Saving the Oaks at Tryon Creek Woods
Large oak woodlands are one of McHenry County's most notable ecosystems, and TLC is constantly looking for new ones to protect. Last year we embarked on one of our newest and most exciting projects--Tryon Creek Woods.
The Land Conservancy is a small organization, but with partnerships and a strong community behind us no project is too big! As part of our second oak woodland protection project with the McHenry County Conservation District, we jointly preserved 58 acres of woodland, prairie, and sedge meadow just south of Richmond.
Aerial photo below shows Tryon Creek Woods and the surrounding remnant oaks, outlined in orange.
Tryon Creek Woods didn't just catch our attention because it's big, but because it's a really special place. Massive oak trees roll over numerous knolls and through little valleys, showcasing the unique glacial landscape of the county. The view is really impressive, but it's hard to see through all the buckthorn that has grown up in the last few decades. Of course, we've already begun solving the buckthorn problem!
Thankfully, this summer we received help from McHenry County's Youth Conservation Corps. This program offers the county's youth summer employment in the field of natural resource management to provide real world experience and knowledge. The YCC worked alongside volunteers from the community to clear several acres of invasive brush from around the oaks that were being smothered in the woodland. It's just the beginning, but over the next couple years we will be continuing to engage the community through volunteer workdays. Over time, our goal is to transform this incredible natural area back into an open oak woodland with a sea of sedges and ferns underneath.
Thank you so much to all of you who have helped TLC restore our precious natural wonders over the years. Through these workdays we all become more aware of our interconnectedness with nature, and we can be proud that our actions today are preserving this awesome ecosystem for generations to come.