Matching donation campaign ends Sept. 30 to raise funds for Crowley Oaks Woods

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County has launched a campaign to raise funds for the care and stewardship of Crowley Oaks Woods, an 83.5-acre preserve in Harvard.

The goal is to raise $7,000 through the campaign by the end of September.

If the goal is met, the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation will provide a three-for-one match up to $21,000, for a total of $28,000 for Crowley Oaks Woods.

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County preserved Crowley Oaks for life in 2020. The property includes remnant oak woods, a headwater stream for one of Chicagoland's highest quality waterways (Piscasaw Creek) and about 14 acres of sedge meadow and wet prairie habitat.

The site includes nearly 50 acres of white oaks, bur oaks and hickories that are over 200 years old. Crowley Oaks is part of a larger oak woodland that is nearly 200 acres in size, making it one of the largest remaining in the county.

Oaks are a keystone species in any ecosystem where they occur. Their value as habitat for insects, birds and a diversity of mammals is unmatched by any other tree species. Additionally, oak woodlands and savannas are among the most threatened habitat types globally. In the Chicago Wilderness region, 85 percent of the historic oak woods are gone, and fragmentation is the biggest threat to those that remain.

Plans for the site include establishing public access, removing invasive trees and brush, and re-establishing native grasses and forbs. TLC will also create a hiking area through the woods that will allow visitors to traverse nearly 30 acres of this unique site.

To learn more, visit

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County is a member-based private nonprofit dedicated to preserving natural, scenic and agricultural land.

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