With so many conservation groups around, what makes McHenry County Conservation Foundation special?
State and federal tax laws allow the Foundation to secure grants, solicit funds, support education initiatives, and pursue other funding opportunities for which the Conservation District and our other partners may be ineligible. For example, the McHenry County Conservation Foundation serves in the lead role working for passage of open space referendums in the county. MCCF can assess public interest in open space and clean water issues throughout the county and promote the public education component of the referendums in order to best demonstrate community benefits of open space. The Foundation was successful in passing two referendums that brought in $141.5 million toward securing open space and providing additional outdoor amenities to the county's conservation areas. In addition, the Foundation has secured legislative funds and managed private donations for land acquisitions and specific conservation and habitat restoration projects.
Other than the open space referendum, how does the Conservation Foundation support open space?
The McHenry County Conservation Foundation is uniquely positioned to apply for a number of grants from state, federal, and privately funded sources. These outside funding sources and matching grants have saved the McHenry County taxpayers thousands of dollars and provided the Conservation District and other resource groups the opportunity to purchase many more acres of natural areas throughout the county without relying on local taxes. The Conservation District is bound by a number of state laws governing property sales. When a parcel of land is purchased for its natural value, oftentimes the sale involves a house or other structure. These can become very costly to maintain and may even present a major liability. The District typically does not want to purchase homes associated with open space. We have partnered with the Conservation District during land acquisitions to purchase the buildings and thus lessen this burden. In doing so, we save the District millions of dollars in acquisition costs that can be used toward additional open space protection.
Are there ways to make memorial gifts, a bequest, or other type of planned giving opportunities?
Planned giving will allow you to leave a legacy that will continue far beyond your lifetime. There are many different ways for you to contribute to help preserve our open spaces and unique habitats within McHenry County.
Visit our Planned Giving Page here.