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PRESS RELEASE

The Conservation Foundation
10S404 Knoch Knolls Road
Naperville, IL 60565
(630) 428-4500
Fax: (630) 428-4599
Website: www.theconservationfoundation.org

For Immediate Release

Date: December 13, 2005
Contact: Brook McDonald, President/CEO
Phone: (630) 428-4500, ext. 12
Contact: Stephanie Sheetz, Open Space & Land Use Planning Manager
Phone: (630) 428-4500, ext. 21
Fax: (630) 428-4599

Survey: Kendall County Voters Say Natural Resource Protection Preserves Quality of Life

KENDALL COUNTY, IL. - Survey results released today by The Conservation Foundation reveal that nearly all Kendall County voters believe streams, wetlands and wildlife habitats are vital to maintaining the county's high quality of life and most say these natural resources should be protected.

Ninety-seven percent of voters who were asked if they agreed that natural resources are important to Kendall's high quality of life answered in the affirmative. Included in that total are 64 percent who answered that nature resources were "very important."

"These results of this survey reflect what we've seen before throughout the region," said Brook McDonald, the Foundation's president and CEO, and Kendall County resident. "It shows that just about every voter takes the issue of land and water protection very seriously."

"But these numbers are higher than in other counties we have surveyed," McDonald said.

The survey asked voters whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement that preserving open space preserves Kendall County's rural character, 95 percent said they agreed. Seventy percent went a step further and said they "strongly agreed."

And, when asked whether open space protection is an effective way to control development and slow down urban sprawl, 91 percent said they agreed.

The survey was conducted on Nov. 16 and 17 by Virginia-based American Viewpoint for The Conservation Foundation. The survey was conducted as a part of the Protect Kendall Now! initiative. It sampled 400 registered Kendall County voters and has a margin of error of 4.9 percent.

Among its other findings:

  • Most voters -- 88 percent - say they are concerned Kendall County will become as developed as DuPage County. Included in that total are 61 percent who said they were "very concerned."
  • More than two-thirds, 70 percent, said that government is most responsible for protecting Kendall County's natural areas, including rivers, lakes, streams and land teaming with wildlife. Nearly half of those asked this question, 46 percent, said county government rises above federal or municipal government as the one "most responsible" for protecting natural areas.
  • Slightly more than 60 percent said they were either somewhat or very satisfied with the government's natural resource protection efforts up to this point.
Stephanie Sheetz is The Conservation Foundation's chief land and open space planner working on the Protect Kendall Now! initiative. She also lives in Kendall County. Sheetz said she's heartened that the survey revealed that so many people in Kendall County view natural resource protection as vital.

"Clearly, one of our main goals is to preserve valuable natural areas in Kendall County in the face of suburban development," Sheetz said. "It's good to know that all of us living in Kendall share that same goal."

John Church, Kendall County Board chairman, was also encouraged by the survey results, but not surprised.

"The county and forest preserve district have been working to protect open space for a number of years. There has been a growing sentiment from the general public that open space is a major concern and it's encouraging to see the poll numbers that show they want us to continue our efforts. I think the Protect Kendall Now! initiative will help get us there," Church said.

The Protect Kendall Now! initiative is a public-private partnership with the goal of increasing the pace of land conservation in Kendall County. The project has three objectives: develop a county-wide, comprehensive open space and natural areas master plan; increase the public's understanding of open space needs, and inform landowners of options they have to preserving their property. A Steering Committee comprised of local area government officials, citizens, land use planners and conservationists are overseeing the project with leadership provided by The Conservation Foundation.

The Conservation Foundation is a not-for-profit land and watershed conservation organization based on a farm in unincorporated Will County near Naperville. The Conservation Foundation has worked for 34 years, has more than 3,000 members and donors, and works in DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will Counties.

For more information about Protect Kendall Now!, visit www.protectkendallnow.org.


Copyright © 2005- The Conservation Foundation