Local Businesses Partner with Boone County Conservation District and Boone County Master Gardeners to Make a Difference

BELVIDERE (WIFR) -- A group of local organizations are celebrating the generous donation of property made by Jack and Peggy Wolf of Belvidere, Illinois. The site is “The Big Thunder Pavilion,” which is located next to the Culvers in Belvidere.

Since opening the doors of the first restaurant in 1984, Culver’s has been committed to being an active member in its local community. Team members at Culver’s of Belvidere carried on this tradition when they stepped out into the community to volunteer their time to Boone County Conservation District and Boone County Master Gardeners , donating .

"We’re proud to call Belvidere home and doing our part to help just feels right,” said Todd Kjell. "We strive to make a difference in the community we share with so many others, and working with Boone County Conservation District and Boone County Master Gardeners allows us that opportunity."

Culver’s support of Boone County Conservation District and Boone County Master Gardeners is just part of their dedication to giving back to the community. From Culver’s founders to each locally owned and operated restaurant, each franchise partner and team member understands the importance of serving our community.

A group of local organizations are celebrating the generous donation of property made by Jack and Peggy Wolf of Belvidere, Illinois. The site is “The Big Thunder Pavilion,” which is located next to the Culvers in Belvidere.

The project was initiated by Nancy Jacobson, a member of the Boone County Master Gardeners who noticed the site was in need of a little sprucing up. Jack Wolf had created a small park area as part of the Big Thunder commercial development project a number of years ago. The site features a large bronze sculpture titled “He Is, They Are” created by Glenna Goodacre. Ms. Jacobson approached Mr. Wolf to see if the Master Gardeners could adopt the site as a project. Mr. Wolf expressed interest in the idea, but it was soon discovered that the Master Gardeners could not work on a privately owned site.

Mr. Wolf then approached the Boone County Conservation District to see if there would be interest in accepting the property as a donation. A positive response was made with a request that the property be donated to the Parks and Conservation Foundation so the value of the property could be utilized as matching funds toward a grant project at some time in the future. The Parks and Conservation Foundation accepted the property donation on behalf of the Boone County Conservation District. The value of this donation has been appraised at more than $420,000. When used as matching funds it may be possible to double the value of this gift.

The Boone County Extension Office and the Boone County Conservation District developed an agreement to allow the Master Gardeners the opportunity to manage the landscaping and utilize the site for educational programming. Volunteers from the Master Gardener program toured the Schingoethe Center for Native America Studies at Aurora University to learn more about plants and gardens that were typical during the 1800’s. The landscaping will showcase native plant materials and will be used to educate the community about the important function these plants play in both the natural setting and as a way to provide pockets of habitat, attractively in our own back yards.

In addition to the volunteer support of the Master Gardeners, the Boone County Conservation District also receive support from the local Culvers Restaurant located next to the Big Thunder Pavilion. Culvers of Belvidere Restaurant owner Todd Kjell has provided the mowing service to keep the grounds around the site looking good. And looks forward to helping on other projects to enhance the Big Thunder Pavilions appeal.


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