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The 5000 Acre Challenge

Published on
08 November 2022

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The Land Conservancy of McHenry County (TLC) is launching the 5,000 Acre Challenge to protect our region’s oak woods. 

TLC, private citizens, state and county agencies have protected or managed over 4,000 acres of oak woods in McHenry County. With your help, we can make it 5,000! 

Why preserve oaks? 
Oaks provide the foundation for our quality of life. Oaks and other trees work for us by cleaning the air and water, reducing air temperature and helping to conserve energy. They reduce flooding and support our native wildlife. Additionally, native oaks evolved with native plants and wildlife to make unique ecosystems that are some of the most endangered in the world.

Download this booklet with helpful advice on how to care for your oak trees.

Get your oak acres counted! 
Click here to include your oak acreage “oakrage” in the total and help us get to 5,000 acres! BONUS: Anyone who participates gets a free, 6-month TLC gift membership.

Latest News:

Making a Difference: Grant Helps Oak Landowners  | TLC Preserves 83.5 acres in HarvardTLC adds 51 new acres of oak woods; addition to Boloria, since launch of 5000 Acres | 80 acres preserved for life in Harvard with 15 acres of oak woods 

Did oaks historically exist on your property?
The map below displays historic oak woodlands of McHenry County from a survey conducted in 1837 (shown in light green). Simply type your address in the search bar to see if your property had oaks historically!

How YOU can help: 

Plant oaks
Learn more about oak trees
Get personalized advice about incorporating oaks into your landscape by participating in the Conservation @ Home program. 
Volunteer to help oaks
Share your story and inspire others! What are you doing to protect oaks? Send us a photo and a brief writeup to share so others can be inspired!
Make a donation to support TLC’s conservation work. 

Got questions? Need more info? 
Contact Sarah Michehl, TLC’s Community Engagement Specialist, at [email protected]

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The Watling family planted oak trees at Shamrock Farm Park in McHenry in the summer of 2019.