Water & Natural Resources Protection action team

Meets third Thursday of the month.  7PM. Defenders’ office, 110 S. Johnson Street, Suite 106, Woodstock (Woodstock Square Mall) or on Zoom. Contact Cindy Skrukrud for more information: cskrukrud@gmail.com

Brice Alt on Sterne’s Woods restoration project.
Steve Byer on Sterne’s Woods restoration project.
Nancy Schietzelt on Sterne’s Fen restoration project.

In 2015, our Water and Natural Resources Committees combined to work together on a broader scope and mission. And we need more heads, hands, and feet on the ground to help us move forward. Here are some of the ideas/projects that we want to take on:

  • Help the County to accomplish the goals in the Water Resources Action Plan
  • Reactivate our restoration work on two roadside prairies that we stewarded in the past, and expand our efforts to establish prairie plantings along our roadsides
  • Work toward a county-wide and even state-wide coal tar ban
  • Continue with the planning process for the Boone/Dutch Creek watersheds
  • Continue with the implementation phase for the Silver/Sleepy Hollow Creeks Watershed Plan
  • Reduce the amount of chlorides entering our groundwater by educating public on water softeners
  • Activate the Watershed Round Table to promote collaboration between watershed groups
  • Begin restoring portions of our Kishwaukee headwaters property to a healthy prairie
  • Conduct a minimum of two stream clean-ups in the County each year along with the clean-up of the Fox River during It’s Our River Day
  • Help the County to accomplish the goals in the Green Infrastructure Plan
  • Host canoe trips and hikes for Defenders members in our beautiful natural areas to enjoy and appreciate the amazing water and natural resources in our county!

If these plans interest you, and if you have even more ideas to help protect our water and natural resources in the county, we need and want you on this committee. We will be meeting at 7 p.m. on the 3rd Thursday of each month. Please contact the office if you have questions, need more information, or want to place your name on the contact list for the next meeting. We’re hoping to hear from you!

The Defenders’ Water and Natural Resources Committee focuses on both water issues and natural resources issues. They are busy tracking construction site erosion problems, proposals for new gravel pits and oil pipeline pump stations, and giving our groundwater education presentation, “Water: Our Most Precious Resource”.  If you are interested in helping us protect the groundwater, rivers, lakes, creeks and wetlands of McHenry County, join us at our monthly meetings – check the calendar. 

Paddling down The Fox River from Buffalo Park FP in Algonquin to Voyageur Landing in Elgin.

The Illinois EPA must report to the USEPA on the quality of Illinois surface water (e.g., lakes, streams, wetlands) and groundwater resources. You can view these reports.

Work Hard – Play Hard!

The Water and Natural Resources Committee sponsors several canoe/kayak outings each year. Contact the office if you are interested in joining us, and we’ll get you in touch with the trip coordinator.

Each participant must have a signed liability waiver, which you can download HERE.

If you don’t have your own canoe or kayak, you can rent one from a local outfitter or rental store:

If you want to get out on your own in between these trips, check out all the outfitters who supply crafts for different rivers in IL & WI– http://www.paddleaway.com/rentals

Be an Advocate for Water, Schedule a Groundwater Power Point Presentation

The Defenders groundwater presentation “Water: Our Most Precious Resource” is a Power Point presentation that focuses on our water concerns in McHenry County and reviews basic information about the water cycle, groundwater aquifers, and recharge and discharge areas.

The importance of a healthy groundwater aquifer system is stressed and emphasis is placed on the fact that in McHenry County we must rely solely on groundwater for our drinking water; thus, maintaining the quality and quantity of our water is vital.

Any group, including high schools, businesses, clubs, and government offices would benefit from this presentation, which was carefully organized by the groundwater subcommittee of the Defenders Water Resources Protection Committee. To schedule a presentation, please contact the Defenders office.

Many ideas are presented that could be carried out by individuals, groups or governmental bodies to help preserve the quantity and quality of our water for future use.

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Preserve. Protect. Educate.