The Forest Preserves of Cook County Board of Commissioners approved a request to purchase a 24-acre parcel of land in Barrington Hills located at 165 Algonquin Road. The parcel will provide a greenway connection from the Forest Preserve’s Spring Lake Preserve, one of the Forest Preserve’s finest natural area properties, to the 400-acre Horizon Farms property, acquired in 2014.
“As outlined in our Land Acquisition Plan, making purchases near existing parcels of Forest Preserve property benefits the plants and wildlife in the surrounding area,” said Forest Preserves of Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle. “Natural connections to larger areas act as buffers between developed areas and the habitats we are trying to protect.”
Forest Preserve land includes some of the most diverse habitats in Cook County such as forests, wetlands, prairies and savannas.
“Even adding smaller pieces of land to our holdings are important to our overall portfolio,” said General Superintendent Arnold Randall. “We’ve worked to identify properties in close proximity to our current natural areas in order to fill in the gaps in our current holdings.”
The board’s approval grants the FPCC the authority to purchase the parcel for $2.15 million. The money will come from the FPCC’s Real Estate Acquisition Fund which is appropriated with General Operating Funds. In 2012, the sale of General Obligation Bonds provided an additional $27 million earmarked for Land Acquisition.
Once this and other recent acquisitions are final, the District’s total land holdings will be 69,337 acres. Under the leadership of President Preckwinkle, the FPCC has increased its efforts to buy land, adding 1,060 acres since 2011, including this property and other recently approved acquisitions. Land Acquisition is one of the goals of the Next Century Conservation Plan, commissioned by President Preckwinkle, which aims to expand the Forest Preserve footprint to 90,000 acres over the next 25 years.