Our Mission

The mission of Barrington Area Conservation Trust is to preserve our community’s rare and exceptional open spaces for current and future generations.  We are able to achieve our mission through the generous support of individual members, family foundations, and business organizations.

History of Barrington Area Conservation Trust


Barrington Hills Conservation Trust (later renamed Barrington Area Conservation Trust to address conservation needs throughout the Barrington communities) is founded by Mary Bradford-White to preserve the open space, rural character, and scenic, recreational, historic, and natural resources of the Barrington communities through advocacy, education, and promotion of responsible land stewardship.


BACT is awarded the prestigious Garfield Farm Award for accomplishments in preserving agricultural lands.


BACT receives a grant from the McGraw Foundation to create and publicize the Conservation Buyer program and started the Save our Countryside Program.


BACT rolls out the Heritage Corridor Program to ensure that the rural and scenic character of our residential roads will be preserved.


Jenese Busch donates a beautiful wooded ravine to BACT and names it in honor of her father Jack David Mondschine.


BACT receives a grant from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to implement a series of watershed educational programs as well as a grant from the Village of North Barrington to publicize and implement North Barrington’s action items within the Flint Creek Watershed Plan.


BACT protects its first Heritage Corridor along Old Sutton Road from Lake-Cook Road to Donlea by purchasing Pederson Preserve using funds granted by Freddie Pederson.


BACT receives a valuable donation from the Smith family of important wildlife and bird habitat adjacent to the Spring Lake area of Spring Creek Forest Preserve named The Brother’s Preserve. BACT also secures easements that add to BACT’s goal of projecting scenic roads and vistas of the community. BACT hosts its first Earth Day Celebration in Pederson Preserve and initiates its Conservation@Home program to offer consultations with homeowners on how to make their yards more environmentally friendly.


BACT receives a $100,000 grant from the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation to further its mission of preserving critical land parcels. In another landmark project, BACT works with Cuba Township, the Village of Tower Lakes and Citizens for Conservation to provide funding for the government bodies to purchase a 15.5 acre parcel in Tower Lakes known as Barclay’s Woods, the Barclay’s Woods property is placed in easement with BACT to preserve its valuable natural features. BACT also adds a rare gravel hill prairie to its easements and furthers its Heritage Corridor program by securing easements that protect Brinker Road, Ridge Road and County Line Road. BACT also forms the Tower Lakes Drain Watershed Partnership as part of its efforts to protect wetlands and address concerns about water quality. In addition, BACT hosts a Great Oaks Contest recognizing the caretakers of the valuable remaining oak trees.


Barrington High School’s Leo Club, Green Team, National Honor Society, Horticulture and Environmental Science Programs help to install native wetland plants cultivated by John Ardente’s horticulture class at Pederson Preserve on Earth Day.


Steve and Mary Smith make a significant 12-acre land donation to BACT and name it Far Field. The area had once been an oak savanna and BACT began work to restore the field to its native glory.


BACT partners with the Barrington High School to create a comprehensive Conservation Leadership Project (CLP), which would later be known as Conservation@School. This program provides students the opportunity to be engaged in the environment through a variety of experiences including classroom programing and hands-on field work. In September of 2014, the Illinois Conservation Foundation inducted BACT’s founding board member, Betsy Bramsen, into its Hall of Fame for her decades of work for conservation and natural resources.


BACT launches a campaign to protect the monarch butterfly with the receipt of a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Through this project, BACT works with other land conservation organizations as well as schools and homeowners to restore habitat for this important pollinator. BACT also creates a youth board named “Teens4Greens” to actively engage the next generation of environmental stewards in addition to BACT’s ongoing efforts with students through Conservation@School. In the last quarter of 2016, BACT completes the important Cressey Easement protecting a portion of Spring Creek and receives the donation of Katie’s Marshfrom Scot and Tiffany Thomas featuring wetlands and a stretch of Flint Creek.


The Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation provide grant funding to support BACT’s efforts to restore Pederson Preserve and to create native pollinator habitats. Throughout the year BACT works with over 500 students through presentations and hands-on work, including the installation of a beautiful native garden at the front of Barrington High School. BACT pursues a community wide education campaign on the plight of the monarch resulting in the creation of 55 monarch gardens in the community. BACT also partners with the Field Museum to assess monarch habitats in the community. In December of 2017, BACT receives The Garden Club of America’s Conservation Commendation from The Garden Club of Barrington.


BACT becomes a partner in the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, a collaboration with the Morton Arboretum to educate on the issues facing trees and the steps toward improving the area’s forests. BACT collaborates with scientists from the Morton Arboretum and the Field Museum on initiatives that are vital to healthy ecosystems within our region. These include the Chicago Region Trees Initiative and Urban Monarch Conservation Program.