Countdown To Earth Day: Take Time To Appreciate The Natural Wonders of Kane County

Countdown To Earth Day: Take Time To Appreciate The Natural Wonders of Kane County

  • The Kane County Board Energy And Environmental Committee, Kane County Division of Environmental and Water Resources and Kane County Connects are teaming up for a “Countdown to Earth Day” series celebrating the success stories and spotlighting the environmental challenges we face right here, right now in Kane County, IL. Today’s essay is written by Karen Miller, executive planner with the Kane County Development And Community Services Department.

In August of 2000, I excitedly accepted the position of planner for the Kane County Development Department after reviewing the county’s 2020 Plan that places importance of the county’s natural resources in policy making. Subsequent plans continue to reflect that philosophy.

During the past 20 years, I have experienced the wonderful variety of natural resources available to residents and visitors of Kane County. Whether hiking through a beautiful oak savanna, learning how early settlers used the land or from the perspective of paddling the Fox River, during the Countdown to Earth Day, I am remembering the projects that led me to these special places.

Over the years, I’ve learned from Sue Harney, then supervisor of Dundee Township, about the environmental value of several open space parcels residents chose to preserve as we worked to develop a plan to protect the habitat of many species of plants and animals in the beautiful prairies, wetlands, woodlands and streams.

Working with Campton Township, I helped develop a plan to preserve Corron Farm, a 221-acre site made available to the residents of the township by the Corron family, including preservation of the historic farmstead dating back to the mid-1800s — including the invaluable knowledge of Jack Shouba about the restoration of the woodland, savanna and wetland incorporating native plants. Jack is also a very talented nature photographer.

I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with natural resource experts in the county and region to develop the Kane County 2040 Green Infrastructure Plan and Map, an analysis of existing natural resources in the county that included recommendations for green infrastructure priorities and approaches.

The plan includes a map layer of remnant oak woodlands, originating from a Morton Arboretum and Chicago Wilderness-led project to develop the Oak Ecosystem Recovery Plan, a coordinated effort to preserve, restore and expand oak ecosystems in the region. Oaks are considered a keystone species, underpinning the biological diversity of some of our most crucial ecosystems.

Currently, I’m working across the border with our partners in Wisconsin to develop the Fabulous Fox! Water Trail to enhance recreational opportunities while encouraging protection and sustainable stewardship of the entire length of the Fox River from Waukesha County, WI, to the confluence with the Illinois River in Ottawa, IL.

Join me in celebrating the Countdown to Earth Day by experiencing the natural resources of Kane County!

Read The Countdown To Earth Day Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In August of 2000, I excitedly accepted the position of Planner for the Kane County Development Department after reviewing the County’s 2020 Plan that places importance of the County’s natural resources in policy making.  Subsequent plans continue to reflect that philosophy.   The past 20 years I have experienced the wonderful variety of natural resources available to residents and visitors of Kane County. Whether hiking through a beautiful oak savanna, learning how early settlers used the land or from the perspective of paddling the Fox River, during the Countdown to Earth Day I am remembering the projects that led me to these special places.

Learning from Sue Harney, then Supervisor of Dundee Township, about the environmental value of several open space parcels residents chose to preserve as we worked to develop a plan to protect the habitat of many species of plants and animals in the beautiful prairies, wetlands, woodlands and streams.

Working with Campton Township to develop a plan to preserve Corron Farm, a 221-acre site made available to the residents of the Township by the Corron family including preservation of the historic farmstead dating back to the mid-1800s.  Including the invaluable knowledge of Jack Shouba about the restoration of the woodland, savanna and wetland incorporating native plants. Jack is also a very talented nature photographer.

Collaborating with natural resource experts in the County and region to develop the Kane County 2040 Green Infrastructure Plan and Map, an analysis of existing natural resources in the County and recommendations for green infrastructure priorities and approaches.  Including a map layer of remnant oak woodlands, originating from a Morton Arboretum and Chicago Wilderness led project to develop the Oak Ecosystem Recovery Plan, a coordinated effort to preserve, restore and expand oak ecosystems in the region.  Oaks are considered a keystone species, underpinning the biological diversity of some of our most crucial ecosystems.

Currently working across the border with our partners in Wisconsin to develop the Fabulous Fox! Water Trail to enhance recreational opportunities while encouraging protection and sustainable stewardship of the entire length of the Fox River from Waukesha County, Wisconsin to the confluence with the Illinois River in Ottawa, Illinois.

Join me in celebrating the Countdown to Earth Day by experiencing the natural resources of Kane County!