If you are a business or organization that values the natural beauty and rural character of McHenry County and wants to make sure it remains that way, consider becoming a business sponsor of TLC.
TLC is a nonprofit organization that does not receive taxes, but gets its support from individuals, businesses and organizations such as yours. Every dollar raised stays in McHenry County, allowing TLC to preserve more land that would otherwise be at risk of development or continued neglect.
Your support makes this work possible! Sponsorship options start at $750 per year. You can view the sponsorship options here.
Meet Adam Klein, who joined the TLC Board of Directors in 2020. We look forward to working with him in the years to come!
There are a lot of reasons why hiking is one of the most popular outdoor sports. It’s easy to do, and almost anyone can do it. There’s no need for a lot of expensive equipment and you can access thousands of miles of hiking trails for free or for very low cost. The number of people hiking each year has steadily increased and the last estimate was that more than 40 million people went hiking last year. While that’s great for hikers, it’s not so great for the natural environment. People are the number one cause of the destruction of natural environments. If you like to hike and enjoy the outdoors do these things to make sure that you’re not damaging the environment when you’re hiking:
Take All of Your Trash
Hiking snacks are important. Many hikers bring healthy snacks like fruit because fruit is easy to carry and provides a good source of energy. But, they often leave behind apple cores, seeds, and other remains of their snacks thinking that they will naturally break down. But it takes a long time for food waste to break down and before it can totally decompose animals could eat that rotted fruit or the seeds left behind and get very sick or even die. Don’t leave any trash behind, even food trash.
Don’t Take Things
There are lots of very interesting and pretty thing to see when you’re hiking. Wildflowers, unique leaves, interesting shaped sticks or rocks, and many more cool things. But those items should be left in nature. Don’t take them home as souvenirs. If even half of the millions of people who hike every year took just one thing from the natural environment that entire ecosystem would be destroyed. You can snap photos of cool items instead of taking them with you.
Clean Your Boots Off
If you like to hike on different trails each time you hike it’s very important to clean off your boots between hikes. When you are hiking your boots will pick up soil that contains debris, bacteria, and the seeds of the area you were in and when you go somewhere new that debris gets transferred to the new place. If that soil contains harmful bacteria, or seeds that aren’t native to the area it can cause a lot of destruction in the new area. Take a few minutes to clean off your boots after a hike to prevent contaminating a different ecosystem.
Hiking trails are there to give you an easy and safe walking surface that won’t damage the natural environment. That’s why you need to stay on the trail when you’re hiking. Going off the trail to try and make your own shortcut means that you will kill grass, trample plants, break off bushes, and other devastation. You can avoid getting lost and getting in trouble by just staying on the trails that are provided for you. Keep a trail map with you so that you don’t get lost.
Dogs Should Be Leashed
If you’re going to brink your dog hiking with you keep your dog on a leash at all times so that your dog doesn’t eat grass, dig up the soft soil by the trails, or cause other havoc while you’re hiking.
This article was created Personal Injury Help (www.personalinjury-law.com), an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local hiking ordinances to ensure you hike safe and legally!
As we look back on 2019, we thank Food:Land:Opportunity for their generous support of our work to promote local food farmers and regenerative farming in McHenry County.
The video below provides a snapshot of what was accomplished in the past year.
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County (TLC) has preserved an 83-acre property, Slough Creek Wetland Bank, located northwest of Woodstock on Jankowski Road.
The parcel lies within the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge and is adjacent to McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD) property along Slough Creek, the Nippersink Creek corridor, and one half mile from the Bystricky Prairie Illinois State Nature Preserve. The property adds 83 acres for a total of 1,500 contiguous acres of wildlife habitat.
Once a farm field, the property was restored to a wetland and wet prairie habitat for the purpose of selling wetland mitigation credits to mitigate development wetland impacts.
The wetland/wet-mesic prairie restoration has met all US Army Corps of Engineers, USEPA, & US Fish and Wildlife Service approvals for wetland restoration. In addition to the restored vegetation, the site serves as feeding/nesting/migration habitat for a number of declining, rare, or threatened/endangered Illinois bird species such as: Northern Harrier, Sedge Wren, Marsh Wren, Bobolink, and Sparrows (Field, Grasshopper, Henslow’s, Savannah, Song, Swamp, and Vesper).
The owners decided to work with TLC as the organization to complete the donation process due to the TLC’s long record of integrity and reputation for natural land management.
As part of the land donation, the donors are contributing to a long-term management fund held for the property and also covering the cost of one year of site management, which includes prescribed burns and eradicating invasive species at the site.
TLC plans to hold the property for two-to-three years and collect native seed there for use at other sites. Eventually, the property will be transferred to either MCCD or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for formal addition to the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.