Archive for the ‘Citizens for Conservation’ Category


Kids can paint pumpkins and decorate scarecrows at Barrington’s 20th annual Scarecrow Festival.

Those old clothes you’ve been meaning to donate can get new life at Barrington’s 20th annual Scarecrow Festival.

The free, family-friendly festival will take place from 11 AM to 2 PM Saturday, Oct. 16th, at Memorial Park, Hough and Lincoln avenues in Barrington.

The popular event is emceed by Bob the DJ and features free pumpkin and scarecrow decorating. Pumpkins and painting supplies are provided, but bring your own old clothes to outfit your scarecrow.

Also on tap are pony rides, face painting, and other family activities.

Barrington Youth & Family Services has invited many local organizations and businesses to provide fun crafts and games including BStrong Together, The Barrington Area Library, Barrington Area Conservation Trust, CrossFit Barrington, and Kaleidoscope School of Fine Art.

The event is sponsored by Village of Barrington, Barrington Youth & Family Services, Heinen’s and Bob the DJ.

For information, visit www.barrington-il.gov.

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CFC 50Help celebrate CFC’s 50th anniversary at this family-friendly fest this weekend. Live music, food and beverage trucks, fun nature activities, wildlife demonstrations, games, prizes, crafts, and more.

The event will take place this Saturday at a big top tent at the Smith Building, 27401 W. Rt. 22, Lake Barrington, from 2 – 6 PM.  For tickets, visit the 50 FEST webpage here.

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(Note: It’s not too late to pre-order shrubs and trees from Citizens for Conservation during their Fall sale running through Tuesday. Click here for details.)


When you plant a tree, make sure the root flare — the place where the stem or trunk flares out into the root — sits at or slightly above the level of the soil. That way, you’ll bury the roots, but not the stem.

Planting or transplanting a tree, shrub or perennial is all about giving its roots a good home in the soil.

“It’s the only time we see the roots and can focus on what they need,” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist in the Plant Clinic of The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “The rest of the time, we tend to forget them.” But a plant can only grow the parts we enjoy — the leaves and flowers and branches — if it has a healthy root system to supply water and nutrients.

Once a tree or shrub is planted, it will be very hard to tell if something has gone wrong with the roots, and it will be difficult, often impossible, to correct root problems that can stunt or even kill a plant.

“Taking care when planting is an investment toward avoiding problems,” she said.

Early fall is an excellent time to plant or transplant trees and shrubs, Yiesla said: “If you get the plant in the ground by early October and you keep it watered, it will have several weeks or more to get its roots established before the soil freezes.”

Most often, homeowners purchase trees and shrubs in large pots. Here are suggestions from Yiesla and the Plant Clinic for giving container-grown plants’ roots a good start.

Read more here or visit the Morton Arboretum website here.

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CFC Fall 2021Plant native trees and shrubs to help create bird, pollinator, and wildlife habitat. CFC’s 24th annual Fall Native Tree & Shrub Sale is here! Online ordering is available through 8/31 at fallsale.citizensforconservation.org.

Pick up is Sept 11th 9am – 3pm at Frier Farm, 23585 N. Kelsey Rd, Lake Barrington (only 2 miles from CFC). All sales are preorder online only; no additional plants will be available on pickup day. CFC members will receive a 10% discount on all orders.

For more information, call CFC at (847) 382-7283.

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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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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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Shoppers browse the native plants and shrubs during a previous Citizens for Conservation plant sale. Place your orders online now for Citizens for Conservation’s 25th annual Native Plant, Shrub and Tree Sale. Orders will be taken online only through April 18. Pickup will be by appointment May-6-8.

Online ordering for Citizens for Conservation’s 25th annual Native Plant, Shrub and Tree Sale will be available through April 18 on CFC’s website, www.citizensforconservation.org.

Order pickup will be May 6-8 in the barn area of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, 450 W. Hwy. 22, in Lake Barrington. Pickup appointments will be scheduled in advance and COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place.

Orders are filled on a first-come, first-filled basis, and CFC members receive a 10% discount. At this time, CFC cannot commit to an in-person sale, so online orders are encouraged.

The sale is one of the largest in the region and features more than 225 native species. This year’s sale will also feature special-value gardens designed for the home garden:

  • 50th Anniversary Gardens for Sun or Shade: In honor of CFC’s 50th anniversary, two small native plant gardens will be available for $50 each. These sun or shade gardens have been designed by Christa Orum-Keller, landscape designer and owner of Midwest Groundcovers. The plants included are from their Natural Garden Natives, and have been chosen for their versatility, beauty and pollinator attraction. Each garden has 20 plants for an area about 25 square feet, and comes with a design layout for planting.
  • Secret Garden Special for Part Shade: This garden is designed in partnership with Barrington Junior Women’s Club Secret Garden-themed fundraiser. Start a secret garden with native plants that have been selected to thrive in light shade and regular garden soil. Plants range in height from 6 inches to 5 feet and include a variety of species that bloom in spring, summer and fall.

As part of CFC’s Milkweed for Monarchs campaign to encourage monarch populations, several species of native milkweed will be available at discounted prices. But other native plants are essential as well; monarch and other pollinators need flowering native plants as food all season long. All plants sold are free of neonicotinoid pesticides.

CFC’s online catalog includes details to help choose plants, such as sun requirements, water requirements, color and more. Also, native plant experts from CFC’s Habitat Corridors program are available for a brief online or phone consultation.

Email a request — with “Native Plant Sale” in the subject line — by April 1 to info@habitatcorridors.org that includes name and contact information, and a native plant expert will be in touch to set up an appointment.

For information, contact CFC at cfc@citizensforconservation.org.

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First, the bleak butterfly news: The population of monarchs passing the winter in Mexico appears to have fallen. Now, the good news for Illinois’ state insect: The Field Museum is trying to figure out what makes a successful urban monarch garden, and it’s not too early to start preparing for this summer.

The area covered by monarchs in Mexico has decreased by more than a quarter compared with last season, according to Mexico’s National Commission of Protected Natural Areas and World Wildlife Fund. Because the butterflies mass together on fir trees at their southern roosting grounds, populations are measured in hectares, or acres. This winter’s count is only about 5 acres, down from nearly 7 last year.

“When you have those really low numbers, you run the risk of a real catastrophic decline, like we’ve seen with the monarchs in California,” said Erika Hasle, a conservation ecologist at the Field Museum, where a community science project is now heading into its third season. “We’re not at that point yet with the monarchs east of the Rockies, but it’s a real risk and it’s a real concern. And it’s an indication that there’s something they’re not getting.”

The monarchs we see in Chicago are part of the eastern population, which accounts for nearly all the monarchs in North America, and includes a supergeneration that flies thousands of miles to Mexico. The western population, which winters in California, was found to number fewer than 2,000 monarchs in a Thanksgiving count — a record low, down from nearly 30,000 the prior year and more than a million years ago.

The news also follows a December finding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that monarchs are qualified to be listed under the Endangered Species Act but will have to wait their turn, as limited resources are directed to species with higher priority.

Read more here.

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Citizens for Conservation is celebrating its 50th Anniversary and CFC’s 25th Annual Native Plant, Tree, and Shrub Sale.

Order online March 1 – April 18

Order pickup appointments May 6 – 8 – Covid-19 safety protocols will be in place  

Full details and links HERE.

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“For billions of years all Life has relied on the Earth’s rhythm of Day & Night. Humans have radically changed this cycle by lighting up the night. The benefits are obvious, while the dangers go unmentioned.

Darkness interruption has a long list of dangerous negative impact. Declining insect populations, disrupted bird migration patterns, wildlife survival behavior, and even the life cycles of plants & trees are severely affected. Light pollution is also linked to Human diseases such as diabetes,  depression, obesity and cancer. 

Action you can take:  turn off lights when not needed, use soft yellow lights when possible and point them downward, keep lights away from habitats and DO NOT install lights in trees!  Get educated, raise awareness and share knowledge.

There is a lot more to this issue – and a lot that can be done by each of us to make good changes. (see CFC post here)”

Editorial note: For many of our readers this is déjà vu (all over again).  For those who weren’t around or have forgotten, our posting of, “Everything Is Deluminated,” from a November 2009 Wall Street Journal article might “shed some light” on what we mean.

Nonetheless, as light has crept back in to some properties in our Village, we applaud CFC for their message.

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