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Archive for the ‘Topics Of Interest’ Category

Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members have given an early thumbs-up to an idea of creating an outdoor classroom.

Under the tentative proposal, the outdoor learning space would be in a conservation area just west of Hart Road across from Barrington High School’s stadium. The project would be on a portion of undeveloped land that District 220 owns west of Hart.

District 220’s assistant superintendent for teaching and learning, John Bruesch, said during a recent presentation the goal is to launch the outdoor laboratory in the 2021-22 academic year. He said the project could cost up to $750,000, with public and private funding sources covering the tab.

At a meeting this week, the District 220 board indicated a willingness to set aside $50,000 in the current summer projects budget for a surveyor and consultant to define the scope of what could be done on the Hart Road property. Formal approval is needed for the proposed expenditure.

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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After at least six lawsuits and almost 10 years in court, a resolution may be approaching over whether a 400-acre horse farm in Barrington Hills will become forest preserve property.

The legal tug of war has led to bad blood between the prior purchasers of the property and officials from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, who will square off at trial at the end of February.

But with recent court rulings going against the prior owners, time may be running out on their fight against a public takeover. If the forest preserve district prevails, the site would be its largest new property in some 50 years.

The property in question, Horizon Farm, formerly known as Horizon Farms, contains rolling pastures, racetracks, numerous stables, and at least one house and a mansion, which have fallen into severe disrepair. Recently, a court appointed a receiver to maintain the property while its future is decided.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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Barrington Area Unit District 220 has a green light to pursue work on interior renovations at a vacant corporate building that’ll become its new administration headquarters on Main Street in the village.

As part of a package of other agenda items Monday night, the Barrington village board approved a special-use request so District 220 can operate in the 20,000-square-foot PepsiCo Inc. building at 515 W. Main, across the street from Barrington High School. The district approved construction bids expected to be about $1.7 million.

District 220 spent about $1.1 million last summer to buy the building that most recently was used for PepsiCo’s Gatorade division. The structure had a research-and-development zoning classification when it was sold, which is why the Barrington village board had to grant the special use for District 220 to operate the central office there.

Read more here.

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Hidden away in boxes and barns — or merely hanging in sumptuous plain sight — the gorgeous chandeliers and fixtures of the Uptown Theatre have been vacationing these past few years in Barrington Hills.

They have been cared for by an eccentric but loving crew of collectors, restorers and guardians, rescued from avaricious thieves and the neglect of a convicted slumlord as if they were evacuees rushed to safety from a war zone.

And — on Tuesday of this week, under the careful eyes of most of those who have cared for them for so long — they all began their journey back to Uptown, Chicago, home.

We were there to watch.

Read more from the Chicago Tribune here.

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We’ve heard them all before – and probably have broken quite a few. I’m talking about New Year’s resolutions.

This year, I have challenged myself and a few of our northwest suburban neighbors to think “outside of the box” and make a concrete other-oriented resolution.

Angela Wilcox, of Barrington Hills, said her children had asked her to “do more hands on volunteering with organizations supporting those less fortunate, so that is our plan for the new year.”

More specifically, she said, they are looking into volunteering at shelters in Garfield Park and also working through Breakthrough Urban Ministries.

Read the full Barrington Courier-Review column here.

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CHICAGO – A state appeals court will allow residents and government officials in suburban Barrington Hills to resume their court fight over a now-repealed village ordinance governing horse-boarding challengers assert was enacted to benefit one particular property owner.

On Dec. 12, a three-justice panel of the Illinois First District Appellate Court State reversed part of a Cook County judge’s ruling in the long-running litigation involving the village, plaintiff James Drury III and a group of residents.

The judge had rejected a settlement agreement between Barrington Hills and Drury and also granted a motion to dismiss filed by a group of residents who intervened in the case. Drury challenged these findings.

The appellate court agreed with the rejection of the settlement agreement, but reversed the dismissal ruling.

Read more here.

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