Why work for land protection?

The Land Conservancy works throughout the County, but as a nearly all-volunteer organization, it helps to focus our land protection areas in targeted watersheds where the need is most urgent.  We are currently targeting outreach to landowners in Thorn Creek, Forked Creek and Jackson Creek Watersheds.

This photograph shows the tangible value our outreach work will yield when private land protection efforts are part of the mix of land conservation, complementing the good work done by public agencies, such as the Forest Preserve District of Will County or the Illinois’ Nature Preserves Commission.

Many smaller or less strategically-placed lands fall outside of the scope of these agency’s large land protection efforts.  However, a land conservancy such as ours can help fill the gap and provide important, additional value.   Incredible value, in fact, when considering this picture, above.   It was taken by Molly Hacker, and shows the rare plant, Shining Ladies Tresses (Spirantes lucida), growing on a small private land parcel, near Thorn Creek Nature Preserve.    Thankfully, these landowners are conservation-minded, and this plant’s presence was documented and reported to the Plants of Concern program at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Remarkably –  according to Swink and Wilhelm’s Plants of the Chicago Region (1994), this plant has not been seen in Will County since 1897.  A rare and beautiful find.

Thank you, Molly Hacker, for the photograph.  Someday soon, smaller and not-so-small private parcels holding these unique and very rare plants, will have permanent protection.

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