TPL buys 92 acres along Kishwaukee River

BELVIDERE, IL, 01/07/2005?- The Trust for Public Land (TPL), a national non-profit conservation organization, announced today that it has purchased 92 farmland and forested acres along Kishwaukee River just west of the growing town of Belvidere, IL.

The acquisition of the property was made to support an effort by the Boone County Conservation District, which already owns much of the surrounding land. TPL intends to transfer the property over to the district at a later date.

The property is tucked between two growing metropolitan areas – the Rockford and burgeoning Chicago regions. As major development squeezes the Belvidere region, the purchase adds to the land owned by the District along the Kishwaukee River and expands the District’s open space holdings for future generations.

The land is situated just north of Newburg Road and east of the Distillery Road Conservation Area. The property is the center of an area known as the Kishwaukee Bottoms. It also is adjacent to Anderson Woods, which is used by the District for its youth overnight camping programs. Its purchase is one of many TPL hopes to facilitate in the coming years as both it and the Boone County Conservation District (BCCD) seek to protect this vital watershed from encroaching development. TPL purchased the Sewel Farm along Coon Creek, a Kishwaukee tributary, on behalf of the District in 2003.

“This is part of a larger vision,” said Jeffrey Greenspan, the TPL project manager who brought the deal to fruition. “It is part of a vision to protect the Kishwaukee River watershed. This purchase protects important natural land in the Chicago-Rockford Growth Corridor. It adds to existing District lands along the Kishwaukee. We thank the land owners and their families who worked with us to protect land so important to them that now will be enjoyed by all of Boone County’s residents.”

Officials say the new purchase could allow opportunities for primitive camping accessed by canoe or hiking. The property will likely be restored to native habitats such as prairie and oak savannah.

“TPL’s ability to act quickly is critical to our success in this conservation effort,” notes Dan Kane, Boone County Conservation District Director. “The long term vision depends on our ability to protect land before it is permanently lost to other land uses. This property is significant because it increases the continuity of District properties along the Kishwaukee River and expands the District’s opportunity to preserve the natural character of this unique water resource.”

The Trust for Public Land specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiations, public finance, and law, to protect land for people to enjoy as parks, greenways, community gardens, urban playgrounds, and wilderness. Regional accomplishments include the protection of Plum Island near Starved Rock State Park in Illinois, numerous city parks in Chicago and the protection of various properties within the Hoosier National Forest in Southern Indiana. Nationwide, TPL has helped protect more than 1.6 million acres. To learn more, visit