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WCC & Kane forest district swap land

Updated: September 9, 2012 6:07AM

SUGAR GROVE — Waubonsee Community College and the Kane County Forest Preserve District have finalized an exchange of land at the college’s Sugar Grove campus.

Through the agreement, Waubonsee obtained 33 acres of farmland from the forest preserve district in return for 66 acres of wooded natural areas and wetlands adjacent to Blackberry Creek and the Hannaford Woods/Nickels Farm Forest Preserve.

“This exchange effectively provides for the college’s long-term growth needs while also increasing the natural areas preserved for our community,” Waubonsee President Christine Sobek said.

“This is an excellent example of local organizations working together for the greater good. We’re grateful to be able to partner with the Forest Preserve District of Kane County in this way.”

The forest district now owns and manages the Blackberry Creek corridor from Bliss Road all the way to west of Route 47.

The 66 acres will expand the district’s Hannaford Preserve to more than 400 acres. In addition, Waubonsee provided about $400,000 to the forest preserve district to help with additional land acquisition efforts.

“This exchange just makes so much sense,” said Monica Meyers, executive director for the forest preserve district. “It’s one of those times where the people served by both agencies come out ahead.”

The Conservation Foundation helped the college and forest preserve district work out the agreement. Brook McDonald, president/CEO of The Conservation Foundation, said that his organization was pleased to help with the process.

“It’s not every day that an agreement is reached that will simultaneously protect Blackberry Creek, increase the acres of forest preserve two-fold, and meet the needs of students — now and in the future,” McDonald said. “This is a classic win-win for everyone, including Mother Nature.”

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