves, which became a haven during the pandemic

A referendum on the ballot this November will ask Cook County voters for a property tax hike to support and grow the county’s vast forest preserves.

The referendum in the Nov. 8 general election would ask property owners to contribute on average about $1.50 more in property taxes per month toward the preserves, or around $20 a year. About $3 to $4 of a homeowner’s current property tax already goes to the forest preserves each month.

The question before voters comes as the forest preserves became a haven of green space during the pandemic. The number of visitors skyrocketed as people sought a respite from sickness, isolation and boredom. The county’s forest preserves are one of the largest in the U.S., with nearly 70,000 acres of natural areas where people can hike, fish, bike, camp and even zipline. There are nature centers, and a massive set of stairs where exercisers flock that take your breath away.

“If there is a silver lining in a really difficult time for everybody, it’s that people were able to get out and rediscover nature,” said Arnold Randall, general superintendent of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

County officials and more than 150 organizations also tout the environmental benefits of the preserves, such as absorbing rainwater during storms and creating cleaner air.

Jean Franczyk, president and CEO of the Chicago Botanic Garden, which sits on forest preserve district land, lays out what’s at stake: “A set of green lungs for the region.”

If approved, officials estimate the tax increase would generate just over $40 million in additional funding a year. They say the extra cash would help the county address ambitious goals, like acquiring nearly 3,000 additional acres to protect it from development, restoring some 20,000 more acres over the next 20 years and paying for workers’ pensions.

Read more here.

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RCBHEC

The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  A copy of their agenda can be viewed here.

Instructions accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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RCBH

The Equestrian Commission will hold a special meeting this evening at 6:30 PM to review.  The sole topic on their agenda is, “Village Equestrian Trails.”

A copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here. Recordings from the August 19th, 2021, meeting (the most recent recordings available) can be found here.

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Dead Wood

While dead trees may not be the most attractive part of a forest, they are essential to its health. As dead wood is decomposed (by fungi, bacteria and other life forms) it aids new plant growth by returning important nutrients to the ecosystem. Photo by: Philip Walker

In this Issue:

  • Forest Preserves Police Introduce Mental Health Awareness Liaison
  • Inventory of Picnic Grove Trees Starts Management Plan
  • New Plan Identifies Forest Preserves’ Trail Priorities
  • Video Highlights How Wildlife Biologists Contribute to Disease Surveillance
  • Latest News: Five Fun Facts about Hummingbird Moths, Consider Doing Business with the Forest Preserves, Save the Date: Party for the Preserves on Sept 24, Dinner Under the Tent at the Beautiful George Dunne Golf Course
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Click here to view the latest.

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Birdwalk2

Track spring migration with Barrington naturalists Wendy Paulson, Barb Karon and Laura Simpson
Walks are free and open to the public. But spaces are limited and REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.
Bring binoculars (and insect repellent if desired) and dress for the weather.

  • Aug 26, 7:30 a.m. — Horizon Farm (Old Sutton Road, north of HWY 62 /Algonquin Road)
  • Sept 9, 7:30 a.m. — Crabtree Nature Center (3 Stover Road off of Palatine Road)
  • Sept 16, 8:00 a.m. — Beverly Lake* (North side of Higgins Rd/Rt. 72, East of Healy Rd)3 Stover Road off of Palatine Road)
  • Sept 23, 8:00 a.m. – Crabtree Nature Center (3 Stover Road off of Palatine Road)
  • Sept 30, 8:00 a.m. –Deer Grove East* (entrance on north side of Dundee Road, west of Hicks Road, east of Smith Street. Go to farthest and last parking area to the west of Picnic Grove #1) with optional extension to Camp Alphonse (off Dundee Road)
  • Oct 7, 8:00 a.m.— McHenry Dam (From S. River Road turn left onto McHenry Dam Road. Follow the road to parking lot-turn left and park at the far end of the parking lot.)
  • Oct 14, 8:00 a.m. – Beese Park/Younghusband* (Parking lot at corner of Cornell Ave. & George St.)
  • Oct 21, 8:30 a.m. – Galloping Hill * (Park at Penny Road Pond parking lot in Barrington Hills)
  • Oct 28, 9:00 a.m. – Crabtree Nature Center (3 Stover Road off of Palatine Road)

* Indicates a more strenuous hike.

Before you head out, please be sure to check the Citizens for Conservation website for any last minute changes or cancellations.

Click HERE for more information.

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Tree Survey

Researchers complete first comprehensive threat assessment of all US trees

For the first time, researchers have completed threat assessments for all 881 native tree species in the contiguous United States, resulting in a comprehensive checklist and synthesis that will serve as a critical baseline to guide future tree conservation efforts.

The new assessment of U.S. trees reveals that 11-16% of tree species in the contiguous 48 U.S. states are threatened with extinction, with the most common threat being invasive and problematic pests and diseases. According to Abby Meyer, executive director of Botanic Gardens Conservation International-U.S. (BGCI-US), a partner on the project, “These results lay the groundwork for U.S. tree and ecosystem conservation efforts that will contribute to achieving critical international conservation goals, including the United Nations Decade for Ecosystem Restoration and the Global Tree Assessment.”

Murphy Westwood, Ph.D., vice president of science and conservation at The Morton Arboretum and senior author of the report, noted that much of the world’s biodiversity depends on trees, which offer food and habitat for countless plant, animal and fungal species while providing invaluable benefits to humans. “Understanding the current state of trees within the U.S. is imperative to protecting those species, their habitats and the countless communities they support,” she said.

The report is published in Plants, People, Planet. This study is the culmination of five years of research conducted by BGCI-US, The Morton Arboretum and NatureServe, in partnership with the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service.

Researchers examined the extinction risk, patterns of geographic and taxonomic diversity and leading threats facing tree species native to the continental U.S. Most U.S. species had never been assessed or were outdated on the two most widely used threat assessment platforms, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List and NatureServe.

Read more here.

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Hi!

2022 Photo Contest Opens August 1, 2022!

In this issue:

  • Forest Preserves, Shedd Aquarium Partner to Bolster Endangered Turtle Species
  • Photo Contest Begins August 1
  • Bird the Preserves Throughout Summer
  • Latest News: Become a Concessionaire in the Forest Preserves, Ambassador Animal Program Report Released, Learn Five Fun Facts about Hine’s Emerald Dragonflies, 2023 Indoor Event Permit Sales Begin August 1, Invest in the Next Generation of Conservationists
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Click here to view the latest.

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Crabtree

“Hello from Crabtree Nature Center. We welcome you to a special edition of Behind the Scenes Friday where we’ll show you….there isn’t much left behind the scenes. We are currently wrapping up moving the last of the exhibits out of the nature center and into temporary storage, or their new homes elsewhere.

We’d like to thank you in advance for your patience over the coming months during our renovations. Staff will remain onsite during this time leading programs and answering questions. Stay tuned for more updates and remember, the building may be closed but there’s still plenty to do at Crabtree.”

Related:Crabtree Nature Center building closed July 1 through Spring 2023

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Beetle

Dogbane beetle (Chrysochus auratus), Photo by: Maria Sacha

In this issue:

  • Training Programs Prepare Group Leaders for Nature Adventures
  • Learn About Self-Love, Resiliency During Summer Wellness Series
  • Thanks to the Data Bike, Targeted Trail Improvements Begin This Summer
  • Latest News: Experience Camping in the Forest Preserves, Crabtree Nature Center Building Closed July 1 Through Spring 2023, Forest Preserve Foundation Awards $130,000 in Grants, Share Feedback for the Des Plaines River Trail Central Study
  • Upcoming Events
  • Volunteer Opportunities

Click here to view the latest.

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