[email protected]: Communities making a difference
During 2017, three McHenry County municipalities partnered with TLC to implement the [email protected] program. Here are their stories.
For years, the City of Woodstock partnered with TLC to manage selected city-owned natural areas and encourage the return of native flora and fauna. Invasive brush removal, native seeds sown, and prescribed burns were all measures used. Due to this care, five sites qualified for certification within TLC’s [email protected] program. Neighbors of the Ryders Woods, Hennen, Westwood, Donato, and Prairie Ridge conservation areas received information on adopting conservation-friendly practices in their own yards. Public Works staff received education on the value of these natural areas, as well as a primer on restoration techniques. Kudos to Woodstock for seeing the value in continued management of your natural areas!
The [email protected] sign at Ryder's Woods in Woodstock.
Located on the shores of the Fox River is this tiny community filled with rolling glacial topography and a rare hillside fen owned by the village. Due to the removal of invasive species, wildflowers such as Virginia Bluebell, Marsh Marigold, and Skunk Cabbage now flourish amongst the seeps. The fen received a [email protected] certification, while residents have benefitted from education programs about their unique natural communities and how to encourage these species in their own yards through the [email protected] program.
Virginia Bluebells at Trout Valley.
Being on the banks of the Fox River, the Village of Algonquin recognizes the importance of stormwater management and has partnered with TLC to offer rain barrel sales to their residents for several years. They have also converted an entire system of stormwater detention basins from mowed, soggy turf grass into native plant restorations. The deep, complex root systems of the native plants act like a giant sponge to absorb and slow massive quantities of stormwater runoff that would otherwise end up in people’s backyards or in the Fox River. These sites, along with a network of restored savannas, have received a [email protected] certification.