As of January 2007, The Conservation Foundation is proud to report the following accomplishments in each of the project areas.
Phase 1: Public Awareness Campaign
- Completed the multi-faceted public education and awareness campaign on open space preservation. Including:
- full-page ads in local newspaper
- small ads in several area newspapers
- letters to editor in local newspaper
- TV commercials on seven cable channels
- radio commercials on two local stations
- yard signs
- car magnets
- Obtained resolution of support from 11 local governments for the Protect Kendall Now initiative.
- Provided informational presentations on Protect Kendall Now (goals, process, implementation methods) to various community groups including:
- Rotary Clubs
- Optimist Club
- watershed groups
- environmental committees/clubs
- Amos Daughters of Revolution
- Kendall County Association for Home & Community Education
- Kendall Arts Guild
- Kendall Democrats
- Kendall Farm Bureau
- Kendall County SWCD/NRCS
- Increased public & political support for land preservation.
- The Kendall County Forest Preserve District April 2007 open space referenda passed by 68%.
- Pre- and post-tests were conducted by an independent market and research firm, in September and November 2005, to determine Kendall County resident’s awareness of issues related to open space. Some significant findings included:
- 60% of the voters in Kendall County recalled having seen, read, or heard about the Protect Kendall Now! campaign.
- The campaign caused approximately one-third of the voters in Kendall County to be more likely to support open space preservation efforts.
- Increased voter appreciation for the quality of the natural resources in Kendall County.
- A deeper appreciation of the importance that natural resources such as streams, wetlands and wildlife habitat play in the quality of life in Kendall County.
- Increased understanding that individuals can play a very important role in preserving open space.
See www.protectkendallnow.org for a full report on the Public Awareness Campaign.
- Provided regular updates of PKN! activities, accomplishments, and general project status to Steering Committee and local governments (as requested).
Phase 2: Unified Open Space Plan
- Coordinated and collaborated with 23 agencies to prepare a unified open space plan.
- Held five different public information meetings for comment and review of draft plan, throughout Kendall County.
- Obtained resolutions of support on unified master open space plan from 14 local governments.
- Completed and printed the Natural Treasures of Kendall County: Open Space & Natural Areas Plan.
- Distributed copies to all project partners who provided funding and to all other agencies involved.
- Provided PKN! open space information in GIS format to all local governments, to continue building their databases of information and put open space at the forefront of planning initiatives.
- Organized a framework for an ongoing coordinated effort for future green infrastructure preservation efforts, through work of the Steering Committee.
Phase 3: Landowner Outreach
- Created a database of landowners in open space areas, according to the unified master open space plan.
- Assisted municipalities and Kendall County in achieving their open space goals (in comprehensive plans) through the landowner contact campaign.
- Contacted those landowners to gauge interest in land conservation.
- Followed up with 51 interested landowners, providing educational materials on land conservation methods (including video, brochures, LTA booklet, etc.). Follow up included one-on-one meetings, phone calls, and mailing information – whichever method was preferred by the interested landowner.
- Landowners TCF has worked with to make tangible progress toward protecting their land:
- 40-acre conservation easement established in southwestern Kendall County in late 2005. (TCF holds the easement.)
- Purchase of 13 acres of an 100-acre old-growth woods referred to as Reservation Woods (highest quality woods in Kendall County, in the northeast portion of the County).
- Indication from nearby property owner that 12 ½ acre parcel in Reservation Woods area may be donated or sold below market value, pending protection first portion (13 acres noted above).
- 17-acre easement established on private property in Oswego Township. (TCF holds the easement.)
- Facilitated purchase of 75 acres for the Kendall County Forest Preserve District.
- Indication from a landowner that a conservation easement will be placed on 80 acres of their property in 2007.
- Indication from a landowner that a conservation easement will be placed on 64 acres of their property in 2007.
- Working with conservation-minded buyer to purchase 26 acres along the Hollenback Creek, with the intent to place an easement on it in the future.
- Negotiating the purchase of 60 acres on behalf of the Kendall County Forest Preserve District for land upstream of an existing forest preserve.
- Facilitated exploration to protect 20 acres along middle Aux Sable Creek.
- Exploring preservation options with landowner of 19 acres along Fox River.
- Working with family to actively explore preservation options for 325-acre property.
- Educated public on sustainable development, healthy communities and sound land use planning concepts.
- Organized Kendall Growth Conference:
- 2005: “Have Your Cake & Eat it Too: How to Protect the Aux Sable Creek Watershed with Conservation Principles”
- 2006: “Healthy Environments, Healthy Communities, Healthy People”
- Conference is open and advertised to developers, local governments, and residents of the county.
- Attended local meetings to present information on these topics, as invited.
- Involved in development projects, as requested by local governments or local citizens.
- Assisted with stormwater best management practices training organized by Delta Institute in May 2007.
- Local project partner with the Kendall Soil & Water Conservation District to organize two Water Quality Management Seminars in February 2006.
- Developments we have worked with to promote protection of natural areas, stormwater best management practices, and sound land use planning principles:
- HighGrove Subdivision
- Grande Park South
- Equestrian Estates at Legacy Farms
- Raised more than $83,900 in matching project funds from 10 local government units and several private residents (covering 29% of the total project cost).
- Obtained an Illinois Environmental Protection Agencies Section 319 grant to update the Aux Sable Creek Watershed Plan. (Project to occur 2007-2009.)
- Obtained a grant to develop a developer training module, working to discuss and educate on conservation design principles to get more “on the ground” results. (Project to occur 2007-2008.)