New Park Coming to Bull Valley Thanks to Public-Private Conservation Partnership
Thompson Road Farm. Photo credit Lisa Haderlein, The Land Conservancy of McHenry County.
The Land Conservancy of McHenry County (TLC) has acquired a 323-acre farm near Bull Valley, fulfilling a community vision to protect the site’s natural and ecological features and resulting in the creation of a new public nature park. The move is a product of a multi-year partnership between TLC, the Village of Bull Valley and the Thompson Road Farm Project, a grassroots coalition of local residents representing a diversity of perspectives from the community.
Patrick Skvoretz, president of the local equestrian Bull Valley Riding Club, states, “The property has been farmed for generations, and horses have historically been part of the fabric of the land, and it’s where our riding club was founded. Today, we can say with certainty that this legacy will endure while protecting the natural beauty.” The future park will preserve the site’s existing equestrian trails while creating new access for recreation, such as hiking, walking, trail running, wildlife viewing and photography.
During the initial ecological restoration, TLC will open the site to the public on a limited basis later this year for passive, low-impact recreation before the property becomes part of the Bull Valley Park System. The Land Conservancy will hold the conservation easement, ensuring the property remains protected open space for future generations.
Community members may participate in shaping the future of the new park—TLC will collect input while site management and restoration plans are developed. Public meetings, tours and specific opportunities to provide feedback will be announced later this year. Additionally, residents are encouraged to donate to the fundraising campaign to support further ecological restoration and stewardship on the property. Naming and sponsorship opportunities are available.
Founded in 1982, the Land Trust Alliance supports more than 950 member land trusts across the country through policy, education and training, helping to ensure the highest standards in private land conservation. Andrew Bowman, president and CEO of the Land Trust Alliance, says, “Facilitating land protection to fulfill a community’s vision is the exemplary work of a local land trust like TLC. Public-private partnerships like this energize our collective work to conserve land, and the Land Trust Alliance congratulates all partners on this conservation success story.”
For more information, call 815-337-9502 or donate at ConserveMC.org.