Monthly Report
July, 2015
Dan Kane, Executive Director
Previous Issues & Activities:
Grant Updates:
Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF):
 2011 Grant Project: There isn’t any new information to report.
 Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation 2015 Community Stewardship Challenge Grant: The Parks and Conservation Foundation was awarded a stewardship challenge grant. The Foundation can receive up to $21,000 in matching funds and a bonus of $4,000 if four hundred or more hours of volunteer time is logged toward the stewardship project. The stewardship project is a habitat restoration project located at the Kishwaukee Valley Conservation Area. Information about the stewardship challenge has been distributed by the BCCD newsletter; a presentation to the Kishwaukee Chapter of Pheasants Forever ($1,000 donation received); the Belvidere Rotary Club; The Illinois Extension’s Master Gardeners; the Boone County Community Foundation; the BCCD Board of Trustees; the Mayor of Belvidere; the Superintendent of School District 100; the Volunteer Services Director of School District 200; and numerous individuals (former BCCD Trustee Dave Sliktas donated $500).
PARC Grant Application – Illinois Department of Natural Resources:
 2014 Grant Application: All State of Illinois Grant Programs are Frozen.
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – Monarch Habitat Grant Program: The BCCD is working with the Forest Preserve District of Winnebago County and the Natural Land Institute to prepare and submit a grant that will facilitate the propagation of native plant materials that will assist local populations of Monarch Butterflies and other native pollinators. We did not get a grant prepared in time to submit this grant cycle (application deadline is mid-July), but we are working to develop a grant proposal for the next grant cycle. Our intention is to grow our own native seed and distribute it to the community at large and expand our own habitat plantings. Pam Stock and Josh Sage are the primary BCCD staff involved in this effort.
United States Environmental Protection Agency – Environmental Education Grant: The BCCD is working with the Boone County Health Department and the Boone County Soil and Water Conservation District to develop a grant application that will engage the local community to become aware of local issues affecting their water resources. The grant project will seek to involve a wide range of local community groups and organizations in the educational efforts. We are nearing the point of seeking organization involvement and support. The grant, if awarded, would provide nearly $90,000 to implement and evaluate the educational efforts and assess the results of raising community awareness. This grant is due for submittal by the end of November.
Easement/License Agreement Request(s):
 North Boone Farms LLC License Agreement and Easement Agreement request. This proposal has been reviewed by the License Review Committee. The gist of the proposal request meets the criteria detailed in License Agreement Ordinance #98. There do remain some specific language issues to be addressed, and Attorney Karl Winkler is following up with the applicant’s attorney to address those concerns. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources also had some comments from their review
that need to be incorporated into the agreement language. (This issue will be on the Board Meeting Agenda for discussion and/or action to approve the License Agreement)
 Frontier Communications application: Frontier has acknowledged the letter from Attorney Jason Augsburger, who is working with Attorney Karl Winkler. The response indicated that Frontier was reviewing the letter and follow-up in the next week or so. I have not received any information indicating a response
o In addition, Attorney Winkler has indicated that the ordinance he drafted should be identified as Ordinance 98A. A copy of this document was included with the May board packet. Please come to the board meeting prepared to discuss and approve this document. (This issue will be on the Board Meeting Agenda for discussion and/or action to approve the draft amendment)
Proposed Land Donations:
There are no new proposals to consider.
OpenLands Project:
1. The County Line Road Bridge Project: McHenry County Division of Transportation has experienced some technical issues with their bids for this project. They are going to postpone the project until next spring. However, I contacted Walter Dittrich, Project Engineer, to see how this affects the mitigation work we are slated to do. He advised me to proceed with the wetland mitigation and tree mitigation work as we had planned and to invoice McHenry County DOT for the funds to cover the project costs.
Update BCCD Master Plan: There isn’t any new information to report at this time.
Long Prairie Trail (LPT): The District continues to receive complaints from patrons regarding the pavement. The Belvidere Township Supervisor has informed us that the Township may not be able to rework the pavement by grinding, covering with limestone screenings and rolling the new surface to establish a safe and manageable condition that is compliant with IDNR trail standards.
2015 Firearm Hunt: Details for using the Boone County Sheriff’s Department firearm range as a site to conduct our qualifications are in the process of being finalized. The BCCD is extending liability coverage to the County and the Sheriff’s Department for this activity. As soon as the details for dates and other aspects have been completed, we will post the firearm hunt information on our website and on Facebook to inform our patrons.
New Issues & Activities:
Capron Activities Committee: The Village of Capron has a new group that is organizing activity days for residents. Tina Dawson Scott and I met with this group on Saturday, June 20th to lead a nature walk on the Long Prairie Trail. About 10 residents attended and we walked about a mile on the trail discussing invasive species, native plants, pollinators, and the issues affecting the condition of the pavement on the trail.
New Observation Bee Hive: Ray Johnson has volunteered his time and talent to build a new observation bee hive for the classroom. The design of the new hive is based on the old one, plus some features that will hopefully make managing it easier. We hope to have the new observation hive installed soon.
Heritage Day 5K Challenge: Mick has provided a detailed report on this event.
Camp Redtail Pre-trip Parent Meeting: Tina Dawson Scott and I met with the camp program participants, reviewed the program rules, demonstrated the use of district equipment, and discussed the Leave No Trace principals that form the framework of our outdoor experiences. Tina presented a PowerPoint that covered our expectations and informed the participants about what to expect on each of the two trips. The first Camp Redtail trip goes to Maquoketa State Park in Iowa with caving as the featured activity. The second Camp Redtail trip travels to the Sylvania Wilderness in the U.P. of Michigan and is an introduction to wilderness canoe camping experience.
Illinois Wildlife Action Plan: The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is in the process of updating the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, which addresses species in greatest need of conservation. Part of this plan involves areas considered to be more urbanized or metropolitan. This part of the initial plan was woefully inadequate, and needed substantial revision. Boone County, situated between Winnebago and McHenry Counties,
was going to be omitted by IDNR reviewers. Fortunately, Nancy Williamson realized this and worked to get our involvement included. Josh Sage, Aarron Minson, and I met on several occasions at the Natural Land Institute with other regional natural land management agencies to review existing data and provide updated information. We listed and prioritized issues and concerns that affect a wide range of species that have the greatest need of conservation in this region. We provided some valuable input, which should keep us eligible for grant programs offered by private foundations such as the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and the Grand Victoria Foundation’s Vital Lands grant programs
IACD and IAC&FPD Employee Conference: BCCD staff have been working with other Districts to organize an employee conference to be held at the Starved Rock State Park Conference Center in February, 2016. Tina Dawson Scott is chairing our conference planning committee. Our focus is to develop a conference that includes topics covering all aspects involved with conservation districts and forest preserve districts; as well as other organizations such as land trusts that manage important conservation lands or provide educational programing.
We have recently confirmed our speakers for the conference. Randy Heidorn, Director of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission will be our Keynote Speaker, and Bill Kleiman, Nachusa Grasslands Project Manager, will be the Dinner Speaker. Both are well respected experts in the field of natural resources management. We will keep you informed as this conference continues to take shape.
Welcome New BCCD Trustee Mathew Bullard: Matt attended the June board meeting, so I think everyone has had a chance to meet our newest board member. Matt is from Northern Boone County, is the owner of a local trucking business, and has a family heritage of farming in Boone County.Monthly Report July 2015
Director of Operations Mick Johnston

Tom Abraham with PCF and Belvidere Mayor Chamberlain approached the District about having an event in conjunction with the Heritage Days celebration here in Belvidere. This was the first time that an event of this nature was given permission to hold their event. Before the event we spent a lot of time going through the site (Spencer) to try to visualize any damage that might occur. We made sure that the proper documentation was done. Dan Kane and I attended the event to watch the event and take pictures. There was about 100 participants and 100 spectators for the event. It was felt by both Dan and I that they did an excellent job of running the event. They did what they were asked to do and did not cause any damage. Our maintenance staff noted that they couldn’t even tell they were there.
Great job goes out to Tom Abraham and his staff on a well-run event!

Thank You! The Boone County Conservation District, the Boone County Conservation District staff, and the community we serve extends their appreciation and gratitude to Bill Wolf for his years of service as a BCCD Trustee. Bill has contributed much toward the success of this agency and his insight and thoughtfulness will be greatly missed.
Thank You! The Boone County Conservation District is sorry to announce that BCCD Trustee Jan Soltys has accepted new employment with the Boeing Corporation and will be relocating to Seattle, Washington. Jan has also provided much to the District and her contributions are also greatly appreciated. We are excited for her and wish her every success as she starts the next chapter in her life – enjoy the west coast and all of the natural wonders waiting to be explored there!
Volunteer Appreciation Picnic: Following the July board meeting, the BCCD will host a picnic for its many volunteers that help support the District in so many ways. BCCD Trustees – please plan to attend this picnic, which will start at 6:00 p.m. at the Coon Creek Casters Shelter across from the Roger Gustafson Nature Center. Family members are encouraged to join us!
*Remember to check the BCCD Website for new programs and activities! The web address is: Please feel free to call me in advance of the meeting if you have questions about anything in this report, the accompanying documents, or about a district related issue. Thank you!

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