Sale expected to preserve, restore Duchossois farm near Barrington Hills
Citizens for Conservation is acquiring 246.5 acres of the Richard Duchossois family’s Hill ‘N Dale Farm near Barrington Hills.
In a watershed moment for suburban land preservation efforts, a Barrington-based conservation group is buying the Richard Duchossois family’s 246.5-acre Hill ‘N Dale Farm South, long considered one of the most important and desirable tracts of open space in northern Illinois.
Citizens for Conservation’s acquisition of the land near Barrington Hills will ensure it remains protected open space and provide a critical wildlife corridor with the 4,000-acre Spring Creek Forest Preserve next door. The sale was announced Monday.
A planned restoration of the site, to be called Hill ‘N Dale Preserve, will provide important habitat for native plant and aquatic communities, grassland birds like the bobolink, bittern and Henslow’s sparrows, and endangered species such as monarch butterflies and rusty-patched bumblebees, the conservation group’s leaders say.
“We’re going to build a beautiful complex web of Illinois’ native life here at this preserve,” said Jim Vanderpoel, a member of the Citizens for Conservation board.
All told, the acquisition and restoration carry an estimated $10 million price tag, according to the organization.
The Duchossois family worked with Citizens for Conservation for the past year to arrange the sale.
“We know how important this land is to the community, and it was absolutely critical for our entire family to make certain that the property would be protected and maintained as open space,” said Kim Duchossois, daughter of the late Arlington Park Chairman Richard Duchossois.
Among the new preserve’s features will be 4,060 linear feet of the high-quality Spring Creek, a tributary of the Fox River. Preservation of the land has been identified as a key element of the Barrington Greenway Initiative, the Spring Creek Watershed-based plan, and the McHenry and Lake County Green Infrastructure Plans.
“It’s all part of an effort to try to connect the landscape to other quality landscapes, but also providing opportunities for nature and people to enjoy the background,” said Jim Anderson, a Citizens for Conservation volunteer and restoration adviser.
The purchase will be the group’s 14th and largest preserve. The 50-year-old nonprofit organization will have 777 acres in Lake, Cook and McHenry counties under its care.
“We’re restoring this for nature and all that call Barrington home,” Citizens for Conservation Restoration manager Kevin Scheiwiller said.
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