SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today announced the state is acquiring 570 acres of land along the South Fork of the Kishwaukee River in DeKalb County, through his Open Land Trust initiative.
“Kishwaukee is a Native American name given to the river meaning ‘clear water’ and indeed this river is one of the most biologically significant in the state,” Gov. Ryan said. “The state’s acquisition today, along with acreage purchased by local government, will mean a large stretch of the river and its frontage will be protected for all time.”
The property, just west of Kirkland, consists of upland and bottom land forest, marsh, grasslands and the high quality South Fork Kishwaukee River. Turkey, deer and other forest wildlife are common to the site. The river is known for its small mouth bass fishery. The DeKalb County Forest Preserve District intends to acquire 293 acres of land north of the river and already owns the adjacent MacQueen Forest Preserve.
“This is an important acquisition, not only for the natural resources on the property, but also because DeKalb County has very little land available for public outdoor recreation,” Gov. Ryan said.
The state’s part of the acquisition is using $2.68 million in Open Land Trust funding. Once both acquisitions are complete, nearly 900 acres of forested land along 3.2 miles of the river will be in public ownership.
“This property will provide excellent wildlife habitat, hunting and recreational opportunities,” said Department of Natural Resources Director Brent Manning, who oversees land stewardship for the state.
The Illinois Open Land Trust is a $200 million landmark initiative and the largest initiative of its type ever undertaken in the state.
So far during the Ryan administration, 42,219 acres of open space have been acquired for natural resource protection and outdoor recreation.