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updated: 9/6/2011 9:09 AM

Conservation area master plan will look at Camp Algonquin

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  • Camp Algonquin closed in March, and McHenry County Conservation District officials will decide what to do with the 116-acre site as part of a master plan for the 395-acre Fox Bluff Conservation Area.

       Camp Algonquin closed in March, and McHenry County Conservation District officials will decide what to do with the 116-acre site as part of a master plan for the 395-acre Fox Bluff Conservation Area.
    Christopher Hankins | Staff Photographer

 
 

In the next few months, McHenry County Conservation District officials will begin to consider what to do with the site of the now-closed Camp Algonquin.

The 116-acre site is part of the Fox Bluff Conservation Area, which totals 395 acres, said MCCD Executive Director Elizabeth Kessler. The conservation area has a walking and hiking trail that runs from Cold Springs Road to the banks of the Fox River, where people can fish and picnic.

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District officials will begin working on a master plan for the entire conservation area sometime this fall, likely around November, and determine how to use all the land -- including the camp site, Kessler said.

The more than 100-year-old camp on Cary-Algonquin Road between the two villages closed its doors in March, after the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago purchased the assets of the YMCA of McHenry County -- which leased the land from MCCD -- and decided it was not interested in running the camp.

The camp site is now off-limits to the public, and district staff performs maintenance as needed with all utilities shut off, Kessler said.

The district offers a variety of day camps and educational programs, but no overnight camps, said Kessler, who didn't rule out the possibility of reviving Camp Algonquin as a camp site. "(The master plan) needs to run its course," she said. "There is structural analysis (of the former camp buildings) that we know will need to be done."

A draft master plan available for public viewing and comment during open house meetings will be ready no earlier than May, she said. The district will ask for input from municipalities, townships and McHenry County, she said.

The last master plan for the Fox Bluff Conservation Area was done in 2003, the year before the district acquired the Camp Algonquin site, Kessler said.

"It should be very exciting," Kessler said. "We look forward to the process."

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