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KENDALL COUNTY


Forest Preserve District Kendall County residents


have 135 more acres of forest preserve woodlands to enjoy this year, thanks to the Kendall County Forest Preserve District and the Conservation Foundation. Called the Little Rock Creek


Forest Preserve, the land, located off Burr Oak Road adjoining the Merimack Hill Preserve, was purchased last year with help from the Conservation Foundation and with a grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “It didn’t cost local taxpayers


a dime,” says Dave Gueritz, Kendall County Forest Preserve executive director.


Te new acquisition, which Dave Gueritz


will give the district almost 3,000 acres of woodlands to oversee, will have a “soft opening” in June, according to Gueritz. It’s part of a District initiative to save and rehabilitate natural areas. “Tey are our collective natural heritage,” Gueritz


says, and admits he has a passion for them. “Kendall County had a high concentration of high-quality oak woodlands all along the Fox River corridor. Oaks are a mast tree; they support other wildlife and woodlands but they require open woodlands. Shade-loving trees like maples and ash are invasive and we are not seeing oak saplings. We are not seeing regeneration of oaks.” Gueritz says one of his goals is to get people into these areas to encourage appreciation for them. “Tis is a concerted effort to help enhance and conserve not only the oaks but all wildlife that depend


on oak trees in our woodlands.”


A pre-opening tour of the new forest preserve lands last March was led by Brook McDonald, right, executive director of the Conservation Foundation and co-sponsored by the Chamber’s Green Connect committee.


Photos by Paul E. Burd Photography 26


NON PROFITS


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