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Archive for the ‘Spring Creek Watershed’ Category

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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2013shiningIt is with great pleasure that we announce our choice for the 2013 Shining Star Award.  Our congratulations go to Village President Martin J. McLaughlin.

Clearly this year, as with last year, there were many outstanding candidates submitted to The Observer for consideration.  Everyone nominated shared a common goal of bettering our community and/or our Village government through their time and dedication.

A year ago, if you knew who Martin McLaughlin was, chances are you had children in any one of three District 220 schools.  A devoted father of five daughters, Marty has been very active in school activities ranging from coaching school athletic teams to the mundane, yet necessary at times, carpooling of kids to and from school.

If you did not know Marty a year ago, you were in the majority since about two-thirds of Barrington Hills households do not have school age children.  Needless to say, this situation dramatically changed since then when the April 9, 2013, election results were reported – an outcome that likely stunned many in the Village, and possibly even the unpretentious McLaughlin who won in all four counties in Barrington Hills.

Once sworn into office, it quickly became evident that Marty didn’t shy away from problem issues, both recent and longstanding, within and without our Village that needed immediate attention.  Some, particularly the planned Insurance Auto Auctions (IAA) facility proposed in East Dundee and the protracted police union legal battle, were in complete diplomatic disrepair.

Though it was clear the IAA development was a foregone conclusion, Marty still chose to represent the interests of the Pond Gate subdivision residents and the Village by immersing himself in the issues and fashioning some mitigating solutions.  We understand Marty continues to meet with IAA representatives and East Dundee officials toward goals benefiting all parties and protecting Village residents.

The most recent Village Newsletter provides an excellent overview of the situation we faced with our sworn police officers who unionized in 2010.  President McLaughlin can only be described as “politic” in his message to residents, but the fact is our Village was wasting hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars before he finally put an end to it.

Another longstanding and costly legal battle with Sears also drew his attention due to the vast amounts spent.  South Barrington, a codefendant in the case, has also incurred significant legal fees in the case.  Yet in more than ten years of fighting in the courts, neither village government had met to discuss a strategy toward common goals toward resolution.

On June 10 of this year – less than two months into his first term in office – Marty arranged a joint meeting of the Barrington Hills and South Barrington village boards.  While this may not be considered a breakthrough idea, it demonstrated a genuine theme of collaboration that Marty has brought to how our Village government should run.

The best example of Marty’s collaborative acumen was the first annual “The Hills Are Alive Fall Heritage Fest” held last October.  Months in the making, he enlisted funding assistance from vendors serving the Village to cover expenses.  Some supportive Trustees also chipped in some personal funds to help the cause.

He also involved the Barrington Hills Park District early on, as well as organizations throughout Barrington Hills from the equestrian clubs to local restaurants to conservation organizations.  Many residents also volunteered their time to oversee many activities during the fest.

Despite some rather dogmatic questioning from the board and even an eleventh hour thirty line item FOIA request submitted by a local curmudgeon, Marty’s course never swayed in accomplishing his goal of providing a fun-filled venue for residents to gather and interact.  In the end, some eight hundred residents attended the fest throughout a sunny day on October 10, 2013.  His perseverance paid off, and residents appreciated having a gathering that provided attractions for all ages.

These are just some of the highlights of what Marty has accomplished in only eight months in office.  His demonstrated hands-on leadership on tough issues combined with his cooperative approach to most all aspects of Village government are why we once again congratulate him on this award.

–     The Observer

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A PDF version of the latest Village newsletter was released today, and a copy can be downloaded here.

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BACOG has posted a document on their website titled “Spring Creek Watershed-Based Plan.”  This twelve page paper provides general information on past and present conditions of the watershed, and includes some overall suggestions on safeguarding it.

Since seventy-three percent of the watershed is in Barrington Hills, residents may wish to read this piece.  To download a copy (5.71 MB), click here

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