TLC's Blog (150)
The best ideas surface when friends meet new friends over coffee. In 2008, Rene Dankert invited me to meet Lisa Haderlein and Linda Balek for coffee and brainstorming to develop a fundraiser for TLC, and Art of the Land was born.
The thrill and outpouring of support from our first Art of the Land event, 11 years ago, has grown into TLC’s major annual fundraiser. I’ve enjoyed volunteering to gather artists, helping hang the exhibition at the Starline Factory, and being able to show and sell my own paintings to support TLC. It amazes me to reflect on the size and attendance of the early events compared to how much it has grown and elevated in recent years. I’m proud to have been a part of this beautiful fundraiser, which has benefitted our community for so long.
Another friendship developed through TLC is in my own backyard. I’m lucky to live behind Randy and Nancy Schietzelt, who maintain the Wingate Property. Upon moving to Crystal Lake from Portland in 2002, Nancy explained how their property is held in trust to remain protected by TLC in perpetuity.
My family and I have benefitted being adjacent to this lovely acreage because their special prairie plants and flowers have spread to our property! Randy taught my husband, Paolo, about warding off garlic mustard and other invasive species, so I feel our yard reflects the same care and value as the Wingate Property.
As an artist, I am grateful to TLC to be able to gather inspiration through the beauty in my own backyard.
In August, TLC was accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.
To become accredited, TLC provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded accreditation, signifying its confidence that TLC’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts steward almost 20 million acres of land throughout the United States.
Thank you to all of TLC’s friends, members, volunteers, partners, and everyone who supports this work. You have helped make TLC what it is today: one of 400 accredited nonprofit land trusts in the United States!
June Keibler returns to TLC's board of directors in 2019 after serving on the board from 1991-96. She and her husband Steve live in Dundee and have a grown son and daughter and five grandchildren.
How do you spend your days?
I am retired. I volunteer for Dundee Township Open Space helping to coordinate volunteer workdays for ecological restoration.
What are your ties to McHenry County?
We own a 73-acre farm held in a conservation easement in Alden that we are restoring to prairie and savanna. The strong land/environmental ethic is a defining characteristic of the county, and I like that.
Why did you decide to join TLC board?
I am a founding member of The Land Conservancy, and having the land in Alden has given me a new connection to McHenry County. Also, I think the work TLC is doing is extremely valuable.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I'm looking forward to getting to know the board and staff and working to protect land in McHenry County.
Becky Walkington, daughter of Dick & Betty Babcock, passed away Jan. 16, 2018 after a struggle with cancer.
Many people tell me they don't think that trees need care or attention.
They think that trees in the woods don't need help to survive, so they don’t do anything to help them. I can appreciate this perspective, but I disagree with it. A healthy woods is sustainable but suburban backyard conditions are far from healthy for trees.
Our soils are often compacted, lack organic matter, and have been drastically changed from a healthy woodland soil. Poor soil conditions can lead to all sorts of problems like girdling roots, chlorosis, root rot and other stress-related problems. About 80 percent of all tree health problems are due to soil-related issues. Most other tree problems are due to imported insect and disease issues.
To help improve soil conditions we can properly mulch our trees. The mulch decomposes, and as it does, it replicates soil conditions a tree would find in a woodland environment. Please no “volcano” mulching, though. We are trying to mulch the roots and soil, not the tree trunk. A layer of mulch that is a few inches thick to the edge of the canopy is a great start..
If a tree falls over in the woods it’s probably not going to hurt anyone or cause damage. Landscape trees pose a risk of failing and creating safety concerns. Pruning is recommended to lessen the risks associated with trees in the suburban environment. In some situations trees need to be removed because the risk associated with them is too high.
We can also help our trees by watering in drought, fertilizing them and managing insect and disease issues. A certified arborist can help you determine what your trees need. The International Society of Arboriculture administers a proficiency test and continuing education to qualify a person as a certified arborist.
Trees are an important part of our environment, and properly caring for them maximizes the benefits they provide while minimizing the risks. Do what you can to care for your trees!
Shawn Kingzette, Certified Arborist IL-0959A
I received this article from Jessica Campbell and Lois Johnson of the McHenry County chapter of the Citizens' Climate Lobby and would like to share it with you as the November elections are approaching.