Watershed projects on tap

CRYSTAL LAKE – The pub­lic is invited to participate in new watershed planning projects developed to protect water resources in two eastern McHenry County watersheds.

The planning areas are for the Sleepy Hollow Creek and Silver Creek watersheds.

Communities within these watersheds include Oakwood Hills, Prairie Grove and portions of Bull Valley, Cary, Crystal Lake, McHenry and nearby areas of unincorporated McHenry County, according to a news release from the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County.

People who live or work within these watersheds are invited to provide input toward developing goals for the watershed planning projects at one of the following two input sessions:

• 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, at Park Place, 406 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake.

• 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, also at Park Place.

An overview of the watershed planning projects will be presented at the evening session. Participants are encouraged to provide input related to community priorities and concerns. Anyone interested in learning more about the planning projects and how watershed planning can benefit communities is welcome to attend.

Those who plan to attend are asked to let the Defenders know by today by sending an e-mail to watershedinfo@mcdefenders.net.

Watersheds are areas of land that drain water into a common receiving body or outlet, such as a stream. The Silver Creek and Sleepy Hollow Creek watersheds are home to significant natural resources, including dedicated Illinois Nature Preserves, rare wetlands, and several lakes enjoyed by community members as recreational resources. Silver Creek and Sleepy Hollow Creek watersheds drain to the Fox River, and working to protect these watersheds will support local communities and help restore Fox River water quality and natural habitat, the news release stated.

Projects identified in watershed protection planning can become eligible for state and federal grants. Additional day and evening meetings will be through December 2011, the news release said.

All meetings are open to the public.

“Input from watershed community members is very valuable in order to create watershed plans that consider local environmental concerns and priorities,” said Lynn Rotunno, Environmental Defenders of McHenry County watershed coordinator.

For information, visit http://foxriverecosystem.org/planning.htm. Rotunno can be reached at watershedinfo@mcdefenders.net. Or call the Environmental Defenders’ office at 815-388-0393.

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