McHenry County Conservation District  •  18410 US Highway 14 •  Woodstock, IL 60098  •  815-338-MCCD(6223)

  Land Preservation & Natural Resources


Department Info | Scientific Research | Native Plant List | Completed Projects |Research Field Station


Emeral Ash BorerEmerald Ash Borer Beetle (EAB) - The Emerald Ash Borer beetle was detected in 2002 in Kane County and has spread throughout all collar counties including McHenry County. Ash trees in the county are showing signs of the infestation and are dying top down. There is no "cure" but there are ways to help to help slow it down; primarily, do not transport infected firewood. All campgrounds have a ban on outside firewood. See the brochures below for more information.

EAB is widespread at Kishwaukee Corridor from River Ranch to the County Line. Some areas have dead trees and others infected and dying trees. They number at least several hundred and more likely several thousand. It is confirmed at Pleasant Valley and Coral as well. Updated 2/12




EAB What to do

PestAlertEmerald Ash




Recent Discoveries

Cypripedium candidum
Lathyrus ochroleucus
Orchis spectabilis
Cypripedium candidum Lathyrus ochroleucus Orchis spectabilis

Spring 2011 - the greatest amount of new rare plant discoveries were made in one spring than over the past five years. The plants were discovered on sites where land management activities have occurred (i.e., prescribed burning, brush removal, and exotic species control) providing the necessary growing conditions for these plants to show up in places that we have never seen them before - additional proof that restoration and continued land management activities are necessary for rare plant survival. 

Rare Peniophora rufa Fungi Discovered
Rare Lead Plant Moth discovered at Glacial Park
Rare Peniophora rufa Fungi Discovered
Rare Lead Plant Moth discovered at Glacial Park
In 2011-2012, Dr. Patrick Leacock from the Field Museum is studing fungi diversity on district sites.  Dr. Leacock has served as the coordinator of a program established to document the fungi of the Chicago Region.  During a preliminary visit to Glacial Park in October 2010, Dr. Leacock made a new discovery in the Chicago area by finding Peniophora rufa on a dead stem of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides). The only other known record for the greater Chicago Region is a 1984 collection from Waukesha County, Wisconsin, as this species is common to the north and wherever aspen is found.
Thanks to the efforts of Laurie Ryan, District Plant Ecologist and Cathy Pollack of the USFWS Service, a rare prairie moth was discovered at Glacial Park. The leadplant flower moth feeds on the native prairie legume lead plant and is considered extremely rare in Illinois.


Current Restoration Projects: Spring 2012 updates coming soon.


Learn more about Restoration Projects

Left unmanaged, exotic and invasive plant species such as European Buckthorn, Asian honeysuckle and garlic mustard choke out native trees such as oaks, hickories and hazelnuts, creating such dense shade that even the ground layer of wildflowers can no longer survive. Eventually only bare soil remains, resulting in soil erosion and severely curtailing germination and survival of oak acorns.


General Organization of the Natural Resource Management Department

     The Natural Resource Management Department is divided into six major internal sections, each focusing on one or more major areas of concentration within the larger department. The NRM Department in turn focuses on its role within the larger mission of the District as an organization.
     These six sections include (for more information, click on the department section):

  1. Administration
  1. Land Management
  1. Plant Ecology 
  1. Wildlife Ecology
  1. Database & Cartographic Resources 
  1. Research Field Station
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