Honoring history with the Irish Oaks Savanna property
An oak tree’s roots stretch far out, just like a person’s family tree.
Some of the earliest settlers of McHenry County hailed from Ireland, and settled here because the landscapes reminded them of home.
The Irish settlers’ arrival to Hartland Township is honored on one of our newest properties; a 42 acre area featuring a sedge meadow, bur oak savanna, pond, prairie and glacial kame left by the last glacier 12,000 years ago. This property can be seen when traveling from Chicago to Harvard on the Metra Northwest line train.
The Irish Oaks Savanna is one of the best examples of a dry-mesic oak savanna in Illinois, according to the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory. Areas of interest include 3 large bur oaks nicknamed the “Three Sisters,” sedge meadows that bloom with yellow Marsh Marigolds in spring, and a pond that provides habitat for a variety of water fowl.
TLC purchased the land with a $202,000 grant from The Grand Victoria Foundation. A portion of the grant fundswere released but an additional $48,000 is still needed to preserve this beautiful natural space.
If you stand still and listen closely you can imagine the settlers making their home here, as the oak trees and prairie grasses sway.
Here are a few ways to donate and help this incredible property:
- With cash or check, titled “TLC – Irish Oaks Savanna.”
- Making a pledge of support to be paid over 2 to 3 years.
- Donated appreciated stock.
- If over 70 ½ years old – making a donation from their IRA’s minimum required distribution.
- Volunteer at an upcoming restoration workday.