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BACT

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.

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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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In May of last year, the Board of Trustees directed the Plan Commission to review the Village Comprehensive Plan and make recommendations for any changes they saw fit for the Board to adopt. The last time the Comprehensive Plan was updated was 2005 and amendments were approved in 2008.

After nearly a year of work and meetings, the Plan Commission has agreed to the changes they would like seen in the Plan. A copy of their proposed 2019 Village Comprehensive Plan can be viewed and downloaded here.

A public hearing is scheduled for July 8th at 6:30 PM to allow residents to voice their comments, or feedback can be provided to the Village Clerk at clerk@vbhil.gov.

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Three Barrington area conservation organizations will collaborate to help Barrington-area residents protect local water sources, thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Barrington Area Community Foundation.

Flint Creek/Spring Creek Watersheds Partnership, Barrington Area Conservation Trust and Citizens for Conservation will work together to create restoration demonstration areas, educational activities, native planting instructions, sample planting designs, online resources, and how-to libraries.

Each organization will draw on its area of expertise for the initiative. Flint Creek/Spring Creek Watersheds Partnership will coordinate and lead efforts; Barrington Area Conservation Trust will develop the demonstration area along Flint Creek in Pederson Preserve in Barrington; and Citizens for Conservation will develop the schematic planting design, determine best native plants and create homeowner designs.

Read more here.

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A campaign dubbed “Healthy Hedges” is being rolled out to arm nonprofessionals with information to deal with buckthorn and options to replace it.

“This is a key conservation goal across the region,” said Allison Frederick, assistant public affairs manager for the Lake County Forest Preserve District. “We’re joining forces to make this truly a movement to eradicate buckthorn wherever possible.”

The district and the Morton Arboretum through its Chicago Regional Tree Initiative, Forest Preserves of Cook CountyBarrington Area Conservation TrustIllinois Landscape Contractors Association, independent contractors and others are working to improve the health of backyards and other landscapes.

Read more here.

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When Barrington Hills Village President Martin McLaughlin volunteered to participate in a dunk tank during the recent “The Hills are Alive Fall Festival,” he did so with a village police officer in mind.

Shortly after he situated himself in the dunk tank on Sept. 30., youngster Susie Bongiorno hit the target and dunked McLaughlin into the water below.

Proceeds this year from the dunk tank, as well as food and beverage sales during the village’s annual fall community festival, went to an ongoing effort to raise funds for Jeremy Hensler, a police officer in Barrington Hills who recently was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

“(Bongiorno) threw a strike. I coached her on our softball team,” McLaughlin said of the dunk tank experience, adding how an estimated crowd of 600 attended the festival. “We think that’s pretty good attendance for a village with 1,100 homes.”

But the featured element of Barrington Hills’ sixth annual fall festival was supporting Hensler, who also is a member of the Northern Illinois Police Alarm System — a group of suburban police departments in the Chicago area, officials said.

“He was one of our highest-trained, well-qualified officers,” McLaughlin said of Hensler.

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McLaughlin said the Dunk Tank ended up generating about $500 in proceeds. Organizers also collected donations through vendors’ food and beverage sales at the event, he said. Timmerman’s Equestrian Drill Team, of Island Lake, also performed for the festivalgoers.

Other activities included a climbing rock wall, an interactive animal show and a make-your-own ice cream area, organizers said.

The entire Barrington Courier-Review article can be seen here.

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Screen Shot 2018-06-18 at 7.28.02 PM Barrington Hills’ Sanfilippo estate is a popular venue for elegant, charitable fundraising parties, but Tuesday it was all about scientific research in the property’s spring-fed creek by Shedd Aquarium experts and a local nonprofit conservation group.

In collaboration with the Sanfilippo family, the Barrington Area Conservation Trust organized the monitoring of Spring Creek to sample fish populations to determine abundance, density and species composition. Conservation trust Executive Director Lisa Woolford said the organization is helping the family legally protect a “big stretch” of its land from development in perpetuity.

“So, part of what we do is we identify as many plant, insect and animal species as we can as part of the project,” Woolford said during a break from slogging through Spring Creek in waders. “And we put it into a nice, big, hefty report so we know exactly what it is we’re preserving.”

To read the full text of the Daily Herald feature, click here.

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 “NO TRESPASSING” signs have been posted at the entrances to the largest new forest preserve in Cook County.

“Forest Preserve of Cook County does not have possession & has no right to enter this property or permit others to do so,” the warning reads on a locked gate at Horizon Farm, a rolling, 400-acre horse farm in Barrington Hills.

The notice was posted by Rich and Meryl Squires Cannon, who assert they are the true owners of the land after they won an Illinois Appellate Court decision in a long-standing legal battle over the prized property.

The court ruled that there is a legitimate question as to whether the Cannons were fraudulently pressured into the mortgage that led to foreclosure of their property. As a result, a lower court must reconsider whether the Forest Preserve District can foreclose on the property.

The shutdown is the latest development in a yearslong feud between the couple and the district. It could be years more before the dispute and the fate of the land is resolved.

To read the full article in the Chicago Tribune, click here.

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Audio recordings from the July 17th Meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals have been posted to the Village website, but the link is incorrect. To access the full meeting recording at Soundcloud, click here.

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Looking to do their own part to address a nationwide issue, Barrington Hillsofficials are considering an environmental project that would help restore habitats for monarch butterflies, which recently have been declining in numbers.

Village officials are exploring whether to create a five-acre way station on the east side of Route 25 in Kane County that would feature milkweed plants and different nectar sources – two areas that monarch butterflies rely on to live and thrive, according to Barrington Hills Village Administrator Robert Kosin and officials with the Barrington Area Conservation Trust.

The project would require Barrington Hills to designate public land as a way station for monarch butterflies, as well as conserve habitats already suited for monarch butterflies and other plant pollinators, Kosin said.

Village officials recently started planning for the project after turning a smaller garden at Barrington Hills Village Hall into a way station for the migrating butterflies, he said.

To read the entire Chicago Tribune story, click here.

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