Boone County Land Acquisition

By: Rebekah Baum
By: Rebekah Baum

It's a piece of land that separates a major highway from a natural byway. The Boone County Conservation District has recently acquired 104 acres nestled between I-90 and the Kishwaukee River.

"It's mostly in the 100 year floodway. When it does flood, the water is actually going to be moving across the property rather than just occupying the area which is a unique part of the watershed. And protecting that so the land can function they way it would normally function is what we're after here," says Dan Kane, Executive Director of the Boone County Conservation District.

Thanks to a $300,000 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and the donation of 37 acres of land from the previous owners the land will provide a seamless link between conservation lands located upstream and downstream of the site.

“It's now in agricultural production. Eventually we'll convert it from agriculture land back to natural land. It will be restored to the natural habitats that exist here," says Kane.

By restoring the land, the district will be protecting threatened and endangered species including the bald eagle, river otters, and Henslow's sparrows. And once the land is restored, the community will be able to enjoy its magnificence.

"Be able to come out and enjoy the area, bird watch, observe wildlife, we may be able to provide some passive opportunities to access by canoes--maybe even some hunting opportunities," says Kane.

The district's next step is to develop a site restoration plan for the land, a unique piece of natural beauty.

The previous land owners were Bob Streeter and Joe Friel. The property is also home to 30 acres of wetlands.


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