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Waubonsee and Forest Preserve District of Kane County Finalize Land Exchange

Waubonsee Community College and the Forest Preserve District of Kane County finalized a mutually beneficial exchange of parcels of land on or adjacent to the college’s Sugar Grove Campus on Aug. 3, 2012. The Waubonsee Community College Board of Trustees approved the terms of an intergovernmental agreement June 20, and the Forest Preserve District Board of Commissioners approved the agreement July 10.

Through the agreement, which was facilitated by The Conservation Foundation, Waubonsee obtained 33 acres of farmland from the Forest Preserve District in return for 66 acres of wooded natural areas and wetlands adjacent to Blackberry Creek and the Hannaford Woods/Nickels Farm Forest Preserve.

“Waubonsee has always been a strong proponent of environmental stewardship, and this exchange effectively provides for the college’s long-term growth needs while also increasing the natural areas preserved for our community,” Waubonsee President Dr. Christine Sobek said. “This is an excellent example of local organizations working together for the greater good. We’re grateful to be able to partner with the Forest Preserve District of Kane County in this way.”

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County now owns and manages the Blackberry Creek corridor from Bliss Road all the way to west of Route 47. The 66 acres of land expands the District’s Hannaford Preserve to more than 400 acres. In addition, Waubonsee provided approximately $400,000 to the Forest Preserve District to help with additional land acquisition efforts.

“The college has been a great neighbor to us throughout the years, and this exchange just makes so much sense,” said Monica Meyers, executive director for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County. “It’s one of those times where the people served by both agencies come out ahead.”

Brook McDonald, president/CEO of The Conservation Foundation, said that his organization was pleased to help with the process. “It’s not every day that an agreement is reached that will simultaneously protect Blackberry Creek, increase the acres of forest preserve two-fold, and meet the needs of students — now and in the future. This is a classic win-win for everyone, including Mother Nature.”