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Working to Save Farmland and Wild Space: Angelic Organics Learning Center

January 18, 2012

Kinnikinnick Fields

By Corinne Henry, Angelic Organics Learning Center

Angelic Organics Learning Center is working to save a 70-acre parcel of farmland and wild space from future development. The land located in northern Boone County, Illinois and is adjacent to Angelic Organics farm. Known as Kinnikinnick Fields, the parcel home to the beautiful Kinnikinnick Creek, one of the cleanest streams in the state. The land is also home to a beautiful Bur Oak Savanna remnant.

Kinnikinnick Fields is highly prized by developers, and has been identified as a critical area for protection in the Boone County Greenways Plan. The Learning Center aims to remove Kinnikinnick Fields from the speculative marketplace and preserve it permanently for wildlife, organic farming, and beginning farmer education and training.

Angelic Organics Learning Center (AOLC) is the nonprofit educational organization partner to Angelic Organics, the biodynamic CSA vegetable farm featured in the award-winning documentary, “The Real Dirt on Farmer John.” The Learning Center’s educational programs serve more than 4,000 people per year, bringing urban and rural people together to build the local food system. In the past decade, the Learning Center has helped train more than 100 farmers to launch sustainable farms in our region and developed dozens of new urban gardens in Chicago and Rockford.

Kids in the field during one of Angelic Organics Learning Center educational programs

Kinnikinnick Fields will eventually become a permanent home land base for the Learning Center’s educational programming. They plan to build an ecological educational facility on a small portion of the land, white restoring and maintaining the woodlands, savanna and creek. They will also work with a recognized land trust to place the land into a permanent conservation easement, which will protect the land in perpetuity. A portion of the land will be use for biodynamic farming, thus protecting the water quality of the creek.

The Learning Center has a deadline of February 29, 2012 to raise the funds needed to purchase the land. To date $458,000 has been raised and an additional $67,000 is needed. To learn more about the Save the 70 campaign, visit the Learning Center’s website at www.learngrowconnect.org or contact Executive Director Tom Spaulding at 815-389-8455 or savethe70@learngrowconnect.org.

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