It's only been about one year since voters gave Kane County Forest Preserve District officials another $30 million to buy additional preserve land. As of the this week, the district has spent more than half that money on more than 1,000 new acres of preserves.
District officials closed on a 137-acre land parcel this week in Sycamore. The land will add to the Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve, creating a 965-acre preserve at the far northwest end of Kane County. The land cost about $1.1 million.
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That purchase combines with a $2 million buy in Blackberry Township to bring the grand spending total of the tax increase proceeds to about $17.5 million so far. The Blackberry Township land purchase adds about 103 acres that will help link the Prairie Green Forest Preserve and Mill Creek Greenway.
The purchases mark eight total land buys for district officials with the new tax dollars. There are now 19,861 total acres in the district's holdings.
"We're thrilled with these three acquisitions as they meet some of our key land acquisition strategies and benefits promised to Kane County residents as part of the referendum," forest preserve district Executive Director Monica Meyers said.
"Our priorities have been to add land to existing preserves, increase flood control and water protection, to preserve and restore woodlands, wetlands and prairies, and to create trail linkages."