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Land Donation Expands County Line Forest Preserve


Thanks to the generosity of a local citizen, the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District has received a donation of prime conservation land. The recently donated property is 11.29 acres of land along the Kishwaukee River in Cherry Valley, IL. The land is adjacent to County Line Forest Preserve and will be included within its boundary. It is known in Cherry Valley as the “mill race.” It was originally the property Joseph Griggs, Cherry Valley’s first settler, upon which he built a mill, mill race, and dam. The dam was located where the I-90 bridge now is, located and the mill towards U.S. 20.

The forest preserve addition will be preserved and managed as a natural area. It will be a wildlife sanctuary in an area that is highly developed and likely to undergo more development in the future. WCFPD is actively acquiring land along the Kishwaukee River to create a corridor of preserves that will help protect the health of the river, restore critical floodplain habitat for wildlife, and provide land and water recreation trails. Currently, the new property is accessible only by river. Restoration and access work will begin in spring 2014.

In the words of the donor, “the donation of the property to the Forest Preserve District was the right thing to do.” The Forest Preserve District is grateful for this generous donation.