Transparency Portal

McHenry County Conservation District is committed to open government. This portal is a centralized source of frequently requested information, including District budgets, contact information and Board of Trustee actions. The District will work to continually improve this transparency portal so residents can feel confident about the stewardship of their tax dollars.

The Transparency Portal is organized into these categories:
Search by Title or use the top right Search to look up by Topic.
Overview of the District
Public Records
Annual Budgets & Financial Reports
Fiscal Responsibility
Land Protection
Ordinances & Resolutions
Board Meetings
FOIA & Citizens Request

Overview of the District

Created by a group of ecologically conscientious citizens in 1971 and supported by the Illinois Conservation District Act of 1963, the McHenry County Conservation District began with the mission to preserve open space, and to provide environmental education programs and resources for recreational opportunities to the public. Today, McHenry County Conservation District continues as a special district governed by a seven member Board of Trustees appointed by the McHenry County Board.  
District Profile

McHenry County Conservation District is governed by a board of seven volunteer trustees appointed by the Chairman of the County Board and with the consent of the County Board. Trustees serve a five-year term without compensation. 
Board of Trustees
The McHenry County Board Chairman nominates members of the McHenry County Conservation District Board. The County Board approves the appointments, and the District budget. 
Structure Overview
The District is led by an Executive Leadership Team consisting of an Executive Director and four Directors in charge of separate divisions.  Managers who oversee day-to-day operations and District staff make up the rest of the Leadership Team. Meet Our Team
The District is separated into four divisions: Operations & Public Safety, Land Preservation & Natural Resources, Marketing & Education, and Administration & Finance. View Our Org Chart
2020 Survey Findings
Highlights & Historic Comparisons

The Conservation District contracted with aQity Research & Insights of Evanston, IL to complete a Community Attitude and Interest Survey that occurred between February 7 and March 10, 2020.  

The survey results revealed that in terms of overall esteem, the Conservation District received favorable ratings from two-thirds (66%) of respondents, where notably 30% who hold the Conservation District in the highest regard.  

The goal of the survey was to receive at least 400 completed responses. Instead, the survey generated a much higher response rate than expected. The final count of 666 respondents came in roughly 67% higher than the target quota.

The public’s response to preserve open space, protect wildlife habitat and restore natural areas received overwhelming support from site users. The overall satisfaction of conservation areas ranked high, whereby 88% of respondents indicated they were “very to completely satisfied” with their experiences they had with McHenry County Conservation District. Visitors also gave high marks (8.2 on a 10 point scale) to accessibility, cleanliness and upkeep, and overall safety. No age group rates the District unfavorably.

The survey further identified and prioritized the most important goals for the District to focus on. These were (in order or importance): maintain existing sites, trails and facilities; preserve and restore wildlife habitat; protect watersheds (quality and flood control); provide outdoor classrooms; purchase and protect open space; and provide trails, fishing access and other outdoor recreational opportunities.

Of the Conservation District’s 35 sites that are open to the public, survey respondent’s favored sites come as no surprise, citing Glacial Park, The Hollows, and the Prairie Trail, followed by the Nippersink Canoe Trail as their top destinations. By far, the biggest barrier to visiting a conservation area was indicated as due to lack of time (cited by 48% of non-users). 

Public Records

The Strategic Plan (FY2021 - FY2023) covers a three year period from April 1, 2021 to March 30, 2023. The plan provides clear direction for the work of the District, and features four main pillars. These pillars focus on water, land, community and stewardship, and will launch strategic initiatives and conservation efforts that will set the course for a better tomorrow. 
FY2021-2023 Strategic Plan
The Strategic Plan (FY2016 - FY2020) covered the five year period from April 1, 2015 to March 30, 2020. The plan provided clear direction for the work of the District, and featured three main goals. These goals included: Preservation; Education & Public Affairs; Recreational Activities, Site Access & Public Safety; and Organizational Excellence.
FY2016-FY2020 Strategic Plan

To accomplish the goals established by the FY2016-FY2020 Strategic Plan, strategies and tactics were designed and implemented. This 12-page document offers an overview of those strategies and tactics. 
Strategies and Tactics for Strategic Plan FY2016-FY2020

The Conceptual Framework for Long Range Planning is intended to serve as a support document to guide the District in setting priorities from 2010 to 2030 of Preservation, Education, Recreation and Organizational Effectiveness. 
Long Range Plan
The Comprehensive Site Development and Public Access Plan defines the recreational needs of the County within the McHenry County Conservation District’s mission, and assists the District in utilizing proper planning to ensure District sites are opened to the public when the integration of safety, quality, land acquisition, natural resource protection and organizational capacity is secured to implement and maintain them.  
View Plan
In March of 2012 the District published the final version of this document featuring the results of the ADA System-Wide Audit of all sites and facilities. The document also contains a Transition Plan with recommendations for implementation. 
View Audit and Plan

Annual Budgets & Financial Reports

The District has financial documents available online including Budgets, Financial Audits, Financial Reporting Awards, Treasurer's Report, Employee Compensation, and Contracts. 

Search by Title or use the top right Search to look up by Topic. 
Budgets and Financial Reports

Fiscal Responsibility

McHenry County Conservation District continues its long history of fiscal responsibility. We encourage citizens to understand where their tax dollars go, and the services the District provides. 
Learn More 

Land Protection

McHenry County Conservation District owns or manages over 25,603 acres of open space throughout the county that provides wildlife habitat preservation, educational opportunities and outdoor recreational amenities for the citizens of McHenry County to appreciate and enjoy. Learn about the District's Land Acquisition.

Ordinances & Resolutions

Ordinances are passed by our Board of Trustees. As they are added throughout the year, they will be placed on our Ordinances Page. Our General Use Rules and Regulations Ordinances document is updated annually. 
Ordinances  or General Use Rules and Regulations Ordinance Document 
Resolutions, or written motions, are adopted by our Board of Trustees. 

Board Meetings

The Board of Trustees meets as a Committee of the Whole on the 3rd Thursday of each month to discuss items on the agenda for the regular meeting. Action on those agenda items is taken on the 4th Tuesday of each month. Meetings are held at the Brookdale Administrative Offices and are open to the public.

Search by Title or use the top right Search to look up by Topic.
Board Meeting Documents
Documents from past board meetings can be located in our Board Meeting Archive.
Board Meeting Archive

FOIA & Citizens Request

Illinois Freedom of Information Act, 5 ILCS 140/1
FOIA allows members of the public to access public records to promote government transparency and accountability. The principle mandate of the Act provides that upon submission of a written request, each public body shall make available to any person for inspection or copying any requested records that are subject to disclosure under the Act. Not all records are subject to disclosure. 
FOIA Information

A request must be submitted to obtain information. Please see the following documents regarding making a request. 
How to Obtain FOIA Information
FOIA Request Form