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September 30, 2014
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The Value of Oak Trees

 Oak Tree Mapping Project Will be Used to Preserve Ecosystem Biodiversity

A unique layer included on the Kane County 2040 Green Infrastructure Map is that of remnant oak woodlandsRemnant oak woodlands are clusters of oak trees at least one acre in size and are what is remaining, as of 2011 aerial maps, compared to clusters that existed on 1939 aerial maps. Identifying these remnant clusters is important to the implementation of the Kane County 2040 Green Infrastructure Plan because oaks are considered to be a keystone species in our ecosystem and are driving much of the biodiversity in our region.

Kane County would not have the

remnant oak woodlands data available for inclusion on the Green Infrastructure Map if it weren't for the efforts of Chicago Wilderness and the Morton Arboretum in identifying oak remnants, by county, in the Chicago region. After field checking identified clusters of 20 acres or larger, Kane County Development Department staff developed a map of potential blocks of oak clusters, some over 1,000 acres. These conceptual blocks will be useful in the implementation of the Green Infrastructure Plan and additional initiatives Chicago Wilderness and the Arboretum are currently working on...stay tuned!


For more information on the Kane County Green Infrastructure Plan and Map and our wonderful oak remnants, please contact Karen Ann Miller, AICP, Executive Planner at or (630) 232-3418.

walkInternational Walk to School Day in Kane County - October 9th
Spread the Word and Help Make Kane County Fit for Kids

On October 8th, the Fit for Kids Funders' Consortium will be sponsoring the Fifth International Walk to School Day in Kane County! Schools that participate in walking to school will be eligible to receive $100 through the Making Kane County Fit for Kids Funders' Consortium. Participation in this Kane County program has grown each year. Participation included 46 schools in 2010, 49 schools in 2011, 53 schools in 2012 and 60 schools last year! Please spread the word about this great event and help Kane County increase participation again this year! To register, visit the Making Kane County Fit for Kids website.

Similar to most communities in the United States, Kane County is faced with the epidemic of childhood obesity. The Kane County Health Department and the Fit for Kids Program have proactively addressed this issue through multiple initiatives including the Community Health Improvement Plan and the Fit Kids 2020 Plan. While there are many policies that can be changed, the everyday habits and routines of our children can also be improved. Participating in the International Walk to School Day will raise awareness of the importance of physical activity in daily life and will help Kane County take another step towards having the healthiest residents in Illinois.
For further information about Walk to School Day, email
Expert consultant will analyze county conditions for a food hub

The project team for Kane County's Food Hub Feasibility Study met on September 19th to discuss a draft Request for Proposal for hiring an expert consultant. The team consists of staff representatives from Kane and McHenry County, as well as the Northern Illinois Food Bank, the Kane County Farm Bureau and the Fit for Kids Funders' Consortium. The Food Hub Feasibility Study was originally recommended in the the Growing for Kane Health Impact Assessment as a tool for developing the infrastructure to enable area food growers to scale up production for local sale. With the help of a food hub consultant, Kane County and its partners hope to develop the study as a resource for business leaders, non-profit managers, and other institutions with an interest and capacity to manage a future operation.

During the meeting, the project team refined the project scope of work to prioritize a key set of project deliverables including an operations plan, orientation strategy and site recommendations. McHenry County staff provided background information on the county's Local Foods Assessment and other planning efforts to promote local foods and agricultural activity as desirable--including the exploration of food hubs as a means to grow the market for local foods. Once the Purchasing Department has reviewed and approved the final version of the RFP, it will be disseminated for qualifying consultants to submit their proposals.

For questions or comments on the Food Hub Feasibility Study, please contact Matt Tansley with the Kane County Planning Division at 630-232-3493 or


Tons Recycled at Kane County's Monthly Recycling Event
Over 1,000 residents participate in county recycling event

The Kane County Recycling Event held on Saturday, September 13th in St. Charles was highly attended by over 1,000 residents, of which 800 had electronics to recycle, 80 had latex paint for recycling and reuse, and 480 had confidential documents for shredding. People dropping of books were not counted separately.

Electronics were the largest volume and weigh of material collected, with 100,000 pounds (50 tons, 4.5 semi-trucks full) and the free document shredding came in second, with 22,000 pounds (11 tons, 2 shred trucks full). 740 cans of paint were brought for recycling, 10,000 pounds of books, and 475 pounds of cardboard boxes that had books or documents in them. The grand total of materials collected is well over 200,000 pounds (100 tons). These materials will be kept from the landfill and will be reused or recycled! Electronics and book recycling events are always held on the second Saturday of the month from 8am-Noon at 540 S. Randall Rd. in St. Charles.

For exact dates, and to see what other special materials we may be recycling at each event, please see the Kane County recycles webpage, or contact the Kane County Recycling Coordinator Jennifer Jarland at or 630-208-3841.
National Preparedness Month Serves as Reminder to Plan Ahead for Disasters
KCHD can help you and your community prepare for disasters

Emergency preparedness planning is an important part of planning for the safety of residents. Verifying your city or village has a plan in place to respond to natural disasters like flooding or tornadoes ensures that residents will receive information quickly and municipal services will continue to operate. Emergency preparedness planning should be included in comprehensive plans as a reminder of the importance of planning ahead for disasters or terrorist threats.With September being National Preparedness Month, we wanted to highlight the importance of preparing and planning for the unthinkable.

Visit the Kane County Health Department Emergency Response Website to learn more about making an emergency stockpile kit for home and preparing your community.


smartApply Now for a Free Smart Growth America Workshop
Apply for up to 12 different workshops and enhance livability in your community

As our communities continue to grow, efficient urbanization is gong to become
increasingly important. Inefficient sprawling development patterns impose costs on municipal budgets, hardworking families and our county's wide-ranging businesses. By effectively guiding compact, mixed-use development toward existing infrastructure and transit options, your community can set in motion a chain of interconnected benefits. Your community can stimulate economic development, improve air and water quality, reduce our carbon footprint, help address the epidemic of obesity and diabetes, improve public safety, ensure attainable housing and generally improve our residents' quality of life.

Smart Growth America is currently offering 12 different smart growth workshops that will present a range of techniques your community can use to effectively plan for a more vibrant future. Communities can apply for multiple workshops but will need to fill out a new application for each. 

Click here to view the list of offered free workshops.

In addition to the free public workshops, Smart Growth America can be commissioned to conduct a smart growth related workshop for a reasonable price. Click here to learn more about these opportunities!

energyIllinois Energy Now is Offering $70 Million in Energy Efficiency Retrofit Rebates
Energy efficiency funding and technical assistance available for public buildings

Illinois Energy Now (IEN) is an energy program
 administered by the State of Illinois that offers millions of dollars in rebates to public entities to encourage electric and natural gas retrofits for their facilities. IEN funding leverages and supports multiple other energy efficiency programs offered through the Smart Energy Design Assitance Center (SEDAC)Energy Resource Center (ERC) and the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA).

To learn more about these programs and energy efficiency incentives, click here!

Kane County Planning Cooperative
Brett Hanlon, Land Use Planner - (630) 232-3491 - or

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Kane County Planning Cooperative | 719 S. Batavia Ave. | Geneva | IL | 60134