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Private land conservation is becoming a useful tool for landowners who wish to see their property preserved forever. Whether it’s donating it to a local land conservancy, placing a conservation easement on the land, or just taking special care of it, this is one very important step landowners can take to preserve the Fox River.


Visit:


www.preservethefox.org to learn how you can become involved in this program.


Preserving land in Kane and McHenry Counties Stories by Sandy Kaczmarski


Judith Olson Uehling remembers summers on her grandfather’s property on Pistakee Lake in McHenry County, part of the Chain O’ Lakes region of the Fox River.


“We used to go to a suspension bridge over a lagoon in the early morning with a fishing rod and a piece of string and worms,” she recalls. “We’d catch fish as big as your hand.”


Judith and her sisters Elizabeth Geraghty and Lynn Gilchrist decided to donate three acres they inherited from their grandfather Henry Ericsson to the Land Conservancy of McHenry County. Ericsson immigrated to America in 1880. He was a bricklayer, and since the City of Big Shoulders was rebuilding after Mrs. O’Leary’s cow made history, it was easy to find work and prosper. After staying at a resort in McHenry County, he fell in love with the property because the landscape reminded him of his homeland in southern Sweden.


“We get a lot of these types of properties up in the upper Fox, on the Chain, going back to the days when it was a vacation area,” Lisa Haderlein, the Conservancy’s executive director, said. Other family members own pieces of what was once at least 20 acres, she said. Te Land Conservancy is in talks with them to encourage them to follow the three sisters’ lead. Like many of the properties in that area, the land has been passed down a few generations and the parcels have been divided up among the heirs.


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Conservation: Land Preservation


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