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updated: 4/10/2014 12:46 PM

Kane Co. forest district eyeing 37 acres in Big Rock

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  • The 37-acre property the Kane County Forest Preserve District is considering is on the western border of Kane County in an unincorporated area near Big Rock.

      The 37-acre property the Kane County Forest Preserve District is considering is on the western border of Kane County in an unincorporated area near Big Rock.
    Courtesy of Kane County Forest Preserve District

 
 

A state grant combined with remaining funds from a 2011 tax increase referendum might help transform 37 acres of prime woodland into Kane County Forest Preserve District property.

The land is owned by the Antos family and is located near County Line and Lasher roads in an unincorporated area near Big Rock.

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The woodland includes pocket wetlands and ponds underneath large hardwoods and is located within the 300-acre Big Rock Creek watershed.

District officials and local preservation groups identified the area, including this specific land, as a priority natural area 15 years ago.

"Big Rock Creek is one of the highest quality tributaries to the Fox River," said forest preserve Executive Director Monica Meyers in a written statement. "This project offers a first-time opportunity to invest in land in this section of the watershed."

District officials are still negotiating a final purchase price for the land. State officials awarded the district with a $389,200 grant to purchase and develop open space earlier this month.

That money will pool with funds the district still has from the $30 million tax increase voters approved in 2011.

Forest preserve commissioners spent about $22 million of those funds, so far, to acquire 1,546 acres.

If the district acquires the Antos property, the plan is to install a woodland and wetland interpretive trail, signs and a parking area with a trailhead kiosk. There will also be an overlook and habitat restoration work at the site.

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