The Forest Preserve District of Kane County made its first investments in new property, since passing a referendum in April of this year.
The Forest Preserve District acquired six Sugar Grove properties adjacent to Sauer Family Prairie Kame Forest Preserve. The district invested $865,680 for six parcels totaling 71.48 acres.
The land was purchased from the Cutsinger family. The new acres along the southeastern border of the preserve create a now 231-acre property.
While the land is currently in agriculture, Director of Natural Resources Ben Haberthur envisions a future wetland.
“Not only does this addition buffer the historic kame and remnant prairie at the preserve, but there are hydric soils here that would be perfect for a future wetland restoration,” he said. “Using a wet to mesic prairie mix, this area would be loaded with host and nectar plants for pollinators.”
Executive Director Monica Meyers said open space improves the quality of life for all residents.
“Forest preserves increase property values, clean water and air, and provide opportunities for recreation and nature education,” she said. “As the preserves grow in size, they better protect and connect crucial habitats, so plant and animal communities can be preserved and enhanced for future generations.”
Officials said the Sauer Family Prairie Kame addition is the first of many acquisitions to come. The district passed a $50 million referendum in April, and plans to acquire about 2,000 to 2,500 additional acres of open space in Kane County, as well as make various preserve improvements. Proceeds from the referendum are strictly limited to those two categories: land acquisition and preserve improvements.
“We’re following through on promises we made to Kane County residents,” said Forest Preserve District President Mike Kenyon. “We lowered property taxes from the Forest Preserve District, due to sound financial management, refinancing of debt and paying off of bonds. Now, we’ve begun adding the acres we promised, to make our preserves system even better. This is part of our legacy.”
Sauer Family Prairie Kame Forest Preserve is located at 44W705 Lasher Road, Sugar Grove.
About Sauer Family Prairie Kame Forest Preserve
The Sauer Family Prairie Kame is named after the Sauer family, longtime residents and public servants of Sugar Grove.
The preserve is an isolated landmark sentinel overlooking the extensive outwashed plains to the southwest. It is a prairie covered, assorted gravel pile around 30 feet high, situated on the leading edge of the great glaciers that moved through and retreated from this area some 12,000 years ago. It is visited by science classes, for it is regarded as one of the best examples remaining of this glacial form.
The view from the top southwest is one of the best the county has to offer. A few Indian relics found on the top indicated that native Americans lived here before us, and must also have thought that this was a good place to look out over the flat countryside for buffalo and other wild game.
Sauer – Prairie Kame is located west of Harter Road.
SOURCE: Forest Preserve District of Kane County website
- FEATURE PHOTO CAPTION: Whooping Cranes at Sauer Prairie Kame Forest Preserve. Photo by Andrew Aldrich published on kanecountyaudubon.org