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BHPC School“We’re not kidding! If you can sit on a horse, you can learn to play polo.

The Barrington Hills Polo Club invites you to sign up for our Annual Spring Polo School – it’s Chicago’s only polo school for beginners! Affordable and fun for men, women and juniors!

Come experience “Polo Among Friends” – call 847-854-1415 or e-mail barringtonhillspolo@gmail.com today! Print out this flyer and tell your friends!”

Source

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Earth Day 2021Earth Day is Thursday, April 22, and there are plenty of local events — celebrations, concerts, educational programs, cleanups, workdays, recycling — to mark the occasion.  Here are a few dates and events to consider participating in:

Sunday, April 18

Waterfowl Nesting: 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, April 18, Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Pick up an informational guide to lead your own adventure and discover more about our feathery friends and their busy springtime activities. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. For information, (847) 381-6592 or Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Thursday, April 22

Earth Day — Nature’s Heroes: Virtually at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Facebook Live from Crabtree Nature Center, Barrington Hills. Join to learn a little about some the female pioneers in the environmental movement. Program is free. Visit Crabtree Nature Center on Facebook. For information, (847) 381-6592 or Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Earth Day at Pederson Preserve: 3:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 22, Pederson Nature Preserve, Hart Road and West County Line Road, Barrington. #RestoreOurEarth. Join the Barrington Area Conservation Trust to plant. Dress for the weather, wear a mask and social distance. Advance registration required, visit bactrust.org.

Sunday, April 25

Celebrating Earth Day: Noon-3 p.m. Sunday, April 25, Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Create a cute native animal out of recycled materials, learn how to go greener in your cleaning, pick up supplies to clean up a preserve or neighborhood park or start a native plant to take home for your garden in the Mini Earth Day Celebration. All participants are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing. For information, (847) 381-6592 or Crabtree.NatureCenter@cookcountyil.gov.

Wildflower Walks: 2 p.m. Sunday, April 25, Stillman Nature Center, 33 W. Penny Road, South Barrington. Join and explore Stillman’s woodlands in search of ephemeral beauties such as white trillium, May-apple, Virginia bluebell and jack-in-the-pulpit. Bring your camera. For ages 10 and older. Also offered May 2. Free. For information and to register, (847) 428-6957 or Stillnc@wildblue.net.

For more ideas, click here.

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CFC“Today is CFC’s 50th ANNIVERSARY. Thank you to everyone for your dedicated support over the decades.

Together this community of concerned citizens have invested in the future, inspired us to take action to improve the environment we live in, and create habitats for all living things. Today CFC protects and manages almost 500 acres of natural land. Example: this soybean field restored to pristine prairie and wetland. We are excited about working together to accomplish even greater things in the next 50 years. Thank you.”

Via CFC Facebook page

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bhpd-logo-2-2021The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening via Zoom at 7 PM. Some of the topics for discussion include:

  • Swearing in New Commissioners
  • Pickleball Court at Countryside School
  • Hanover Park Tennis Club use of tennis courts at Countryside School
  • Review of outdoor arena options and next steps

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting can be found here.

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BEA

A wave of incumbents will return to school boards across the suburbs, alongside some newcomers, amid ongoing criticism over how school leaders have handled pandemic learning and the gradual resumption of in-person classes — an issue that sparked some of the most contentious elections in recent memory.

Emotions ran high this election season due to the pandemic affecting communities across the suburbs differently, as local school boards struggled to keep pace with evolving health guidance while facing criticism from parents and teachers alike.

In District 220, where 11 candidates were vying for four board seats, two of the winners — newcomer Erin Chan Ding and incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford — were endorsed by the Barrington Education Association. But union-backed candidates Lauren Berkowitz Klauer and Thomas J. Mitoraj lost.

Instead, voters picked Katie Karam and Steve Wang — endorsed by the GOP-backed ACTION PAC, or the Advancing Change Together in Our Neighborhood political action committee. They, along with fellow slate member Malgorzata McGonigal, criticized the school board for staying in remote learning last fall.

“It was more emotionally intense than any election that I remember for Barrington 220,” said Chan Ding, of South Barrington. “When to reopen schools, the approach that we should take, and the national partisan nature of that debate also filtered into our local school board election. There was an anti-teachers union sentiment that we have never seen this intensely before.”

Chan Ding said that by electing two candidates each from opposing camps, voters have signaled their desire to have a wide range of viewpoints and ideologies represented on the board. “We know that our approaches are different and at the same time we know that our goals are similar,” she said.

The divisiveness seen in this election has been long prevalent in the community, said Wang, of Barrington.

“The goal is to make sure that we provide the best possible environment for our children and to make sure that our community heals from all of this divisiveness over the last several years,” he said.

Read more here.

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220 Board 2019

Members of the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education Barry Altshuler, from left, Mike Shackleton, Sandra Ficke-Bradford, President Penny Kazmier, Superintendent Brian Harris, Angela Wilcox, Gavin Newman and Leah Collister-Lazzari are pictured July 30, 2019. Shackleton, Ficke-Bradford, Kazmier and Newman were up for reelection in 2021. Kazmier and Newman did not run. Ficke-Braford unofficially retained her seat in the April 6, 2021 election while Shackleton did not. (Steve Sadin / Pioneer Press)

One incumbent and three others who would be new to the Barrington School District 220 Board of Education are emerging as top vote-getters in Tuesday’s election, according to unofficial results from the Cook, Lake and Kane county clerks’ offices.

The district, with its headquarters in Barrington, serves surrounding towns that are in part or all of each county. Also, a small portion of the district is in McHenry County but unofficial results do not include any totals from McHenry because of what the clerk’s office there called “some anomalies in [Tuesday’s] unofficial election results.”

The top four vote-getters include incumbent Sandra Ficke-Bradford, the current board vice president, with about 12% of the combined Lake and Cook county vote, and newcomers Erin Chan Ding, with about 13%, and Katie Karam and Steve Wang, both with about 12% of the vote, according to unofficial results from each county clerk’s office.

The race had been rancorous, with charges by the League of Women Voters and others of strong partisan involvement in what some expected to be a non-partisan race, and complaints by some parents and candidates over what they saw as unseemly endorsements from the Barrington Education Association teachers union. The union endorsed Ficke-Bradford, Chan Ding, Klauer, and Thomas Mitoraj.

Ficke-Bradford said she wasn’t sure if the BEA endorsement hurt or helped. Chan Ding said she thought the endorsement had little effect overall, but she found it personally affirming that the teachers group saw her as someone with whom they could work.

Read more of the Barrington Courier-Review report on the 220 election here.

Editorial note:  So far, the Daily Herald, Barrington Courier-Review/Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times or the Northwest Herald have not commented on what Alex Strobl shared with this and other publications last weekend.

Additionally, forty-five minutes of Tuesday evening’s Board of Education meeting were devoted to the topic (See “District 220 Board discusses Strobl documents”), so we’re really looking forward to their reports (though we’re not holding our breath).

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With so many candidates running for various offices, we’d like to remind readers of the candidates The Barrington Hills Observer wholeheartedly endorses:

Pres VBHTrustee VBH220 VBH 1HC VBHBAL VBHBHPD VBH

If you haven’t already, Please Vote tomorrow! 

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BC

Current Village of Barrington Hills Trustee Brian Cecola

Races for mayor and village president have been some of the most hotly contested showdowns in the Northwest suburbs this election cycle.

Here’s a recap of a handful of the headline-grabbing contests.

Barrington Hills

Two candidates are vying to become Barrington Hills’ next village president.

Brian Cecola, a business owner and six-year village trustee, is taking on Dennis Kelly, the Barrington Hills Park District board president and a local insurance broker.

Incumbent Martin McLaughlin won the state House 52nd District race in November and isn’t seeking reelection.

Cecola touted his hands-on experience in village government. Kelly touted his experience serving on the park board for eight years, saying he would bring a new set of eyes to village hall.

Cecola said the village has lowered its tax levy and cut spending during his tenure on the board and as chairman of the public safety and roads and bridges committees, while at the same time ramping up its road program.

Kelly, the former chairman of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce board, said he would emphasize transparency (WHAT TRANSPARENCY?) and participation by residents if elected.

Read more here.

Related:Endorsement: Cecola for Barrington Hills village president

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CFC

Bertram James Grigsby (born in 1884) owned land that became CFC’s first preserve, located in Barrington Hills. His daughter, Peggy Grigsby Richards (1914-2012) knew that her father wanted the family land kept intact for the grassland birds, and she honored his vision with the donation of the land to CFC. Peggy Grigsby photo by April Graves/Lightdrawn Studios.

If you want to know the value of something, ask yourself, “Where would we be without it?” Residents of the greater Barrington area, including creatures and plants that reside here, enjoy the benefits of wide-open spaces. Citizens for Conservation and local land-conscious organizations have protected and preserved our natural resources in earnest for 50 years. Had they not, much of our rural character would have given way to development. Once razed, land is forever gone.

We can thank visionaries dating back to late-19th century landowners, like Bertram James Grigsby, who had a desire to protect open meadows and patches of prairie for wildlife. His daughter, Peggy (pictured above) honored his vision, and donated a large parcel of family land to become the first CFC Preserve.

In 1970, the Barrington Area Development Council urged that a Barrington Area Council of Governments and a Conservation Committee be formed, and for 50 years, both have played a role in the health and preservation of our open spaces and waterways.

In 1971, the newly incubated Conservation Committee incorporated as Citizens for Conservation. Bill H. Miller was CFC’s first president, and under his leadership, the founding members set the stage for today’s CFC, one of our most important, successful, and enduring nonprofit organizations.

Read the Q&A with CFC’s current president Kathleen Leitner here.

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SB Land plan to build homes on 34 acres of vacant land in South Barrington got a cool reception from the village board Thursday.

The property being eyed for development is on the southeast corner of Route 59 and Bartlett Road and is owned by the South Barrington Park District. The land once was home to a tree nursery.

The park district bought the land years ago. But because of its topography and other factors, officials determined the land isn’t ideal for recreational activities and would require “significant funds” to develop, park district Executive Director Jay Morgan said.

Voters last year authorized the park district to put the property up for sale.

Burr Ridge-based McNaughton Development secured the land for more than $1.6 million in an auction last month, Morgan said. The company and the park district haven’t yet closed on the deal, however.

Trustees raised several concerns about the plan, however, particularly the proposed density of the neighborhood. The land now is zoned in such a way that 14 houses could be built there — far fewer than the developers proposed, Mayor Paula McCombie said afterward.

Read more here.

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