Archive for the ‘BACT’ Category


A bison grazes in 2013 in a forest in eastern Poland. Kane County Forest Preserve Commissioners approved a plan this week to bring bison to the Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve. (Associated Press)

It’s been 200 hundred years since bison roamed the prairies of Kane County, but a new plan to reintroduce them into a local forest preserve may turn back the clock.

Kane County Forest Preserve commissioners approved a plan this week to bring a handful of bison to the Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve. The plan centers on one of the main ecological goals of restoring tallgrass prairie to the county’s preserves. Before the surrounding area developed, fire and the grazing habits of wild animals, such as bison, provided natural management of the grasslands. Preserve officials reintroduced controlled burns to the preserves many years ago.

Executive director Ben Haberthur told commissioners now is the time to reintroduce bison to restore the grazing aspect of grassland management. Up to 90% of the diet for bison is grasses.

“The grasses evolved with grazing,” Haberthur said. “So it actually promotes the soil microbiome to grow more. Bison are native to Illinois, and they are definitely native to this county. They will bring a big component back to the ecosystem, namely fertilizer.”

District officials experimented with the benefits of animal grazing in the preserves with cattle in the Aurora West Forest Preserve. That experiment resulted in the flourishing of the restored grasslands in the preserve. Officials see bison as the next step in returning the grasslands to their most natural state and care.

The Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve is in the Pleasant Valley Conservation Alley north of Huntley and in the northwest portion of the county. The plan calls for two paddocks of 30 acres each with an additional 89 acres seeded for pasture. For the safety of the animals and the public, the areas containing the bison would be fenced, which accounts for the bulk of the initial cost of the project.

Read more here.

Editorial note: As we’ve suggested before, there is ample acreage at Horizon Farm for the Forest Preserves of Cook County to consider such an endeavor.

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BARRINGTON, IL, February 28, 2023 Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT), a charitable organization that preserves Barrington Area’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations,  has been working with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC), The Conservation Foundation (TCF) and other stakeholders to negotiate a Conservation Easement Agreement for the Horizon Farm preserve.

“BACT has demonstrated its ability to professionally administer Conservation Easement agreements, as it has been involved with Horizon Farms since 2002. These agreements, known as “Conservation Easements,” run with the land, and remain in force regardless of who owns the property, including municipal entities,” said BACT Board Vice President Matthew Wilkens.

This agreement expands the natural areas and preserves the open space and equestrian character of the preserve. BACT, FPDCC and TCF have had a productive working relationship throughout this process. The Horizon Farm preserve is now open to the public, as announced by FPDCC.

About Barrington Area Conservation Trust

BACT fills an important niche in the local community as the only land trust conservation organization accepting conservation easements in the area. BACT permanently preserves open spaces through conservation easements and land donations, restores natural habitats and inspires conservation stewards. We achieve our goals through the generous support of individuals, family foundations and business organizations that embrace our vision of a sustainable, beautiful environment.  Please visit http://www.bactrust.org/ to learn more.


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Michelle Maison, Matt Wilkens PHOTOGRAPHY BY IAN MCLEOD

Supporters of the Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT) gathered with friends and family to enjoy an afternoon of bagpipes, kilts, live music, and highland games at BACT’s Tartans for the Trust Concert at Christina Cressey’s beautiful Cresswood Farm on September 24. Young and old alike enjoyed fantastic live music by the band Murley and local favorite Pat McKillen from elaborately appointed sponsor tents and festive Ravinia-style picnic blankets. Children enjoyed Highland-themed games and played beneath centuries old oaks, overlooking a conservation area. The live auction winner for the day Chieftain Betsy Bramsen and her guests won a tour of Barrington in a stunning Tantivy Coach courtesy of the Stephenson Family and Tudor Oaks Farm. The BACT is devoted to preserving our community’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations.

View photos from the event here.

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Chicago private-equity veteran Bryan Cressey and his wife have been identified as the buyers who paid $20 million in March for the full-floor penthouse on the 89th floor of Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)

Chicago private-equity veteran Bryan Cressey and his wife, plastic surgeon Iliana Sweis, have been identified as the buyers who paid $20 million in March for the five-bedroom, 14,260-square-foot full-floor penthouse on the 89th floor of Chicago’s Trump International Hotel & Tower.

The sale of the unit was the third-highest-priced sale on record of any kind of home within Chicago’s city limits. A real estate source in the Trump Tower confirmed that Cressey and Sweis were the buyers.

Cressey, 73, is the co-founder of private equity firm Golder Thoma Cressey, which teamed up with future Gov. Bruce Rauner to become known as GTCR. Cressey then cofounded another private equity firm, Thoma Cressey, followed by Cressey & Co.

Cressey and Sweis are familiar with the Trump building, as Sweis bought a lower-floor unit in the building for $2.7 million in 2009. And Cressey, a longtime Barrington-area resident, purchased one of the hotel condos in the building in 2015 for $1.68 million.

The couple bought the $20 million penthouse through an opaque Delaware limited liability company whose name is a variation on the couple’s wedding date and location.

Chezi Rafaeli, the real estate agent who represented the couple in their purchase, declined to confirm the couple’s ownership. Lawyer Judy DeAngelis, who represented the couple in the purchase and who also receives the unit’s tax bill, asked a reporter “where you got those names” before declining to comment further.

Cressey did not respond to a request for comment, while in a phone interview, Sweis denied buying the unit.

Read more here.

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Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] A Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Patrick Hennelly for 22 years of Dedicated Service to the Village of Barrington Hills Resolution 22 –
  • [Vote] Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Dr. Gwynne H. Johnston for 28 Years of Dedicated Service to the Village of Barrington Hills Resolution 22 –
  • 5K/10K The Land We Love Run

The two gentlemen being recognized for decades of service on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Board of Health have our utmost gratitude and respect for their commitment to the residents of our Village.

A copy of the agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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Kids can create a nature craft at some Earth Day events in the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

It’s time to show a little love to Mother Nature.

Earth Day is Friday, April 22, and Arbor Day follows on April 29. Here are some local events to mark the occasion — and to give back.

Earth Day in Barrington: 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 22, at Pederson Preserve, West County Line and Hart roads, Barrington. Join Barrington Area Conservation Trust to plant native warrior sedges, install a bald cypress tree, learn about stream ecology and more. Parking is available at Barrington High School, 616 W. Main St. Free. Register at bit.ly/BACTearthday.

Earth Day Nature Play: Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Crabtree Nature Center, 3 Stover Road, Barrington Hills. Enjoy family-friendly Earth Day activities in a three-acre Nature Play area. Free. fpdcc.com/event/earth-day-nature-play.

More here.

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BACT Earth Day 22

Barrington Area Conservation Trust

Join Barrington Area Conservation Trust in a conservation event that joins the entire community in celebrating Earth Day from 3:30-5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 22.

Barrington residents are coming together to honor Mother Nature and restore the Barrington area’s natural beauty at BACT’s Pederson Preserve. Located at the corner of County line and Hart Roads, parking is available at Barrington High School.

Participants will plant native warrior sedges, install a bald cypress tree, learn about stream ecology and more. Children are welcome!

Register here.

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The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold their regular monthly meeting this evening in-person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM.  Some of the topics on their agenda include:

  • Horizon Farms Update
  • Plum Farms Property Update
  • Public Comment Policy Guidelines, anf
  • Additional Video Cameras at Riding Center

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

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Barrington Area Conservation Trust celebrates it’s 20th anniversary at Tartans for the Trust!

The Celtic spirit will fill the air on August 28 from 3PM until 7PM at the Barrington Hills Park District Riding Center. Bagpipes will sound as we kick off the festivities, Pat McKillan will be performing and there will be games and activities planned for people of all ages.

Kids will enjoy mini versions of the Highland games from the caber toss to miniature golf and tug-o-war. For the Lords and Ladies — Scotch/WhiskeyTasting, Men in Kilts contest, and Haggis Hurling to name a few.

Bring chairs, a blanket and a Ravinia basket (or purchase food from our food truck) and enjoy a fun-filled afternoon in a beautiful setting.

To purchase tickets, visit BACTrust.org. Raffle tickets are also available — win one of three amazing packages!


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About 40 people turned out Thursday, including 10 members of a local Brownie troop, to plant native plants like St. John’s wort for Earth Day at Pederson Preserve in Barrington. (John Starks | Staff Photographer)

Volunteers celebrated Earth Day on Thursday by installing native plants in a Barrington nature preserve and cleaning up a park in Warrenville

About 40 people, including 10 members of Brownie Troop 2370, gathered Thursday to plant St. John’s wort and other native plants in the Pederson Nature Preserve.

The 5.6-acre parcel across from Barrington High School was purchased by the Barrington Area Conservation Trust with funds donated by Frederica Smith Pederson, whose late husband, Keith Pederson, was a distinguished Barrington resident. The property is named after him.

Since the conservation trust formed in 2001, its mission has been to conserve open spaces and the rural character of Barrington communities. In 20 years, the trust has saved 520 acres of land, formed five nature preserves, installed 52 monarch butterfly pollinator gardens and planted 110 oak trees, its members say.

For more information, visit bactrust.org.

Read more here.

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