Foundation Protects 40 Acres in Hartland Township

The Conservation Foundation recently purchased 40 acres of land in Hartland Township, located west of Hartland Road and east of Deep Cut Road. The property is adjacent McHenry County Conservation District’s Brookdale Conservation Area, previously purchased land, and neighboring conservation easements, to create over 1,875 acres of contiguous land that is now permanently protected.

The acquisition was partially funded by a $197,904 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, as well as donor support, and includes funds for restoration efforts over the next two years. In 2026, the property will be transferred to McHenry County Conservation District for long-term stewardship and management.

“The Foundation is thrilled to strategically support McHenry County Conservation District’s goal of protecting key natural areas,” said Shawna Flavell, Executive Director of the McHenry County Conservation Foundation. “The Foundation’s work to raise funds in support of public lands and partnership with the Conservation District ensures the long-term protection of open space that we depend on to enhance the quality of life for all McHenry County residents.”

The property contains relic white-oak dominated woodlands, kettles and kames, basin marshes and 14 acres of wetlands that support numerous amphibian species, as well as habitat for threatened or endangered bird species, such as the least bittern, common gallinule, and yellow-headed blackbird. The wetlands are also a part of a larger wetland complex that serves as an important recharge area for the county’s groundwater resources, and supplies flood storage capacity of both the Nippersink and the Kishwaukee River Watersheds. Additionally, the wetlands are recognized as significant by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as Advanced Identification (ADID) wetlands and are listed on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI).