McHenry County Conservation District stands as a national leader in Environmental Stewardship. It is with sincere gratitude that we recognize and acknowledge our leadership, community leaders, and dedicated staff. We celebrate our achievements and look forward to new trails to be pioneered. The District’s awards and successes were made possible by those who share the vision of safeguarding, appreciating, and the health to our County’s natural areas—woodlands, prairies, wetlands, rivers and lakes as well as enhancing the quality of life for all residents of McHenry County; the people, as well as the flora and fauna.
|AAPRA||American Academy of Park and Recreation Administrators|
|IACD||Illinois Association of Conservation Districts|
|IAPD||Illinois Association of Park Districts|
|IPLEA||Illinois Park Law Enforcement Association|
|IPRA||Illinois Park and Recreation Association|
|NACPRO||National Association of County Parks and Recreation Officials|
|NRPA||National Recreation and Park Association|
|PDRMA||Park District Risk Management Agency|
|TLC||The Land Conservancy of McHenry County|
1995 — Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Regional Director’s Partners for Wildlife Certificate of Appreciation, Outstanding Contributions to Management of Resources on Private Lands
1997 — McHenry County Historic Preservation Commission, Outstanding Preservation and Restoration of the Natural Vista along the Prairie Path
2000 — McHenry County Historical Barn Preservation Association, Special Recognition for Keeping McHenry County Barns Outstanding in the Fields, Wiedrich Barn and the reconstruction of the Fred Hatch silo, the first vertical silo in the U.S.
2000 — McHenry County Historic Preservation Committee, Outstanding Preservation for Restoration of a Natural Area for the de-channelization of Nippersink Creek
2001 — McHenry County Defenders, Special Honor for remeandering and restoration of Nippersink Creek within Glacial Park
2002 — McHenry County Historic Preservation Commission, Outstanding Preservation and Restoration of a Natural Area for preservation and restoration of Alden Sedge Meadow
2003 — IPLEA Officer of the Year, Sergeant Ryan Stewart
2003 — NAI Region 5 Master Interpreter, Education Coordinator Kim Compton
2005 — NACPRO Outstanding Accomplishment in Parks and Recreation, Backyard Native Garden
2006 — IAPD 1st Place Website Design, MCCDistrict.org
2006 — Illinois House of Representative, Certificate of Recognition for the Grand Opening of the Huntley-Union-Marengo Trail, commemorating the District on providing a recreational resource linking neighborhoods, schools and communities.
2007 — McHenry County Defenders Theta Award, Land First Task Force
2007 — IAPD Outstanding Citizen Volunteers, Prairie Trail Safety Watch
2007 — NACPRO Partnership Award, Prairie Trail Safety Watch
2007 — TLC Living with Trees Award
2007 — McHenry County Soil and Water Conservation, Conservation Partnership Award, for promoting Natural Resource Management Systems on publicly owned farmland.
2008 — Habitat Project Pied Piper Award, Volunteer Coordinator Denice Beck for recruiting dozens of new Plants of Concern and Seed Collection volunteers.
2008 — Trust for Public Lands County Leadership in Conservation Award, Oak Ecosystems A Vanishing McHenry County Legacy
2008 — NACPRO Planning Initiative Award, Outstanding Accomplishments: Oak Ecosystems—A Vanishing McHenry County Legacy
2008 — Friends of the Fox River Environmental Hero Award, Education Outreach Coordinator Mary Kozub
2008 — Chicago Wilderness Habitat Project Grassroots Leadership Award Executive Director Elizabeth S. Kessler
2009 — NAI Region 5 Director’s Award, Administrative Assistant Trish Greninger
2009 — PDRMA A+ Loss Control Review Accreditation
2010 — IAPD/IPRA Outstanding Facility Award, Lost Valley Visitor Center
2010 — IAPD/IPRA Outstanding Green Marketing Brochure, Lost Valley Visitor Center
2010 — U.S. Green Building Council LEED Gold Award, Lost Valley Visitor Center
2010 — IPRA Fellow Award, Executive Director Elizabeth S. Kessler
2011–2013 — Midwest Police Motorcycle Skills Competition, “Best on the Bricks”, Sergeant Ryan Stewart and Sergeant Ben Wolfe
2012 — IPLEA Officer of the Year, Sergeant Ty Culver
2012 — Chicago Wilderness Habitat Project Grassroots Leadership Award, Director of Land Preservation & Natural Resources Ed Collins and Research Field Station Ecologist Tom Simpson
2012 — Chicago Wilderness Leadership Award, Executive Director Elizabeth S. Kessler, for developing the Excellence in Ecological Restoration Site Accreditation Program (EERP), Excellence in Ecological Restoration Commission and Celebrating Nature Benefit Event.
2012 — McHenry County Snowmobile Club Special Appreciation, Conservation District for providing public trails
2012 — Equine Coalition of McHenry County, Special Appreciation, for service to the equestrian community in providing public horse trails
2010–2017—The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada Excellence in Financial Reporting for the District’s comprehensive annual financial report
2013 — NACPRO Environmental Conservation Award, Weekend of Restoration
2013 — U.S. Department of the Interior Partner in Conservation Award, for the District’s role in establishment of a bi‑state national wildlife refuge.
2013 — Chicago Audubon Society Protectors of the Environment—Single Act Group Award, Friends of Hackmatack
2013 — McHenry County Conservation District Board of Trustees Meritorious Service Award, Officer Dan Hibbeler
2013 — McHenry County Sheriff’s Department Life Saving Award, Officer Dan Hibbeler
2013 — IAPD Partnership Award, for the McHenry Community Research Forest
2013 — IAPD Best Green Practices
2013 — IAPD 10 Year Service Award, Trustee Bonnie Leahy
2013 — NRPA Barb King Environmental Excellence Award
2013 — Illinois EPA & Chicago Green Cities Coalition Green Fleets Award
2013 — Chicago Wilderness Excellence in Ecological Restoration Platinum Level North Branch Conservation Area.
2013 — PDRMA Accreditation in Risk Management
2014 — Preservation Award from the Illinois Association for the Advancement of Archeology
2014 — Chicago Wilderness Excellence in Ecological Restoration Platinum Level Pleasant Valley Conservation Area.
2014 — IAPD Best of the Best Intergovernmental Cooperation Award – USFWS and establishment of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.
2014 — House Resolution N0. 1347 Offered by Representatives Barbara Wheeler and Michael W. Tryon in congratulations for receipt on Intergovernmental Cooperation Award given by the Illinois Association of Park Districts for partnership with the USFW Service’s Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge. Adopted by the House of Representatives on November 29, 2014
2016 — IAPD Best of the Best Outstanding Citizen Award – Brad Semel, President of McHenry County Conservation Foundation
2016 — IAPD Best of the Best Journalist Award – Steve Sarley, Radio Host and Columnist for promoting the outdoors and the future of fishing.
2016 — IAPD Best of the Best Partnership Award – Equestrian Coalition of McHenry County for efforts and assisting in funding 4.5 mile multiuse trail.
2016 — Chicago Wilderness Excellence in Ecological Restoration Platinum Level Lake in the Hills Conservation Area.
2017 – Great Lakes Park Institute Program Award for Tryon Creek Woods Land Protection Partnership