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TLC Recognizes Volunteers and Members

Published on
08 February 2021

It was cold and snowy outside, but TLC members and friends didn’t have to leave the comforts of home to enjoy TLC’s Annual Celebration on January 31!


Here are some of the highlights from the virtual event:

Acres preserved by TLC in 2020: 107

Total acres preserved by TLC (all time): 2,816

75 volunteers in 2020 donated 4,146 hours! (We had fewer volunteers this year, but volunteer hours were up dramatically over past years.)

Volunteers Recognized at the Event:

Dennis Dreher – Dennis has been the dedicated volunteer site steward of Boloria Meadows for 15 years. He is passionate about caring for the land, as well as connecting the community to the site through school tours and developing a volunteer group.

Larry Fetzer – Larry was recognized for arriving early at volunteer workdays and getting the fire going, even bringing a cardboard box with kindling and newspaper, which is an immense help to staff and volunteers.

Kay Wych – Kay has devoted many hours to TLC’s workdays and was noted for her the work she accomplishes at each. For the Wychs, it’s been a family affair – her husband Brad was recognized for his volunteer work last year, and their daughter has even joined them at some workdays.

Living with Oaks Award Recipients:

Sue and Tom Jensen – Sue and Tom purchased their 16-acre property in Woodstock with the goal of caring for the land and helping it heal after many years of neglect. They have reached out to several local resources to learn as much as they can, and have begun the painstaking job of clearing invasive brush while renovating the historic home on the property. Their commitment and passion for this property shows in their faces whenever they talk about it.

Stu Sava – Stu has an extreme love for the land and is a keen observer of each step that occurs as he restores his 8-1/2-acre property in Marengo. Stu maintains and improves the property year round with some support from the conservation stewardship program with the IDNR. Part of the Sava Easement is in the beginning stages of oak savanna /woodland restoration, and just this past fall he adopted and planted 12 stray oaks that needed a home.

The Watling/Vagnoli family – The Watling family, mother Gabriella Vagnoli, father Dan Watling and children Edward (age 11) and Luca (age 8), have attended five Project Quercus events and planted eight trees and have also helped to water the oaks during the dry summer months. They are looking forward to planting more trees when oak planting events return!   

Conservation Easement Recognition

Karen Kennedy was recognized for preserving 19 acres for life in Harvard. The property includes nine acres of remnant oak woods, with old-growth trees as well as trees planted as part of the forestry program. The land is an oasis of wildlife habitat and scenic views in an area of conventionally farmed fields with little other habitat to offer. The easement is located within a half-mile of another TLC easement and is just west of Stone Mill Trail, providing connectivity of habitat.

Karen Kennedy

Thank you to everyone who joined us for TLC’s 2021 Annual Celebration!