Barrington Greenway Initiative (BGI)

NOTE: All 2020 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. Events will be rescheduled if and when the situation changes. 

NEWS

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
 

CFC’s work for nearly five decades has produced healthier ecosystems throughout the greater Barrington area. Building on this success, CFC has launched the Barrington Greenway Initiative (BGI).  BGI will 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 CFC has partnered with other area conservation organizations and foundations to ensure its success.

Collaboration Across Boundaries

Nature crosses the jurisdictional boundaries created by villages, townships and counties. BGI has brought together six strategic partners to collaborative share priorities, plans and resources to deliver greater benefits to nature.  Working together is producing larger, higher quality and strategic restorations. The groups are working together to create a linked greenway from the Poplar Creek area north to Port Barrington, an area encompassing more than 14,000 acres of prairies, wetlands, and woodlands.

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 other birds, insects, amphibians and native plants. The improved ecosystems will provide cleaner air and water, help control erosion and flooding, 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.

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.