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TLC Completes Its Largest Land Acquisition

Published on
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 this time.

While it is still fresh, I wanted to share some exciting news from TLC: On June 15, TLC completed its largest land acquisition project ever when we purchased an 83.5 acre woodland on Crowley Road, between Harvard and Alden. You can see the property outlined in red on the map below.

The Big Woods

The arrows show the large tracts of oak woods that are adjacent – or nearly adjacent – to the site! The smaller teal polygons are a private conservation easement nextdoor and across the road is the first property we bought way back in 2004. The property includes about 45 acres of old-growth oak woods, 30 acres of white pines (planted about 50 years ago) a small sedge meadow wetland and several headwater streams. This was the third time in 14 years that TLC made an offer on this property – that is how important it is.

We haven’t named the site yet, so I’ll just call it The Big Woods for now. It is beautiful – large oaks and hickories with dappled sunlight hitting the woodland floor. I can’t wait to be able to show it to you! Maybe when we reach Phase 5?

TLC is especially concerned about the county’s oak woodlands. When the Conservation District released a study about changes to the county’s oak woods between 1837 and 2005, the results were shocking: nearly 90% had been lost, and of those remaining, 85% were on private property, and there were only 8 remaining woods of 100 acres of larger in size. While three of those larger woods were owned by the county or the state, the very largest of them (over 120 acres in size) was not. Now over 1/3 of the largest remaining oak woods in McHenry County is preserved – forever – because of your support and commitment to land preservation! Thank you. The $409,000 acquisition was funded with a $327,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and an $82,000 loan that we need to pay back over the next 4 years. So, celebrate the good news, and know that your on-going support continues to make good things happen in McHenry County!

Stay safe and well.

Together in Conservation,