Archive for the ‘Horizon Farm’ Category

Thanks to $12.5 million in funding secured by local state legislators, people using the Longmeadow Parkway bridge over the Fox River will not need to pay a toll when it opens next year.

“I made a promise to the people of my district that this brid


Thanks to $17.5 million in funding secured by local state legislators, people using the Longmeadow Parkway bridge over the Fox River will not need to pay a toll when it opens next year. (Gloria Casas / The Courier-News)

e would not become a toll bridge,” said state Rep. Suzanne Ness, D-Crystal Lake, whose District 66 includes parts of Algonquin, Carpentersville and Elgin.

“We’ve needed another way of passage across the Fox River, and it would be wrong to ask working families to pay more than they already do just to go to work, get groceries or take kids to a sports field,” she said.

The $100 million Longmeadow Parkway Corridor is a 5.6-mile roadway that runs through portions of unincorporated Kane County, Algonquin, Carpentersville and Barrington Hills. Funded with a mix of federal, state and local money, it is designed to relieve traffic congestion in northern Kane County.

The Kane County Board authorized the sale of bonds to cover its share of the bridge expense and planned to collect tolls from bridge users in order to repay the debt. The toll cost was expected to be about $1.75 to $1.95.

The additional funding needed for the bridge was included in the state’s newly passed 2023-24 budget. In addition to Ness, state Reps. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, and Don DeWitte, R-St. Charles, advocated for it in the last legislative session.

More here.

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The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold a, “Park Board & Decennial Committee on Local Government Efficiency,” meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Horizon Farm Track Proposal
  • Local Government Efficiency Act Meeting
  • Review of Agreements with RCBH, FRVPC, FRVH

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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April 2023 Adg

Our Village Board of Trustees will be conducting their regular monthly meeting beginning this evening at 6:30 PM. Topics on their agenda include:

  • [Vote] Amended Village Budget FY 2023
  • [Vote] Resolution Authorizing the Issuance of Notice of Award for the 2023 Road Program Project by the Village of Barrington Hills, Illinois Resolution 23 –
  • [Vote] Ordinance Amending Escrow Requirements for Tree Removal Permits as Set Forth in Title 4, Chapter 6 in the Village Code Ordinance 23 –
  • [Vote] Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Trustee Bryan C. Croll for 8 Years of Dedicated Service Resolution 23 –
  • [Vote] Resolution of Proclamation Appreciating Trustee Colleen Konicek Hannigan for 10 Years of Dedicated Service Resolution 23 –

In addition, nominations for new or renewal appointments to Boards and Commissions will be voted on.  Four member of the Equestrian Commission is on the list of renewals, however there is a problem with the renomination of one of those members.

That member ran for and won a seat on the Barrington Hills Park District Board earlier this month, and now this represents a conflict. Therefore, an alternate should be considered at a subsequent Board of Trustees meeting.

A copy of this evening’s agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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The Barrington Hills Park District Board will hold a special meeting this evening in person and via Zoom at 7:00 PM. Topics on their agenda include:

  • Swear In New Commissioner
  • Election Of Board President, Vice-President, Appointment Of Secretary And Treasurer
  • Horizon Farm Track Proposal

A copy of their agenda can be viewed here. Instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

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A bison grazes in 2013 in a forest in eastern Poland. Kane County Forest Preserve Commissioners approved a plan this week to bring bison to the Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve. (Associated Press)

It’s been 200 hundred years since bison roamed the prairies of Kane County, but a new plan to reintroduce them into a local forest preserve may turn back the clock.

Kane County Forest Preserve commissioners approved a plan this week to bring a handful of bison to the Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve. The plan centers on one of the main ecological goals of restoring tallgrass prairie to the county’s preserves. Before the surrounding area developed, fire and the grazing habits of wild animals, such as bison, provided natural management of the grasslands. Preserve officials reintroduced controlled burns to the preserves many years ago.

Executive director Ben Haberthur told commissioners now is the time to reintroduce bison to restore the grazing aspect of grassland management. Up to 90% of the diet for bison is grasses.

“The grasses evolved with grazing,” Haberthur said. “So it actually promotes the soil microbiome to grow more. Bison are native to Illinois, and they are definitely native to this county. They will bring a big component back to the ecosystem, namely fertilizer.”

District officials experimented with the benefits of animal grazing in the preserves with cattle in the Aurora West Forest Preserve. That experiment resulted in the flourishing of the restored grasslands in the preserve. Officials see bison as the next step in returning the grasslands to their most natural state and care.

The Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve is in the Pleasant Valley Conservation Alley north of Huntley and in the northwest portion of the county. The plan calls for two paddocks of 30 acres each with an additional 89 acres seeded for pasture. For the safety of the animals and the public, the areas containing the bison would be fenced, which accounts for the bulk of the initial cost of the project.

Read more here.

Editorial note: As we’ve suggested before, there is ample acreage at Horizon Farm for the Forest Preserves of Cook County to consider such an endeavor.

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On August 22, 2018, the Illinois State Commemorative Dates Act was amended to include:

Sec. 195. Day of the Horse. The fifth day of March of each year shall be designated as the Day of the Horse, to be observed throughout the State as a day to encourage citizens to honor and celebrate the role of equines in the history and character of Illinois, and to recognize the benefits of the equine industry to the economy, agriculture, tourism, and quality of life in Illinois.

For the benefit of those who may be new to our Village, we’d like to provide a list of a few Village Codes applicable to the keeping of horses in Barrington Hills.  In no particular order, they are:

  • APPLICATION FOR LICENSE: As a condition to his or her use of the equestrian trails located in the village, every owner of a horse shall file an application with the village clerk or his designee, setting forth the name and address of the applicant and a description of the horse for which the license is desired. The annual fee to be paid for an equestrian trail license is ten dollars ($10.00). All such licenses issued under this section 8-5-2 shall expire on April 30 following the date of issuance.
  • MANURE PILES: It shall be unlawful to: (A) Pile manure from horses or ponies, or permit it to accumulate, closer than one hundred feet (100′) from the property line of the property on which a horse is kept. (B) Permit a pile or accumulation of manure for more than one week except in the months of December through March inclusive at any location within three hundred fifty feet (350′) of the nearest dwelling house of another.
  • BOARDING AND TRAINING OF HORSES: Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this subsection (D), the boarding of horses in a stable and the training of horses and their riders shall be a permitted home occupation; provided, that no persons engaged to facilitate such boarding, other than the immediate family residing on the premises, shall be permitted to carry out their functions except between the hours of eight o’clock (8:00) A.M. and eight o’clock (8:00) P.M. or sunset, whichever is later, and further provided that no vehicles or machinery, other than that belonging to the immediate family residing on the premises shall be permitted to be operated on the premises except during the hours of eight o’clock (8:00) A.M. and eight o’clock (8:00) P.M. or sunset, whichever is later. (Ord. 16-22, 12-7-2016)
  • Lighting for outdoor activities, including: pool areas, tennis courts, paddle courts, hockey and/or skating rinks, horse arenas; provided such lighting shall be extinguished by eleven o’clock (11:00) P.M.

Questions, comments or concerns can be directed to the Village Equestrian Commission here, or to the Trustee Liaison to the Commission, Laura S. Ekstrom, here.

HAPPY TRAILS to you and yours!

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BARRINGTON, IL, February 28, 2023 Barrington Area Conservation Trust (BACT), a charitable organization that preserves Barrington Area’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations,  has been working with the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC), The Conservation Foundation (TCF) and other stakeholders to negotiate a Conservation Easement Agreement for the Horizon Farm preserve.

“BACT has demonstrated its ability to professionally administer Conservation Easement agreements, as it has been involved with Horizon Farms since 2002. These agreements, known as “Conservation Easements,” run with the land, and remain in force regardless of who owns the property, including municipal entities,” said BACT Board Vice President Matthew Wilkens.

This agreement expands the natural areas and preserves the open space and equestrian character of the preserve. BACT, FPDCC and TCF have had a productive working relationship throughout this process. The Horizon Farm preserve is now open to the public, as announced by FPDCC.

About Barrington Area Conservation Trust

BACT fills an important niche in the local community as the only land trust conservation organization accepting conservation easements in the area. BACT permanently preserves open spaces through conservation easements and land donations, restores natural habitats and inspires conservation stewards. We achieve our goals through the generous support of individuals, family foundations and business organizations that embrace our vision of a sustainable, beautiful environment.  Please visit http://www.bactrust.org/ to learn more.


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The Barrington Hills Park District will be hosting a special meeting tonight with the Cook County Forest Preserve District to discuss the Master Plan for the Horizon Farm property. The meeting begins at 7:00 PM at the Riding Center located at 361 Bateman Rd, and will also be available for participation via Webex remotely.

The meeting agenda for the Forest Preserve District portion of the discussion includes:

  • Open trails
  • Ongoing improvements

Then, the 2023 Horizon Farm master planning priorities follows including:

  • Track
  • Barn 11
  • Other amenities (parking lots, comfort stations, signage, etc.)
  • Maintenance of future Horizon trail system
  • Spring Creek trail system

Conspicuously absent from the agenda are topics such as hiking and walking, bicycling, cross-country skiing and birding.

After this portion of the meeting, Park District Commissioners will vote on the proposed (and clearly confidential), “Combined Budget & Appropriations Ordinance 2-08-2023-01.”

A copy of the agenda can be viewed here, and instructions for accessing the meeting remotely can be found here.

Related: “Park District hosting February 8th Cook County Forest Preserve District discussion,” “Grazing livestock can provide habitats for disappearing grassland birds

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The Barrington Hills Park District will hold a public hearing this evening at 6:45 PM regarding their, “Combined Budget & Appropriations Ordinance 02-08-2023-01.” As has been the case in previous annual hearings of this type, no, “Budget & Appropriations,” documentation has been provided by the District for taxpayers to review and comment on prior to the hearing.

Since it’s likely some members of the Riding Club and Trainers played a significant role in the drafting of the ordinance, they’ll have copies, and some might even share with those requesting a one (for a nominal fee, of course).

To view what little the District has posted in advance of the hearing, click here.

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Fifty to 60 years ago, when today’s older farmers were growing up, there were many more bobolinks, eastern meadowlarks and Henslow’s sparrows in northern Illinois.

The disappearance of pastureland and the decline in hay fields accounts for the sharp decline in the grassland bird populations.

John Strauser, a farm researcher, studied livestock grazing when he was in graduate school at the University of Illinois. Strauser told The Center Square that grazing cattle and dairy herds on pastureland restores habitat that the birds need.

“Cattle grazing and dairy-cow pasturing create desirable habitat conditions for various kinds of birds,” Strauser said in his graduate school study Returning Marginal Lands to Forage Production.

Birds need a complex landscape that has short grasses and long grasses and different species and different fauna and flora, Strauser said.

Farmers are aware of the disappearing numbers of birds, and they are enthusiastic about doing what they can, he said. Strauser has found that farmers are open to discussing the benefits of grazing and foraging.

Read more here.

Related:Bison grazing for grassland bird habitat,” “Grant helps fund Bison grazing area upgrades

Editorial note: Would Horizon Farm be a suitable candidate for populating a small quantity of bison? 

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