Sprouting a Love For Conservation Early On
Nine-year-old Hannah Reinhard always felt a strong connection to trees. The estimated 150 to 200 year old bur oaks . . .
she played by as a toddler serve as inspiration that simple ideas can grow into big actions.
In the fall of 2015 Hannah decided to gather acorns that fell from the large bur oaks outside her house, and from there a conservation project bloomed. With the assistance of her father Bill, Hannah refrigerated these acorns all winter long in the back of the family's fridge. By spring, the acorns sprouted and were ready to be buried in dirt. Watching the acorns blossom into mini sprouting trees excited Hannah! She transplanted the growing trees into larger containers, planted them in rows and watered them periodically.
Now it was time to plant the trees into areas where they could grow bigger. With the help of her father Bill and other family members, Hannah planted the baby trees in Jacobson Park in Wonder Lake, and various areas in Woodstock and Johnsburg. They had to carefully select areas with enough moisture to ensure the oaks would grow successfully. Hannah carefully recorded where she planted the trees in her notebook, and watched them throughout the seasons. Luckily, out of the 25 to 30 trees planted, most of them survived!
Hannah and her mother Courtney are excited for the spring to see how the trees are growing, when they can visit the areas they planted. Hannah said her favorite part of this project is, "watching the trees grow and seeing how they survive."
In honor of Hannah's dedication to planting oak trees in McHenry County, we awarded her the "Living With Trees Award" at our Annual Celebration Brunch on Sunday, January 29. On behalf of The Land Conservancy we want to thank Hannah for her hard work. She proves that with a little bit of effort, anyone is able to make spaces in McHenry County greener for the future.