What Land Has the Conservation District Bought from the $68.5 Million Bond Issue (2001 to 2007)?

The McHenry County Conservation District has on its web site a list of what it has purchased since 2001.

You know my parochial interest in MCCD’s lack of expenditures in the area covered by Crystal Lake Grade School District 47.

After looking at the list and getting a fuller one from MCCD headquarters, I see nothing for the District 47 area, from the $60-plus million bond issue passed with 51.3% of the vote in 2001, except part of a $90,000 bike trail to Woodstock.

Below are the purchases listed on the web site, plus those I got by fax Friday afternoon. (I had to add up the purchase prices and the acreage, so any math mistakes are mine. So are any categorization mistakes.)


  • 482 acres for $2.45 million; called Alden Sedge Meadow, protecting headwaters of the Nippersink.
  • Almost 47 acres at $660,000, called Bailey Woods.
  • 203 acres for $1.9 million, called High Point.

Algonquin – 275-acre Camp Algonquin, with easement given for a four-lane highway for $8.35 million


  • 163 acres that used to be Fox Trails ski resort for $6.6 million.
  • 31¼ acres for $1.1 million. It’s called Silver Creek and is near Burton’s Bridge.

Crystal Lake to Woodstock – 8 acres for $90,000 in Crystal Lake for a trail parking on Oak Street.

Harvard – 10 acres of railroad right-of-way to Chemung bought for $100,000

Hebron – 163 acres for $875,000 – called Goose Lake.

Huntley – Almost 70 acres at $825,120. It’s called Klodmpke Marsh and is connected the Huntley-Union-Marengo Trail.

Lake in the Hills – 67 acres to protect the Lake in the Hills Fen for $1.9 million.


  • 329 acres added for $3.1 million to 275 acres already at Marengo Ridge.
  • 1,063 acres for $4.5 million on Coon Creek.
  • 1,033 acres purchased in the Kishwaukee River Corridor for $3.1 million.
  • 6 acres for $86,000 at Coral Woods.

McHenry – 40 acres purchased for $301,000 for the Pioneer Fen. Bill and Alice Howenstine’s also gave the Conservation District an easement to 34 acres.

Prairie Grove 27 acres for $385,000 called Stickney Run.


  • 280 acres south of Lake Elizabeth on the Wisconsin State line, a archaeological site, was not purchased, but was opened to the public.
  • Almost 246 acres for $1.533 million, listed as “Nippersink North Branch.”

Ringwood – 332 acres for $6.67 million added to Glacial Park’s 3,200.

Spring Grove – Almost 114 acres bought for $1.7 million for the Nippersink Canoe Base.

Union – 7 acres for almost $273,000 for a parking lot for the Huntley-Union-Marengo Trail.


  • Pleasant Valley Conservation Area, 1,274 acres added to 340 already owned totaling 1,770 acres. The price paid for the new acreage was $10.5 million.
  • 225 acres for a Woodstock greenway corridor. The cost was $2.55 million.
  • 660 acres for $4.5 million added to Brookdale, the MCCD’s headquarters.
  • 140.5 acres bought for $1.33 million. It’s called the “Queen Anne Marcrosit” on the spreadsheet.
  • 454 acres at $5.3 million for the Boone Creek Conservation Area in Bull Valley.

This does not completely mesh with the illustration on the Conservation District web site, which you can see if you click on the image. In the lower right part, you will see what sites were opened or improved.

In MCCD Anne Basten’s cover letter, she pointed out that the list sent is “of acres protected, not necessarily all owned by the District. that have been protected since the April 2001 bond referendum. Among them, which I did not list above is over 129 acres of the Fel-Pro RRR in Cary. The total there is now almost 220 acres.

Also not listed is 138 acres on Silver Lakes Road now being bought on an installment contract. It is next to the Hollows, which was donated to MCCD by Material Service and is located in Crystal Lake’s District 47.

I have pointed out that MCCD bought land west of West School next to Lakewood. Basten clarified that the “parcel still has a summer cottage residence belonging to the previous owner who included the exclusive use of a portion of that site as a condition of purchase and therefore it cannot be developed for public access until the end of the term of the agreement. “

She told me by phone that the agreement runs out in 2009, but the seller has an option to renew the arrangement for another ten years. She wrote that “the property is still on the tax rolls.”

Basten also explained that the purchase prices listed do “not include any other monies or grant awards.”

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The three pictures were taken on a cloudy Saturday, March 31, at Pleasant Valley, where 1274 acres costing $10.5 million were purchased from the $68.5 million 2001 bond issue. It is located between Woodstock and Huntley, but is close to the Crystal Lake’s westernmost subdivision now being built north of Route 176 east of Route 47, which is in the Woodstock School District.

One Volkswagen was in the parking lot when I took the picture of the picnic shelter and pond.

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