Barrington Greenway Initiative (BGI)

NOTE: All 2021 BGI events are CANCELLED until further notice. This is in response to the COVID-19 situation and following the most current guidelines and restrictions from the CDC and IDPH. CFC and BGI partners are dedicated to protect our volunteers and community. We will update this site, our calendar and social media pages if and when these restrictions are lifted.


BGI Restore & Explore events

Each month BGI sponsors a special two or three-hour event that encourages residents to experience the beauty of our area, learn and help nature. Some are workdays which are family friendly events and excellent company volunteers’ events. Some are expert guided hikes in one of our nature preserves to discover native plants and animals. All are hands-on, be out in nature, meet new people, fun events. Events are listed on the home page calendar and for more information call CFC at 847-382-7283. Join us.

Barrington Area Council of Governments Passes Resolution Supporting Barrington Greenway Initiative

The Executive Board of the Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) passed Resolution No. 18-03 supporting the Barrington Greenway Initiative (BGI) on February 27, 2018. It also encourages the municipal and township members of BACOG to incorporate support for BGI in their respective Village and Township comprehensive plans. The resolution was unanimously passed and supported by:

    • David R. Parro, President, Village of Tower Lakes
    • Karen Darch, President, Village of Barrington
    • Mike Kainz, Supervisor, Cuba Township
    • Paula McCombie, President, Village of South Barrington
    • Martin J. McLaughlin, President, Village of Barrington Hills
    • Amy Nykaza, Supervisor, Barrington Township
    • Albert R. Pino, President, Village of North Barrington
  • Kevin C. Richardson, President, Village of Lake Barrington

History of the Barrington Greenway Initiative

CFC’s work for nearly five decades had produced healthier ecosystems throughout the greater Barrington area. Building on this success, in 2018 CFC launched the Barrington Greenway Initiative (BGI).  BGI objective is to create unbroken, linked habitat corridors, increased biodiversity, and strengthened ecosystems to deliver benefits to our community. This is an ambitious objective for the next several decades, and to ensure its success CFC has partnered with six other area conservation organizations and foundations

Collaboration Across Boundaries

Nature does not recognize the jurisdictional boundaries created by villages, townships and counties and thus readily crosses these boundaries. To deal with this phenomenon, BGI brings together seven strategic partners, across several geographic jurisdictions, to collaborative share priorities, plans and resources to deliver greater benefits to nature.  Working together is producing larger, higher quality and more strategic restorations. The partners are working together to create a linked greenway from the Spring Creek Forest Preserve area on the south to the Port Barrington area on the north.  This area encompasses more than 14,000 acres of prairies, wetlands, and woodlands.

Click here to see a map of the BGI Impact Area. 

Key species of plants and animals have been selected for reintroduction into the greenway areas as the ecosystems mature, and the linked land will support the natural migration of other birds, insects, amphibians and native plants. The improved ecosystems will provide cleaner air and water, help control erosion and flooding, expand carbon storage and processing and create areas where residents can connect with nature.

The Barrington Greenway Initiative is as important and forward-looking as the original 1970 plans to protect green spaces in the Barrington area. BGI builds on that original strategy and will expand nature’s benefits for generations to come.

Strategic Partners

BGI strategic partners are: Citizens for Conservation, Lake County Forest Preserves, Forest Preserves of Cook County, Audubon Great Lakes, Friends of the Forest Preserves, McHenry County Conservation District, and Bobolink Foundation.

Click here for five things you should know about The Barrington Greenway Initiative

CFC’s Historical Initiatives 

Cuba Marsh, Grassy Lake and Spring Creek Forest Preserves

CFC’s efforts over the years have influenced the acquisition and development of Lake and Cook County Forest Preserves.

Cuba Marsh 300 acres bounded by Cuba Road and Ela Road had been proposed for high density industrial and residential development. In 1973, Citizens for Conservation, along with Barrington Area Council of Governments, The Greater North Barrington Area Association and Fox Point collaborated to defeat the proposal. CFC’s leaders, Bill Miller and Waid Vanderpoel, recognized the area’s ecological value and convinced the Lake County Forest Preserve District to buy it to create Cuba Marsh in 1976. Over the years since, CFC volunteers have collaborated with forest preserve workers to restore the area. Abutting Barrington’s Citizens’ Park, Cuba Marsh now has extensive walking and biking trails for use by residents and visitors.

Grassy Lake Forest Preserve CFC had encouraged Lake County Forest Preserve District for years to acquire the land along Kelsey Road as a protected preserve. In 2003 it became Grassy Lake Forest Preserve, adding 185 acres. CFC volunteers Wes Wolf and Carol Hogan have contributed hundreds of hours at the area since 2006 as restoration stewards and leading group workdays. They recently were given a national award as “Outstanding Volunteers” for their dedication, knowledge and passion for restoring Grassy Lake.

Spring Creek Forest Preserve A property of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Spring Creek in Barrington Hills is nearly 4000 acres of prairie, savanna, woodland and wetland. Active restoration began in 2004 by volunteers with Friends of the Forest Preserve and Audubon, with the direction of Stephen Packard. CFC became involved over the years by contributing native seed and volunteers. It is the largest restoration undertaken in Cook County.