TLC Blog

Claire Hodge joins TLC as new farm program assistant

02 May 2022
TLC is happy to welcome local farmer Claire Hodge to the team as the farm program assitant. Claire will develop TLC’s Women’s Learning Circle program through…

Welcome Karen Lavin to the TLC Board

18 April 2022
Karen has lived in Wonder Lake, IL most of her life. She was an attorney for 35 years and is now retired. She has fond memories of growing up on a lake – whe…

Planning a Pollinator Garden for the Community

13 April 2022
On April 12 the Youth and Family Center of McHenry County Conversacion de Conservacion Small Waters Education and Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife…

Christine Nye Joins TLC Board of Directors

01 April 2022
Christine is one of three people who were elected to the TLC Board of Directors in January. Christine has had a lifelong relationship with the land in McHenr…

The Dance of the Woodcock with McHenry County Audubon

24 February 2022
Spring is here! Join us to watch American Woodcocks performing their amazing courtship flights. The male woodcocks will make several preent calls and then la…

Mark Newton Joins TLC Board of Directors

17 February 2022
Mark is one of three people who were elected to the TLC Board of Directors in January. He is a Village of Bull Valley trustee and has a certificate in ecolog…

Farmland Conservation Easements 101 Video

01 February 2022
Do you own or hope to own farmland, or know someone who does? Learn about agricultural conservation easements, what they can offer for your farmland, or how …

New videos posted on a variety of conservation topics

24 January 2022
Have you ever wondered how to start a native plant garden, use a rain barrel or get rid of buckthorn? Check out some of the videos we have posted on these an…

Become an Annual Business Supporter of TLC in 2022!

12 January 2022
If you are a business or organization that values the natural beauty and rural character of McHenry County and wants to make sure it remains that way, consid…

Look out buckthorn and honeysuckle! Grant helps TLC increase stewardship capacity

05 January 2022
In 2017, through the advocacy of the Prairie State Conservation Coalition, Illinois Environmental Council, TLC and dozens of nonprofit conservation land trus…

A great day for an Oak Rescue

03 January 2022
TLC hosted an Oak Rescue on New Year’s Eve at Crowley Oaks Woods in Harvard. What is an oak rescue? It’s an opportunity for people to work together to fre…

An Eagle Scout project update

03 November 2021
Jack Newton led Boy Scout Troop 149 in building a bridge at TLC’s Boloria Meadows in September for his Eagle Scout project. In addition, the bridge on the le…

TLC holds special workday in honor of Al Van Maren

01 November 2021
TLC dedicated a workday to our friend, the late Al Van Maren on Sunday, Oct. 31. Friends and family of Al Van Maren spent time clearing brush in his oak wood…

Why share native plant seed?

25 October 2021
Each fall TLC hosts a native plant Seed Sharing Day in McHenry County. Sharing native plant seeds with others is a great way to get more native plants growin…

Attracting Hummingbirds – A Fun Family Activity

16 September 2021
by Julio Cardona Hummingbirds are the smallest birds in the world, and they’re quite an impressive sight when they flock to your backyard. If you’re looki…

The final week: A roundup of CLIP week 11

16 August 2021
Monday: by Arden Podpora The crew at the TLC office Our last week started with r…

Sawing logs and seeing bison: A roundup of CLIP week 10

16 August 2021
by Sofia Oropeza Chainsaw practice Monday always brings the start of a busy week…

Creek chubs to chainsaws: A roundup of CLIP Week 9

03 August 2021
by Claire Gregory It’s hard to believe that nine weeks have already passed since the CLIPterns joined the TLC team, but each day is still an adventure. …

Seeds for the future: A roundup of CLIP Week 8

30 July 2021
by Kristi Robinson Though I was gone last week for a drum major camp, I was excited and ready to be back at TLC for week 8 of our CLIP internship!  We …

The Illinois Prairie: A Roundup of CLIP Week 7

23 July 2021
by Arden Podpora With more than half of the summer already gone, our time with CLIP has been flying by. Even though we had a reduced crew of just two inte…

Each day is a new adventure: CLIP Week 6

20 July 2021
By Evelyn Bustos Week 6 of the CLIP internship had many unique experiences and learning opportunities, from understanding forest pests to monitoring Plant…

Into the Open Arms of Nature: A Roundup of CLIP Week 5

08 July 2021
by Sofia Oropeza So much mullen! Last week we were welcomed into the open arms o…

The Art of Restoration: A Roundup of CLIP Week 4

28 June 2021
Testing plant identification skills by Claire Gregory Week 4 brought the first f…

Cherries, Berries and Prairies: A Roundup of CLIP Week 3

23 June 2021
by Kristi Robinson Hi! I’m Kristi, one of the CLIPterns, and I’ll be leading you through a recap of this past week.  [caption id=”attachment_5669″ alig…

From Butterflies to Brush Saws: A Roundup of CLIP Week 2

15 June 2021
by Arden Podpora The second week of TLC’s internship program, CLIP, was no less eventful than the first. From butterflies to brush saws, we gained valuabl…

Let the summer begin! TLC’s CLIP program is underway

08 June 2021
Last week TLC launched its CLIP internship program, which is designed to be a hands-on learning experience designed to empower participants with the knowledg…

Learning about McHenry County’s Vernal Pools

27 April 2021
Those who attended the vernal pool hike on April 24 were treated to a beautiful hike and lots of tadpoles as well as other tiny creatures! Vernal pool…

Blanding’s Turtle found on a TLC site

12 April 2021
TLC staff found a Blanding’s Turtle on a TLC site. The turtle appears to have suffered (and healed) from a past injury. Blanding’s turtles are considered end…

Build Your Own Birdhouse for Your Backyard Birding Hobby

12 February 2021
Throughout 2020, social distancing considerably limited our options for entertainment and hobbies. Sheltering-in-place has definitely expanded our appreciati…

Become an Annual Business Supporter of TLC in 2021!

12 January 2021
If you are a business or organization that values the natural beauty and rural character of McHenry County and wants to make sure it remains that way, consid…

TLC Celebrates 200th [email protected] Property

30 September 2020
Congrats to Carol Giammattei on becoming TLC’s 200th participating [email protected] property! Not only is Carol a dedicated TLC volunteer, she’s also lan…

TLC Office Hours

28 September 2020
Need to stop by or call the TLC office in Woodstock? Our office hours for the next few weeks will be Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00-5:00 p.m.

Splendor in the Grass

31 August 2020
After traveling 6,000 miles from Argentina, you make a stop in Alden, Illinois. You are a bobolink, one of the most traveled migratory songbirds in the worl…

Piscasaw Gardens blossoms at new location

01 July 2020
Sonja and Rich Brook have built a legacy on their farm in rural Harvard. People who frequent the Woodstock Farmers Market know the Brooks for their flavored …

TLC Completes Its Largest Land Acquisition

30 June 2020
I hope Phase 4 of Illinois’ coronavirus reopening finds you and your loved ones well, and that you are managing with any changes you’ve experienced through t…

Taking Care to be Anti-Racist

11 June 2020
The same month that I was born, August 1963, was when Martin Luther King Jr gave his “I have a dream speech,” in which he said he dreamed of a day when his “…

TLC reaches milestone in 5000 Acre Challenge

03 June 2020
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County is pleased to announce that since the launch of the 5000 Acre Challenge in late January, private landowners and munici…

Best Ways to Preserve Nature While Hiking

20 April 2020
There are a lot of reasons why hiking is one of the most popular outdoor sports. It’s easy to do, and almost anyone can do it. There’s no need for a lot of e…

A note from Lisa Haderlein

17 March 2020
Dear Friend of TLC,   On this beautiful day (March 17), I wanted to reach out and wish you and yours the best of health. Try to enjoy this pause as th…

Residents Join The Land Conservancy of McHenry County’s 5,000 Acre Challenge to Protect Oak Woods

13 March 2020
51 new acres of oak woods added since January The Land Conservancy of McHenry County (TLC) has partnered with local landowners and donors to care for 51 ne…

A look back at what TLC volunteers accomplished in 2019

10 March 2020
The Land Conservancy was looking to create a fun and meaningful way to look back on all the work we’ve been able to do with our volunteers over the last year…

Video: A look at TLC’s accomplishments in agriculture in 2019

16 January 2020
As we look back on 2019, we thank Food:Land:Opportunity for their generous support of our work to promote local food farmers and regenerative farming in McHe…

TLC Preserves 83 Acres of Wetland, Sedge Meadow and Wet Prairie in Woodstock

27 December 2019
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County (TLC) has preserved an 83-acre property, Slough Creek Wetland Bank, located northwest of Woodstock on Jankowski Road. …

Hawk release at Wolf Oak Woods

06 December 2019
Earlier this fall a young red-tailed hawk was found at Wolf Oak Woods that had likely been clipped by a car. She had a concussion and other injuries. Staff f…

Meet TLC Volunteer Mary Mariutto

04 November 2019
The best ideas surface when friends meet new friends over coffee. In 2008, Rene Dankert invited me to meet Lisa Haderlein and Linda Balek for coffee and brai…

In Memory of Lynn Pensinger

05 September 2019
TLC member and friend Lynn Pensinger passed away on Sept. 1. In 2009 the Pensingers protected their three-acre Woodstock property with a conservation easem…
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TLC Receives National Recognition

29 August 2019
In August, TLC was accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. To become accredited, TLC provided extensive documentation and was subject to a co…

The Nature of Flooding will keep changing

31 May 2019
If it seems that rain events are more intense and frequent than they used to be, it’s because they are. Precipitation patterns absolutely have changed ove…
Vernal pools

Meet TLC Volunteer Carol Giammattei

12 April 2019
How (and when) did you start volunteering for TLC? I read a newspaper article about an Oak Rescue being held at Yonder Prairie in Woodstock with The Land …
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Meet June Keibler, one of TLC’s new board members

28 February 2019
June Keibler returns to TLC’s board of directors in 2019 after serving on the board from 1991-96. She and her husband Steve live in Dundee and have a grown …
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In Memory of Becky Walkington

18 January 2019
Becky Walkington, daughter of Dick & Betty Babcock, passed away Jan. 16, 2018 after a struggle with cancer. Becky continued the stewardship of Spring Hol…
Tree Tips

An Arborist’s Perspective on Tree Care

01 November 2018
Many people tell me they don’t think that trees need care or attention. They think that trees in the woods don’t need help to survive, so they don’t do anyth…

Want to Protect Woodlands, Prairies and Wetlands? Vote.

02 October 2018
I received this article from Jessica Campbell and Lois Johnson of the McHenry County chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and would like to share it with y…
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Oak Care in Cold Weather

04 September 2018
Tree Tips by Davey Tree Expert Company Summer is drawing to a close and fall is near.  The oaks are getting ready to put on their fall show and go int…
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Purple Milkweed Exists …

20 July 2018
 in McHenry County! This purple This purple milkweed was found at a high-qualty natural area near Woodstock. It’s different from common milkweed …
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Let the Sun Shine In

20 July 2018
If you drive along Illinois Route 120 between Woodstock and McHenry, you have surely seen the Wolf Oak Woods property. This is the site where “that oak” live…

Happy Valentine’s Day

11 February 2018
What do you associate with Valentine’s Day? Hearts and flowers? A box of chocolates? Valentine’s Day cards? Birds? In the fifth century A.D., Pope Galesius e…
virginia bluebells

Garden Memories

14 July 2017
A garden can be much more than a beautiful part of one’s home. It can also be a connection to people and the past.A garden can be much more than a beautiful …
grain field for website

You only need farmers when you’re hungry!

06 June 2017
“Well, I suppose we don’t need farmers much. Just three times a day.” That’s a comment I’ve heard many times from Orion Samue…
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Farming & Land Conservation

26 April 2017
What is conservation? The definition is “the careful preservation of something.” Conservation is talked about typically in the context of nature,…
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Need Silence? Take a Hike!

02 December 2016
I cannot recall the last time I experienced silence – the complete absence of sound. Sure, there have been times that I would describe as “quiet,&rdquo…
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Fog Season

04 November 2016
“The fog comes on little cat feet” wrote Illinois poet Carl Sandburg in 1916 as he watched the fog roll in at the Lake Michigan shore in Chicago….
Baltimore Checkerspot webpage

The Birds and the Bees

10 August 2016
This is a story about the birds and the bees (and the bats and the bugs). That’s right, it’s a story about plant pollinators. Insects like bees a…
buckthorn in woods

Bonnie and Clyde visit the woods (reprint)

08 April 2016
I understand that it is welcome to see something green in the woods after winter, but please keep in mind that the welcome glint of green you see spells trou…
Spanish Point Indian Mound

Human Nature as Seen Through Landfills

08 April 2016
Have you ever heard of middens? They are basically really old landfills. The word comes from an old Scandinavian word, moedding, which means an old dump for&…
scotts yonder sandhill 2009

Welcome Spring!!

20 March 2016
Did you see it? A beautiful sunset on your drive home at 6:30 in the evening.I smelled it the other day. The scent of rich soil heated by the midday sun.Sure…
kens yard

The Long Forgetting & Great Remembering

21 February 2016
My friend Ken Williams, a horticulturist at Ringers Landscape Service in Fox River Grove, wrote a great blog post about TLC’s 25th Anniversary Brunch last mo…
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Of Loons and Climate Change

13 February 2016
I remember the first time I heard a loon. My husband, Tom, and I were camping one summer in northern Wisconsin near a small lake. That first night, we heard …
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Weather and a Changing Climate

13 February 2016
Interesting weather this winter, wasn’t it? Last December brought tornadoes to the south and a blizzard to west Texas. Locally, we set some near-record…
iowa dot

Why not roadside prairie in McHenry County?

22 July 2015
Have you driven through Iowa? The roadsides are beautiful. Native wildflowers and grasses line the roads throughout much of the state, offering habitat for w…

Break the Lawn Addiction

11 June 2015
It is iconic. The American lawn: green, neatly cut and free of any plant but grass. No violets. No clover. Definitely no dandelions! It ranks right up there …
controlled burn

Does Fire Bug Wildlife?

14 April 2015
When conservation groups burn natural land, does it disturb wildlife species? Simply put, yes. Then why do we do it, and how can we call it “ecological…
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The Big Three: Air, Water & Food.

30 March 2015
It has been a couple of years since I mentioned “The Big Three.” With Earth month (April) starting on Wednesday, it seemed like a good time to refresh our co…

Bird Migration over the years

16 February 2015
Today, most people know that birds migrate by flying south during winter, and then fly north again as the days grow longer and temperatures rise. We also und…
acoma pueblo view

How Long is Forever?

19 November 2014
A friend of mine in New Mexico is descended from a Spanish family that has been in Albuquerque since 1593. His ancestors were among the first settlers given …
tiny frog in hand

Save Land/Save Ourselves

06 November 2014
Over the past 544 million years, Earth’s had five major extinction events. A major extinction is one where between 70% and 90% of all species on the planet a…
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Local Farmer/Local Food

03 September 2014
My husband and I have subscribed to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) service since 2007. For 18-20 weeks during the growing season (typically late Jun…
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Respecting property lines

01 August 2014
I heard a story the other day about a situation where one neighbor did not like another neighbor’s pine tree because the branches grew over part of his…
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Trees and the Law

20 June 2014
What is the law if a tree is on your property, but the branches hang over the neighbor’s property? Does your neighbor have the right to cut the branches tha…
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The Buzz about Honey Bees

15 June 2014
Did you know that nearly one-third of the produce (fruits, nuts, vegetables) consumed in the US is pollinated by honeybees? And without honeybees, those item…
amur honeysuckle

Bonnie and Clyde visit the woods

23 April 2014
I understand that it is welcome to see something green in the woods after winter – especially after the winter we just had – but just keep in mind that the …
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Slowly Driving Them Crazy

05 February 2014
Yes, I am the one driving my car 25-40 mph on Route 14 between Bunker Hill Road and Hughes Road from Harvard to Woodstock and back again most days of the wee…
winter tree wishnick 2012

Acclimate to Winter

16 January 2014
Most years, I dread January – cold, sleet, ice, and heavy grey skies. But not this year. Because winter started in earnest last November, I am already accli…
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Brrr, it’s Bitterly Cold!

05 January 2014
Why is it so cold? Simply put, cold is caused by the absence of heat. Sometimes conditions are such that there is much less heat in an area. For instance: Sn…
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Winter Frost

27 December 2013
The drive to work this morning was magical. There was a light fog that put everything in a soft-focus. Plus, vegetation was glistening with a delicate l…
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Happy Winter Solstice

21 December 2013
It’s Party Time! We may be under the threat of a Winter Storm Watch, but today we celebrate the longest night of the year, and tomorrow we know that there wi…

Thinking like a Mountain

22 November 2013
There was a sad report out of Whiteside County in Illinois this week. A female mountain lion was killed by a Wildlife officer from the Illinois Department of…
Snow angel

First snow thoughts

11 November 2013
November 11th, and the season’s first snow is falling in Woodstock. It seems early this year, but I suppose that is just a function of my age and t…
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Third Generation Oaks

08 November 2013
“We are responsible for the third generation of oaks in McHenry County.” Mary Tree McClelland, horticulturist, Glacier Oaks Nursery in Harvard. To Mary’s way…
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05 November 2013
November has always been a misfit month to me. Fall colors are giving way to browns and greys. The bright white of the first snow usually waits until Decembe…
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Autumn Color

15 October 2013
The season known as fall started September 22nd in the Northern Hemisphere. My first clue that autumn’s arrived is the transformation of green fields of soyb…

Oaks are tough, but still need TLC!

27 September 2013
Oaks are tough. But they aren’t invincible. On my daily commute between Harvard and Woodstock, there are several majestic oaks I’ve admired over the years…
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The Commons

07 September 2013
There is a concept known as the Commons which refers to all of the natural resources that do not belong to any single entity or individual, but belong to so…

The Big Three

25 August 2013
Have I mentioned “The Big Three”? These are the three things – in some combination – that all life needs to survive: air, water and food. Humans live j…
rich and sonja brook

Natural Benefits of Local Food

12 August 2013
Do you know where your food comes from? When eating at a restaurant, picking up a quick fast food snack, or sitting down to eat at home, do you know where ea…
drgonfly on coneflwr

Natural Mosquito Control

23 July 2013
I read this great article about how native plants can help reduce mosquito populations by attracting more of the critters that eat them! I saw it on the blog…

Water: Don’t Waste a Drop!

22 July 2013
In McHenry County, water is all around us: Groundwater. Wetlands. Watersheds. Stormwater. Even so, all of the water people use locally comes from the ground….
kid with lawnmower

Break Free from the Drone of the Lawnmower

14 June 2013
Spring arrived late this year, and with it came the weekend drone of lawnmowers. Many an otherwise perfect Sunday afternoon nap has been shattered by a neigh…
tartarian honeysuckle

Be aware of Invasive Species

02 May 2013
The month of May is officially Invasive Species Awareness Month in Illinois! The goal of the month is to help every resident of the state find out what he o…
flying squirrel

It’s Squirrel Week!

09 April 2013
It’s Squirrel Week at the Washington Post! Kind of like “Shark Week,” but featuring furry, bridseed-eating rodents rather than cold-blooded predators. Column…

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