McHenry County is known for its natural landscape and we have some incredibly valuable oak woods remaining, but the county has lost more than 120,000 acres of oaks since it was first settled. We need a collective effort to protect what remains and reverse the decline.
WOODSTOCK, Ill. (PRWEB) January 27, 2020
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County (TLC) is launching the 5,000 Acre Challenge to protect one of the region’s most unique assets: oak woods. The 5,000 Acre Challenge will forge partnerships with private landowners, who now own 85% of the county’s remaining oaks. TLC believes meeting the 5,000 Acre Challenge is crucial to protect the environment and character of McHenry County.
“McHenry County is known for its natural landscape and we have some incredibly valuable oak woods remaining, but the county has lost more than 120,000 acres of oaks since it was first settled,” said Lisa Haderlein, Executive Director of the Land Conservancy of McHenry County. “We need a collective effort to protect what remains and reverse the decline. That’s why we’re launching the 5,000 Acre Challenge.”
Oak woods and savannas are one of the most endangered types of habitat on the planet. With roughly 15,000 acres of oaks remaining, McHenry County is home to a priceless natural resource. Oak woods improve air and water quality and support the survival of hundreds of native plant and animal species in the region. Without careful management, pressure from invasive plants and human development could quickly wipe out the county’s oak woods.
TLC has partnered with communities and landowners to conserve oaks for over a decade. The combined efforts of TLC, private citizens, and state and county agencies have protected or managed 3,733 acres of oak woods in McHenry County to date. The new campaign will work to increase that number to 5,000 acres.
Meeting the 5,000 Acre Challenge will require participation from individuals and organizations across the region. TLC’s oak conservation programs provide opportunities for everyone to get involved:
- Landowners can schedule a Conservation@Home visit to learn how to improve their property by restoring and managing their oak woods
- Oak Keeper training classes teach hands-on skills and background knowledge about the restoration of McHenry County’s oak ecosystems
- TLC organizes regular Acorn Roundups, public oak sales and oak planting events, oak rescues and volunteer workdays
- Donations to TLC help fund acquisition and management of conservation lands
- TLC partners with landowners to create voluntary conservation easements that ensure private lands will remain in their natural state while providing tax benefits to the landowner
TLC will provide regular updates on campaign progress, partners and sponsors. To learn more and get involved, visit http://www.5000Acres.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (815) 337-9502.
About the Land Conservancy of McHenry County
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County is a local, member-supported non-profit whose mission is to preserve natural, agricultural and scenic land forever, in and around McHenry County, by working with private landowners, communities and other like-minded partners. For more information, visit http://www.conservemc.org