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Archive for the ‘Resident Spotlights’ Category

Board Members of the Cook County Forest Preserves Conservation & Policy Council
Front row: Terry Guen, Laurel Ross, Peter Ellis. Back row: Commissioner Larry Suffredin, Wendy Paulson, Michael DeSantiago, Sylvia Jenkins, Mark Templeton, Emily Harris, Arnold Randal, Commissioner Stanely Moore. Not pictured: Rob Castaneda.

Nature has never been more important than it is right now. People are looking to it to reduce stress, stay healthy and find solace. Many in the Chicago region are flocking to our greatest natural asset, the Forest Preserves of Cook County. We applaud President Preckwinkle, General Superintendent Arnold Randall and his team for their commitment to keep the preserves open just when they are needed most and when many other public spaces are closed. At the same time, we are troubled by reports of illegal and unacceptable behavior by a very few — crowding, going off trail, picking wildflowers, trampling sensitive vegetation, letting dogs run rampant.

We are so glad people are discovering — or rediscovering — these extraordinary landscapes and the more than 350 miles of trails they include. The ability to be active and outside with family members is a blessing. But the privilege of free access to the Forest Preserves carries a responsibility, too, especially in this time of extreme and necessary social guidelines.

That means respecting the space of other visitors, obeying preserve rules and honoring the habitats of animals and plants for whom the preserves are home. It’s an opportune time to visit a less well known preserve — maybe a place you’ve never been before — or to visit at a less crowded time. Check FPDCC.com before you go.

We invite you not only to visit, but to join us in protecting and restoring the natural habitats of the preserves. (See, for example: https://fpdcc.com/volunteer/ or https://northbranchrestoration.org). Once we emerge from this challenging time and restrictions are lifted, consider joining thousands of volunteers who give their time, energy and expertise to help make nature in our preserves even more healthy, diverse and welcoming.

Board Members of the Cook County Forest Preserves Conservation & Policy Council

Wendy Paulson, Chairman

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Since 2018, the North Shore has gone chicken crazy, with big fat hens popping up on real estate billboards and in backyards from Highland Park to Lake Bluff.

For homeowners like (Matt) Hendrick preparing for first-time chicken ownership, the initial learning curve includes questions about what kind of coop to build or purchase, how to feed and maintain the chickens, and which breeds to purchase.

To get there, Hendrick read books, visited websites and talked to chicken owners who had years of experience raising the birds.

“You really do learn a lot by talking to others who have chickens,” says Helen Sheyka, who has been raising chickens in Barrington Hills since 1994. To share what she learned over the years and learn from others’ experiences, Sheyka began hosting a small chicken club.

“We would all get together and bring an egg dish and talk chickens. It really grew fast,” says Sheyka. At last count, the Barrington Chicken Club had more than 100 attendees from around the North Shore and northwest suburbs.

Read the full unedited story in the Daily North Shore here.

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Barrington Hills officials are exploring whether changes are needed in the village’s open burning regulations after hearing from residents on several sides of the issue.

Resident Nina Chandel recently told the village’s public safety committee the ordinance for residential property needs a definition for habitat restoration open burning. She also suggested a modification for approved habitat restoration open burning days to be available based on wind speed and the air quality index.

Chandel said the current burning policy is hindering her ability to restore 4 acres of forest to natural health near her home.

“I now have masses of invasive brush on my residential property that cannot be removed or chipped or mulched,” Chandel said. “And it cannot reasonably be burned within the three-hour, five-foot single location limits that are in the current ordinance. Right now, this massive invasive brush presents health and safety hazards for the forest plants and wildlife and for us.”

Resident Justin Pawlik questioned Barrington Hills’ 10 p.m. cutoff time for a fire during the village board’s public safety committee last Thursday.

Read more here.

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Emmie Phillips, from left, Grace Hayes, Natalie Nelson are pictured June 7, 2020 in Barrington as they collected food and cash that was to be donated to a Chicago organization and distributed to families of Chicago Public Schools children who missed getting meals after looting ravaged some communities. – Original Credit: Emily Young (Emily Young / HANDOUT)

The Barrington area community surprised Natalie Nelson with how much it stepped up on Sunday to provide meals for Chicago Public Schools students who may need them.

In just four hours, Nelson and two fellow 2016 Barrington High School graduates collected $1,125 in cash to buy fresh and non-perishable food to deliver to Port Ministries in Chicago. The food is to be distributed to the families of children who temporarily lost their free meals through CPS, Nelson said.

“We’re over the moon,” said Nelson, who now lives in Fox River Grove. “I did not expect to have this much support. The community really came together. They provided so many donations in food and cash. It was great to see.”

The passersby and visitors to College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors, the downtown Barrington site where the food was collected, were very supportive, said Emmie Phillips, of Barrington Hills.

Read more here.

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Graduates in Class of 2020: 773

Graduation speaker: Margaret Simmons

Class officers: Senior Class Board: President Rhea Thomas, Vice President Charlotte Lucas, Treasurer Afrah Ahmed, Secretary Taylor Hall; Student Council: President Diego Garcia Davidson.

Academic achievements: 10 National Merit finalists; 38 National Merit Commended Scholars; 216 Illinois State Scholars; Anna Mae King named to IHSA All-State Academic First Team.

Theater productions: “The Diary of Anne Frank” and “Footloose.”

Homecoming King and Queen: Tarun Voruganti and Marche Salley.

Homecoming theme: “Candyland Homecoming: It’s Going to be Sweet!”

Read more from the Daily Herald here.

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Memorial Day – May, 30 1933 (Click on image to enlarge)

Today is Memorial Day. Yet none of the familiar ceremonies scheduled in or around our Village will take place today. Instead, most celebrations of this annual event have been cancelled due to “current events.”

So, we’d like to pass along what might have been read or observed at the Civil War Monument at the Barrington Center cemetery today since it seems so few take to stop by:

Miller’s Grove M. E. Church

Barrington Center

A recruiting station during the Civil War and the center of war time activities in the period of 1861 to 1865.

In commemoration of that event this memorial is erected and dedicated to the memory of those patriotic citizens of Barrington Township who served this nation in the preservation of the Union.

This memorial tablet erected by Barrington Post Number 158, The American Legion, through the aid of friends and the descendants of the above named Veterans.

Memorial Day – May 30, 1933

The names of 91 Veterans appear on the monument, some of which are recognizable for those familiar with Barrington Hills history.  Click on the image above for better viewing. 

Happy Memorial Day.  

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Sudden job losses stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic have led to the restart of a Barrington-based nonprofit that helped those seeking employment for several years.

Led by 16 highly experienced volunteers, the Barrington Career Center’s services — free to start — will begin Monday. The center’s mission mainly will be to help those seeking corporate positions. The center will provide advice to improve search skills and one-on-one coaching to help the jobseekers re-enter the workforce faster.

Bill Schrack will serve as executive director of the rebooted center that serves clients from more than 50 communities.

Schrack, a retired entrepreneur, said while the center’s main focus will be corporate positions, no one looking for help will be turned away. He said Friday that he has heard from recently retired chief executive officers and others who are willing to donate time to the Barrington Career Center.

Read more here.

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In 2019, the Barrington UMC Congregational Garden produced more than 34,000 pounds of vegetables that were delivered to local food banks.Barrington United Methodist Church.

Barrington United Methodist Church

Food banks across Lake, Cook, Kane and McHenry Counties attest to the number of people to whom hunger is a real and persistent concern. The current COVIC-19 crisis, with its attendant economic slowdown, has only added to the number of households that suffer food insecurity.

As we struggle to break out of winter’s grip and push into spring, members of Barrington United Methodist Church (BUMC) remember that their Christian faith compels them to attempt to “feed the hungry.” That faith informs their belief that, in fact, spring will come and with it the opportunity to be of practical service to their community.

Last year BUMC’s Congregational Garden produced 34,167 pounds of vegetables that were distributed to seven local food banks. To help meet the demands that will surely increase in the coming days, weeks and months, members of BUMC’s Congregational Garden team have been making preparations to give their crops the best possible chance of being bountiful.

Soil samples have been taken from a number of spots across the expanding garden and sent for analysis to insure that the proper nutrients get added to the soil. Approximately 2,000 assorted tomato, 400 assorted pepper and 500 broccoli seeds have been taken to Horchers Florist and Greenhouses in Wheeling, a long-time partner. Those seeds will be planted, germinate and then be moved to BUMC to be planted. The schedule calls for staggering the plantings over a couple of weeks so that the harvest is spread out over summer.

The seedlings will be brought to the church garden so that they acclimate before planting in May or June. Throughout the summer, members and friends of the church will plant seeds and seedlings, pull weeds, irrigate the crops and, finally, with God’s help, harvest tons of fresh vegetables for distribution to our neighbors through local food pantries.

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The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District is planning to build a third fire station at 1004 South Hough Street

The Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District (BCFPD) is once again trying to acquire a property to build a third Fire/EMS station in a location that makes no sense whatsoever.

A little over a year ago, BCFPD tried to locate a Fire/EMS Station between the Barrington Middle School, Prairie Campus and the Barrington Early Learning Center on Dundee Road (Rt. 68) just east of Barrington Road. Thankfully that location was rejected after Barrington School District 220 and many residential neighbors spent considerable time and expense convincing Cook County Zoning that the location was completely inappropriate.

Now having been rejected at the Dundee Road location, the BCFPD is trying yet again to locate a Fire/EMS Station in an inappropriate location – 1004 South Hough Street (a map of the location can be viewed here). The property they have under contract is in unincorporated Cook County, zoned R-3, single family residential. The property is completely surrounded by single family homes. What BCFPD is attempting to do is not permitted under the property’s current zoning; in order to build in this residential neighborhood, the BCFPD must obtain a zoning variation from Cook County.

Zoning laws exist to protect all of us from changes like these. Like you, I live in this community because of its respect for peace and quiet, through our zoning laws and our shared respect for those laws.

Along with ALL of my neighbors, I am opposed to locating a fire station directly next to our homes. The 24 hour operations with increased noise, emergency vehicle traffic and 24 hour lighting is absolutely out of place for a residential area.

As taxpayers, we should question the need for adding a third station. Spending taxpayer funds does not seem to be an issue for the BCFPD Trustees. BCFPD says they respond to approximately five calls per day which they currently handle from two locations. That’s between two and three calls a day per station. And they need a third station?

I respect and honor our dedicated first responders, so if they truly need another station, let’s take them at their word. However, in their application to the Cook County Zoning Board, they reference the need for this third station location primarily to enable them to provide coverage for Inverness, South Barrington and Willow Creek Church, plus certain unincorporated areas of Cook County within their coverage area. There are eight Fire Stations within a five mile radius of this proposed location.

There are acres upon acres of vacant land without homes immediately adjacent much closer to BCFPD’s stated primary coverage areas along Barrington Road between Dundee Road and the I-94 tollway. Why would BCFPD choose yet another inappropriate location when there are many, many possible locations south along Barrington road, if needed? Locations that could easily work and would not be disruptive to families who purchased their homes in a residentially zoned area with the expectation they would be able to enjoy a peaceful, residential setting to live and raise their families.

Sincerely,

Tom McGrath

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The Council of Barrington Garden Clubs was founded in 1959 to serve as a coordinating body that works together to provide services to community issues and projects at the direction of member clubs.

Members of the Council of Barrington Garden Clubs include, from left, Sam Oliver, Mary Huggins, Joanne Larson, Jean Doyle, Anita Bierbaum, Nancy Ebner, Susan Slapke, Joan Davis, Marilyn Lageschulte and Ellen Young. (Courtesy of Susan Slapke)

The member clubs are: Country Home & Garden Club; Field and Flower Garden Club; Gardeners of the Shores Garden Club; Green Thumbs Garden Club; Little Garden Club of Barrington; and the South Barrington Garden Club. Each member club has its own character and focus.

The president of the Council of Barrington Garden Clubs is Judy Springer of Field and Flower Garden Club.

The six clubs work together to bring awareness to the community of special dates, such as Arbor Day, where members visit elementary schools in the area to inform fourth-graders the meaning of the day and hand out small trees for planting.

For National Garden Week, small plants are given to the public at the Barrington Area Public Library and Langendorf Park.

The council’s “Beautification Project” awards several businesses each year who exhibit outstanding garden and landscape displays in hopes it will bring business into the area. Members visit various businesses, taking photos and voting on specific categories.

The Council of Barrington Garden Clubs’ ongoing project is maintaining the Blue Star Marker Memorial on Dundee Road in Barrington Hills.

The marker honors residents of the area who enlisted to serve the Union Army during the Civil War. The marker was dedicated more than 80 years ago, honoring 91 persons that enlisted at the site.

For information about the Council of Barrington Garden Clubs, contact Susan at smslapke@comcast.net.

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