50th Anniversary Celebrations

Kathleen Leitner, CFC President

Kathleen Leitner, CFC President

From President Kathleen Leitner

Fifty years ago the Barrington Area Development Council determined the need for a conservation organization to address local environmental concerns. Citizens for Conservation was started by committed citizens with a recycling center at the Barrington Village Hall, but quickly became focused on the identified mission of protecting and improving the quality of life in the Barrington area through protection and restoration of land and education of the community. Initially, we worked with area landowners encouraging them in their efforts towards those goals.

CFC has come a long way since 1971. While we continue to encourage others to preserve and restore their land, we now own 476 acres in 12 preserves plus two that we restore, manage and protect, plus two additional preserves for which we are stewards. In addition, through the Barrington Greenway Initiative (“BGI”), we work with six partners to preserve and link 14,000 acres of native habitats including tall grass prairie, oak savanna, woodland, and wetland – all to create habitat corridors that support native plants and wildlife. CFC logged over 17,000 volunteer hours in 2019 and with our BGI partners collected 520 pounds of native seed. We have grown from encouraging others to preserve natural habitats, to becoming a regional leader in the movement.

In the following pages you will see our progress. As Barrington grew and changed, so did CFC. We share our restoration success stories, including our BGI projects, and we describe our vision for CFC’s future. We look forward to another fifty years of Saving Living Space for Living Things through protection, restoration and stewardship of land, conservation of natural resources, and education. We will continue to grow, and we know we can succeed with the support of the greater Barrington area community!

* Plans will be adjusted to follow current public gathering guidelines

50th Anniversary Community Education Programs: January 15th, February 20th & March 13th (Free Webinars)

Free programs presented in collaboration with the Barrington Area Public Library.

  • How to use native plants in your landscape
  • Examples of the diversity of wildlife possible in backyard habitats
  • Stormwater management practices with native plants

Register online. Open to all.


50th Anniversary Annual Meeting: March 11th (Virtual Meeting)

Historic 50 year review of shaping conservation in the greater Barrington area. Distinguished panelists: Wendy Paulson, Steve Packard, Sam Oliver, and Pasty Mortimer will highlight building on past efforts toward future plans. Invited members, donors, and guests.


Spring Native Plant Sale: March 1st – April 18th (Online Ordering) & May 7th – 9th (Plant Pick Up)

Huge native plant sale offering hard to find native species. People come from out-of-state to take advantage of the selection. Online pre-orders, garden combination packages, and a special 50th Anniversary garden selection available. Helping residents use native plants and build habitats.


Earth Day and BGI Celebration: April 24th | Flint Creek Savanna

CFC’s BGI event aligns with the global ‘Restore Our Earth’ Earth Day. Volunteers from CFC and partners will install new plants and lead various educational activities for multiple ages in celebration of helping our Earth. Volunteer reservations accepted.


College Internship Program: June – August | CFC Preserves (Apply through April)

Highly sought out ecological internship for college students. Paid 10 week program with hands on experience in restoration management methods and techniques. Mentoring and fostering the next generation of stewards for our lands and wildlife. Applications now being accepted.


Youth Nature Summer Camp: June | CFC Farmhouse & CFC Youth Discovery Museum

Inspiring understanding and love of the natural world Hands on experiences, learning, crafts, fun and new friends Age appropriate activities in small groups with high adult to camper ratio. Two age groups 5 7 and 8 10 for week long learning adventure Reservations required.


Craftsbury Preserve Dedication & CFC Major Donor Recognition: August 20th | Wild Onion Brewery

Celebration and social luncheon thanking major donors. Presentation on the beneficial impact of their contributions and future CFC plans. Bus transport to dedication ceremony of new Craftsbury Preserve. Invited donors, grantors, and press.


50 FEST Community Celebration: September| Big Top Tent Smith Building, CFC Farmhouse, and Flint Creek Savanna Preserve (Open to all. Ticketed fundraiser.)

CFC is part of the fabric of the community. Sharing this milestone with everyone… 50 FEST Event Celebration will include:

  • Family friendly, fun, and something for everyone
  • Big tent event , food trucks, and beverages
  • Music, games, crafts, and other entertainment
  • Guided tours of Flint Creek Savanna, educational information

Tom Vanderpoel Recognitions: September|Two events

Two dedication events will honor Tom Vanderpoel’s decades of leadership in regional conservation contributions and the community’s future. Tom was a beloved and respected mentor to many. Farmhouse event open to all. Barrington Hills event is by invitation.


Fall Native Tree & Shrub Sale: August 1st – 28th (Online Ordering) | September 18th – 19th (Plant Pick Up)

Helping homeowners by providing a large selection of native tree and shrubs specifically selected for success in our community and the best species for protection of land, to provide color, and habitat for wildlife. Highest quality and hard to find species offered to help improve habitats in the community.


4th Graders on the Prairie Program: Mid-September Flint Creek Savanna Preserve

13th annual year of this award winning program for all 4 th grade students in the school district. 600+ students participate each year in this integrated curriculum that uses the prairie and native plants to help teach STEM concepts. The strong partnership of CFC and D220 help students learn how science and nature work together. An investment in the future.


Volunteer Appreciation Event: October 9th | CFC Farmhouse

Celebration event honoring all the volunteers who are the core of CFC. From back office work to teaching to restoration, all efforts help nature. This event is about friends, laughter, and sharing conservation success accomplished by working together. By invitation.


Conservation Art Show: December 16th | Barrington White House

Free event will showcase the accomplished work of various CFC volunteers, members, and BHS students. The accomplished artists and photographers will share love of nature across various media. Juried BHS student creations from recycled materials will be on display.


* Plans will be adjusted to follow current public gathering guidelines