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Archive for the ‘Crabtree Nature Center’ Category

Barrington

Prepare to get Darched Barrington taxpayers.

Barrington home rule:

Voters in Barrington have approved a ballot measure giving the village home rule authority, with 2,488 votes in favor and 2,102 against, unofficial results showed late Tuesday.

Village officials said home rule status would give them more local control to invest further in roads, bike paths and community spaces. One proposal is the creation of Park Avenue Plaza, a community gathering space and al fresco dining area. To ease residents’ concerns about tax hikes, village trustees approved an ordinance that would prevent them from raising the property tax levy above the current cap set on non-home rule communities.

Voters rejected a similar home rule measure in 2014.

Cook County forest preserves:

Voters across the county agreed to a property tax hike that will help the forest preserve district acquire more land, restore some existing sites, fund maintenance projects, pay down pension costs and expand programming. A portion of the funds will also go to Brookfield Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden.

With 92% of precincts reporting, unofficial results show 731,555 favored the tax hike and 350,547 opposed it.

Approval of the ballot measure — providing a $43 million boost to the district’s annual budget — will mean paying about $20 more in property taxes a year, on top of about $36 to $48 that currently goes to the district. A coalition of more than 150 organizations supported the request for additional funds for the county’s nearly 70,000 acres of forest preserves.

More here.

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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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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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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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crabtree-nature-center-photography-may13-1050x600

Major improvements to the infrastructure and visitor amenities at Crabtree Nature Center are underway! Planned updates include increasing energy efficiency by replacing the existing HVAC with all-electric systems and energy efficient lighting. New amenities include a redesigned interior, educational exhibits, and informational signs inside and out. This work is funded in part by a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Though the nature center building will be closed from July 1 until spring 2023, the grounds will remain open throughout construction, and naturalists will remain available to answer questions and lead programming. Public bathrooms will remain open as long as possible and will only be closed intermittently as needed.

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FutureThe following was posted to the Village website today:

“The Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) hosted an open house on Tuesday, June 14th regarding Horizon Farm, the area’s newest forest preserve.  The evening began with a presentation by the Preserves reviewing the planning efforts underway that have included input from community stakeholders.

FPDCC is working hard to preserve and restore vital natural areas that are especially important to native grassland birds. The short-term plan presented involves opening several trails on the property in the fall of this year.  There will be some gravel trails and mowed grass trails, in line with the Forest Preserves’ mission of all trails being open to everyone (dog walkers, equestrians, bikes, etc).

A Barrington Hills resident commented on how happy she was with the work done to remove the derelict buildings on the property, restoring it to natural space.

The Forest Preserves District of Cook County is seeking input from residents on how they would like to see the property used as they continue to plan for the opening of the trails and future uses of the property. Please see the current draft maps below and send any feedback to Planning@cookcountyil.gov.”

The Horizon Farm 2022 opening plan can be viewed and downloaded here.  The future plan ideas can be found here.

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PPDCC

“Discover the natural history and local wildlife displays in the Crabtree Nature Center exhibit building or explore Crabtree’s rolling, glacier-formed landscape on three self-guided trails.”

For more information, visit the Crabtree Nature Center Facebook page here.

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