Archive for the ‘Citizens for Conservation’ Category

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

Read Full Post »


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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

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.

Read Full Post »

“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.

Read Full Post »

Autumn will be here soon, and that means it’s a good time to think about adding trees or shrubs to your yard.

“Planting them in early fall gives their roots several weeks to get established before the first frost,” said Julie Janoski, Plant Clinic manager at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. In September and early October, the air will cool off, but the soil will still be warm enough for roots to grow. “Growing roots is the most important task for a new plant,” Janoski said.

You can plant any species of tree or shrub in early fall as long as it was grown in a container. Most plants sold in garden centers are container-grown. Fall planting may be more risky for trees or shrubs that are sold with their roots wrapped in burlap, as they were grown in a field and dug up for sale.

“Those plants lost the majority of their root system when they were dug out of the ground,” Janoski said. “They will have a better chance to recover if they’re planted in spring and have the entire season to grow.”

This is especially important for some kinds of trees, such as many oaks, maples, hawthorns and magnolias. Consult the Plant Clinic for advice before planting a balled-and-burlapped tree in autumn.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

Pre-ordering of Citizens for Conservation native tree and shrub plants runs through September 1. Plant pick up will be by appointment September 19 – 20.

Visit CFC’s website here for more information.

Read Full Post »

Restoration efforts known as the Barrington Greenway Initiative in a 14,000-acre area covering portions of Cook, Lake and McHenry counties could get a boost through a pending agreement between seven agencies, including the Cook and Lake county forest preserve districts. The Cuba Marsh is among the preserves that would be expected to benefit from a new agreement meant to speed restoration and preservation efforts in areas covered by the Barrington Greenway Initiative. (Daily Herald File Photo, 2018)

You may have visited forest preserves in southwestern Lake County, northwestern Cook County or a conservation area in southeast McHenry County for a calming respite from the din of daily life.

Cuba Marsh, Spring Lake and Silver Creek in those respective geographic areas, for example, provide different experiences and getaway opportunities.

What you may not know is those and other protected areas in the region all are pieces of a much larger whole known as the Barrington Greenway Initiative.

Now seven agencies, including the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Lake County Forest Preserve District and McHenry County Conservation District, are working on an agreement to speed up restoration of more than 14,000 acres of prairies, oak savannas, wetlands and woodlands that comprise the Greenway.

Read more here.

Read Full Post »

More than 500 people attended Citizens for Conservation’s harvest fundraiser, Ignite the Night, Sept. 14 in Barrington Hills.

The event at the Barrington Hills Park District featured live music by Beamish, food and beverages, stargazing with professional-grade telescopes, flashlight walks, close-up encounters with raptors, a raffle and horse-drawn wagon rides, all capped by a spectacular bonfire.

Citizens for Conservation hoped to divert as much material from the landfill as possible. Thanks to the assistance of the group Mindful Waste, all packaging used at the event was compostable, recyclable or reusable.

Mindful Waste volunteers were on hand to educate and help with the sorting process, and after recycling 154 pounds of bottles, cans and cardboard; upcycling 11 pounds of plastic film; composting 315 pounds of food waste, paper plates, cups and napkins; and donating 60 pounds of extra corn, only a six-pound bag of landfill waste remained.

All proceeds from the event will support Citizens for Conservation’s preservation and restoration work in the Barrington area. Supporters of the event included the Forest Preserves of Cook County and the Barrington Hills Park District.

Read Full Post »

The Barrington Hills Park District has announced the purchase of 35 trees which will benefit the community for many years to come.

The following native trees were acquired through Citizens for Conservation’s spring and fall plant sales:

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: