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One of the largest pieces of open land available in Cook County, a 400-acre horse farm in Barrington Hills, is expected to become a forest preserve again, after a court ruling granting foreclosure of the property.

That is, unless a plan to grow cannabis on the site interferes with the process.

Horizon Farm, consisting mostly of rolling pasture along Algonquin Road west of Illinois Route 59, has been in litigation since shortly after a private sale in 2006. Richard Cannon and his wife, Meryl Squires Cannon, borrowed $14.5 million from Amcore Bank to buy the land.

After the property fell into foreclosure once before, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County bought the farm for $14 million in 2013, and briefly opened it as a preserve, but the Cannons fought in court to keep the land.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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The Fox River Valley Pony Club Horse Trials run today though Sunday at the Barrington Hills Park District located at 361 Bateman Road.

For more information, click here.

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Crabtree Nature Center in Barrington Hills is celebrating the Forest Preserves of Cook County. Join us June 2 from noon to 4 p.m. as we Explore the Forest to see the many different facets of the forest preserves at this free event.

Find out about recreational activities from tree climbing and archery to fishing, camping, and wildlife encounters. Pick up a trail map and get a bike check-over courtesy of LL Bean.

Learn about the work that goes on behind the scenes to manage the preserves. Try out wildlife tracking radars, climb onto giant equipment used in habitat restoration and meet with Master Gardeners. Special guests from the Chicago Botanic Garden and Brookfield Zoo will highlight their role in the preserves.

The event is part of Chicago Wilderness’ Leave No Child Inside initiative to promote children’s connections with nature. Spend time in our Nature Play area where you can climb a spider web, build forts and follow a story trail.

Visit fdpcc.com or call (847) 381-6592 for information.

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The suburban police chief recently elected president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police says he’s making it a top priority to fight the legalization of recreational marijuana use here.

“It is a disastrous move,” Chief Steven Stelter said, ticking off more than a half-dozen reasons the association opposes the proposed Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a plan last week that would legalize recreational use for those 21 and older. If passed, Illinois would become the 10th state to legalize.

But several provisions of the proposal have raised red flags for Stelter and others in law enforcement — from a provision allowing people to grow up to five marijuana plants at home to the lack of measures preventing a user from purchasing large amounts by visiting multiple dispensaries.

“I’m sure everybody that wants to grow is going to stick to five plants,” he said with more than a hint of sarcasm.

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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After at least six lawsuits and almost 10 years in court, a resolution may be approaching over whether a 400-acre horse farm in Barrington Hills will become forest preserve property.

The legal tug of war has led to bad blood between the prior purchasers of the property and officials from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, who will square off at trial at the end of February.

But with recent court rulings going against the prior owners, time may be running out on their fight against a public takeover. If the forest preserve district prevails, the site would be its largest new property in some 50 years.

The property in question, Horizon Farm, formerly known as Horizon Farms, contains rolling pastures, racetracks, numerous stables, and at least one house and a mansion, which have fallen into severe disrepair. Recently, a court appointed a receiver to maintain the property while its future is decided.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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ar-181109055 South Barrington would become home to an extension of Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery for military veterans under a federal agency’s proposal that’s drawn concern from the village’s mayor about periodic rifle volleys expected at the site.

Under what’s called an urban initiative, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs wants to acquire 15 acres near Mundhank and Freeman roads for the columbarium cemetery. Documents show federal officials are developing a master plan to start with 5,000 niches for cremated remains to be placed in a series of walls, growing to 50,000 over 100 years.

Officials from the VA’s National Cemetery Administration will host a public presentation on the plan from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Hilton Garden Inn, 2425 Barrington Road in Hoffman Estates. Those who attend may provide feedback to the federal representatives.

If built, the South Barrington cemetery would provide a more convenient Chicago-area military burial option for eligible veterans and their families as part of the push to have such facilities closer to a city core, according to the VA. Lincoln National in Elwood is 57 miles from downtown Chicago.

Ceremonies would occur at the proposed South Barrington cemetery, including rifle volleys honoring the veterans before they are laid to rest. The rifle fire is expected three to five times per weekday when there are burials.

“Our veterans earned VA burial benefits and are recognized with a memorial honor guard,” agency spokesman Rick Fox said. “Rifle volleys that are part of this recognition would occur between the hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays. The site would be designed in a manner to direct the associated rifle volley noise away from the existing residences.

But South Barrington Mayor Paula McCombie, who stressed she supports veterans, said the “misguided” proposal would not fit in an area that includes the Barrington Homestead Estates and The Preserve of South Barrington residential subdivisions. Cook County’s Paul Douglas Forest Preserve is just west of the VA’s proposed project.

“We would love to have them in South Barrington, but at that location, considering they’re going to be firing guns off three to five times a day in a residential district and disturbing the peace of the residents that back up to the facility, we have to wait to hear from our residents to see what their opinion is of this,” McCombie said.

Under the VA’s tentative proposal, a main entrance wall and gate would be built with U.S. flags leading into the cemetery. There also would be natural and ornamental landscaping, a funeral cortège parking area, 30-foot-by-30-foot committal service shelter, a memorial marker wall and a roughly 1,300-square-foot public information and restroom building where visitors could use an electronic gravesite locator.

The full Daily Herald article can be read here.

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The 48th Annual Horse Trials will be held at the Barrington Hills Park District’s
Riding Center.

This nationally recognized event is the ultimate test of horse and rider.  One event, three disciplines: Dressage, Cross Country and Stadium Jumping. Novice through intermediate preliminary.

Admission is free to spectators!  Food truck and vendors on site.

The weekend begins with Dressage on Friday, June 22nd starting at 9:00am.  Horses and riders perform a prescribed set of exercises at the Barrington Hills Park District Riding Center located at 361 Bateman Road, Barrington Hills, IL.

Saturday, June 23th, is the exciting Cross Country phase where horses will gallop through the Forest Preserve over fixed obstacles, down banks and through water.  Cross Country rides will begin at 8:00 a.m. and continue until about 6 p.m. You will need to plan one half hour upon arrival at the Riding Center to get to the Cross Country course.

On Sunday, June 24th – Show Jumping competition and awards ceremonies will conclude the weekend.  Our fabulous Sponsor’s Brunch, starting at 9:00 will be served in a tent with views of both the grass jump field and the sand jumping arena. The many special trophies will be awarded at the conclusion of their divisions.  This final phase will be held at the Riding Center starting at approximately 9:00 a.m. continuing until mid-afternoon.

For more information please click the link.

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