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“Living with Trees” Award Winners

“Living with Trees” Award Winners
Nomination Form

2015 – Mel and Cheri Moehling

Mel and Cheri Moehling received an award for placing a permanent conservation easement on their property in 2010, and for planting over 2,000 oaks and other native trees and plants on their property. 

2015 – Ken and Margee Pieper

Ken and Margee Pieper were recognized for planting a diversity of native trees and plants on their land near Harvard.  They were one of the first families in McHenry County to join the Conservation@Home program in 2015. 

2015 – Village of Trout Valley

The Village of Trout Valley was recognized for its commitment to restoration of the Trout Valley Fen, a high quality natural area that includes wetland and oak woodlands in the center of the Village. 

2014– Dick Maguire

Dick has demonstrated his willingness to help improve the survival rate of native plants and trees in McHenry County. Dick has been helping restore oak savanna habitat at Gateway Nature Park in Harvard since 2011.  In  2012 Dick and his grandson, Austin, helped plant 300 oak trees at a local private conservation easement property, thus showing a future generation how to care for oaks.

2013 – McHenry County Board and Division of Transportation

For their efforts with the Fleming Road project.  Paula Yensen accepted the Living with Trees Award on behalf of McHenry County Board and Division of Transportation.

2012 – Beth Theiss, Hannah Beardsley Middle School, Crystal Lake

Started a project at school with the seventh grade students, participated in TLC’s Acorn Roundup and sorted acorns as part of the science curriculm, propagated the acorns and in the spring planted the seedlings at Three Oaks Recreation Area for three years. Said program lead to all three middle schools in Crystal Lake to doing the same program.

2012 – Bill Donato, Woodstock High School, Woodstock

For helping high school students do restoration work in the oak woods on Gerry Street.

2011 – Fleming Road Alliance

Advocating for the oaks and for the natural resources on Fleming Road.

2011 – City of Woodstock 

For adopting a tree preservation ordinance. RB Thompson (city councilman) and Dr. Brian Sager (mayor) accepted the Living with Trees Award on behalf of  the City of Woodstock.

2010 – Fleming Road Landowners

Jean Hervert Niemann, Ed Bennett, Mary Moltmann and Jan Hervert were in attendance at the annual celebration brunch representing the 21 landowners who placed conservation easements on their properties to preserve the oaks along Fleming Road.

2010 – First Class of Oak Keepers

Our “First Class” of Oak Keepers were recognized for three years of Oak Keeping, Barb Wilson, Myrna Nelson, Carol Howard, Linda Burkart & Greg Rajsky.

2010 – Ervin Bottlemy

For his livelong devotion to the oak woodlands on his property in Alden. 

2009 – Mary McClelland, Glacier Oaks Nursery

Mary has brought her valuable expertise to Project Quercus from day one. Her time and energy, plus a growing amount of nursery space, has been donated for several years already, and the project is still in its early stages. She has raised thousands of oaks from the local acorns that are gathered each fall at TLC’s Acorn Roundup. Thank you, Mary, for your passion & your generous spirit.

2009 – Cynthia Hicks

(Spencer Tauck accepting for Cynthia Hicks)

We choose to recognize these landowners for allowing us to study their woodlands—some of the most unique in McHenry County. In each case, what the Oak Keepers found changed the way we view our local oak woods. The first examples of swamp white oak trees in McHenry county were discovered on Cynthia Hicks land. Prior to this, the species was thought not to occur here.

2009 – Bonnie McConnell

During a visit to Bonnie McConnell’s property that adjoins Cynthia Hicks’, a second grove of swamp white oaks was found. In both cases, there are trees that are large enough to be 200 or more years of age.

2009 – Michael Klingenberg

The large number and diversity of truly ancient oaks found on Mike’s property led experts from MCCD to conduct a detailed survey of the property. In the process, they discovered a “Witness Tree” as well as several county record-breaking white, bur, red and scarlet oaks, including a grove of 300+ year old red oaks. Thank you to these landowners for opening your properties to the Oak Keepers so that they could document the mysteries contained therein. You have all made important contributions to our understanding of the county’s oak woodlands!

2008 – Dale Shriver

Recognized for his tireless management of nearly 80 acres of remnant oak woods that he owns.

2008 – Robert Roe

For his efforts to restore the fen and oak woods at Dutch Creek–all on land that is protected by a conservation easement in his subdivision, Dutch Creek Estates.

2007 – Nancy Schietzelt

In 2007, 102 trees were planted at four planting events. At the beginning of the year, hundreds of letters were sent to youth groups seeking volunteers and potential reforestation site sponsors. TLC volunteer Nancy Schietzelt coordinated the whole program. She wrote the letters, put the mailing together, and compiled the responses. Nancy then arranged for a group to evaluate several potential planting sites, selecting two for the spring and two for the fall. She organized the youth groups who did the plantings, obtained the tools needed, and worked with the nursery to deliver the seedlings.  One person making a huge difference for McHenry County!

2007 – McHenry County Conservation District

One of the challenges in communicating the loss of oak resources with the public and media is accurate information that documents the changes that have taken place over time. MCCD completed a comprehensive study of the County’s oak woodlands since the first records were made in the 1830’s. Their study shows conclusively that oaks, once covering more than a third of the landscape, today are found on just under 5% of the land in the County. Blocks of oak woods large enough to provide necessary habitat for a wide diversity of uncommon birds and animals–100 acres or larger–have dwindled to just 8 in the entire county. Three of those are located at MCCD sites, but the other 5 are at risk of further fragmentation through development or neglect.

2007 – Village of Lakewood

Greater municipal responsibility for preservation of our oak woods during the development process is one of the goals of Project Quercus. Not only does the Village of Lakewood have an excellent tree preservation ordinance that requires the planting of replacement nut-producing native trees like oaks & hickories, but it also sits on the Project Quercus steering committee and was one of the pilot sites for the oak reforestation program. However, the action that drew the attention of the awards committee was the actual resolution that the Village Board passed to indicate its support for the reforestation program, and its commitment to maintain the trees that were planted on Village property for a period of at least 99 years.

2006 – Jeanine & Alan Dammann

Recognized for the marvelous restoration they have done on their oak woodland in Bull Valley, and for their decision to dedicate the land as an Illinois Nature Preserve. The dedication will help ensure that the woodland (approx. 10 acres) will be preserved for future generations to enjoy. The Dammanns have spent literally hundreds of hours removing buckthorn, honeysuckle, garlic mustard and other invasives. In the process, they have uncovered seeps and wildflowers–and they have created a natural area where oaks and hickories are thriving.

2006 – David Hall

A Trout Valley Village Trustee, David single-handedly took on Commonwealth Edison to get the company to utilize appropriate pruning practices when cutting trees in the utility right-of-way. A fungus known as “oak wilt” was being spread to healthy, mature oak trees in the community due to the utility’s tree-cutting practices, which ignored standards set by the National Arborists Association. At David’s urging, Trout Valley adopted an ordinance requiring utilities to follow NAA guidelines by disinfecting cutting tools and not trimming trees during growing months. David continues to urge surrounding communities to adopt similar requirements for tree trimming by utilities. His efforts to reduce the spread of disease among our remaining trees makes a big difference.

2005 – Village of Algonquin

For their “groundbreaking” tree preservation ordinance established to “preserve the aesthetics of our beautiful community,” holding developers accountable for preserving and replacing trees that are destroyed, and their recent purchase of 35 acres of land that includes a stand of mature oaks and a beautiful view.

2005 – Susan & Gilbert Tauck

For their decision to donate 30 acres of land to the Marengo Park District that offers residents a place to relax and enjoy nature, and placing a conservation easement on 61 acres of land north of Marengo–a rich oak woodland that is being lovingly restored.

2005Honorable Mention – George & Marilyn Johnson and Rich & Renee Dankert

For working together to purchase and protect a spot in Alden Township covered with oak woods that is just gorgeous, and will now be forever free from development.

Honorable Mention – Ed & Dian Robbins

For working with the State Forestry Program to reforest about 6-1/2 acres of their property along Nippersink Creek. Their project is a gift for the future.

Honorable Mention – Village of Cary

For preserving and restoring the Thomas Vieweg Nature Area, providing information on tree care to residents, and their program to replace street trees as they become diseased or die.