Conservation districts seek state and local assistance
The Boone and McHenry County Conservation districts are interested in forming a partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to develop a conservation initiative aimed at preserving and enhancing habitat along the Kishwaukee River and its tributary, Coon Creek Watershed. Initial effort is focused on conservation of open spacefarms, wildlife habitat and water resourcesthrough easements or acquisition with willing participants or sellers.
The districts are seeking a wider level of involvement from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, landowners, local officials, and the public at large to explore broad conservation concepts. An informational forum is planned for Monday, Dec. 2 to introduce the Crows Foot Marsh Conservation Area concept. The forum will be held at the Belvidere Community Building at 111 West First St., Belvidere, beginning at 5 p.m. and concluding at 9 p.m. The forum is intended to be an opportunity for individuals to ask questions, offer input, and learn how to become involved in the planning process slated to begin soon.
The initial feasibility study:
l Represents a concept to create, over an extended period of time (30 to 50 years or longer), a large conservation area.
l Provided information for an area located roughly between Interstate 90 on the south and Lawrenceville Road/Kishwaukee River on the north; and between the cities of Marengo and Belvidere on the east and west.
l Explores the opportunities to create public open space, preserve agricultural land, expand natural habitats, and help maintain and enhance the ecological quality of the Kishwaukee River and Coon Creek Watershed.
l Remains very flexible and does not represent a formal plan.
l Seeks to integrate, and be integrated, into the Belvidere/Boone County Comprehensive plan through community review and input.
l The concept is the result of a grant funded by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The Trust for Public Land, the Boone County Conservation District, the McHenry County Conservation District and staff from the Illinois DNR cooperated in the preparation of the feasibility study.