Milne Sisters Protect Family Land Forever
Honoring Their Parents
The family of Jim and Gladys Milne of Libertyville, IL donated a conservation easement of 15 acres that their family has owned for over 40 years to the Liberty Prairie Conservancy. Mr. and Mrs. Milne had passed away within six months of each other and their three grown daughters were looking for a way to honor their parents' legacy of protecting and caring for the land.
"The Milne family has a deep and abiding love for the land that has been demonstrated by 40 years of care," says Steve Barg, the Conservancy's executive director. "We wanted to help them make sure the land will remain protected forever."
"This was the first of many parcels of open land throughout the county that we expect to help private landowners voluntarily preserve," Barg reveals. "It includes a prairie, woodland, wetlands, a high quality stream and working farmland. The prairie is an original prairie and its a jewel," he adds.
Protecting the Illinois Prairie
According to Barg, there were 23 million acres of prairie in Illinois pre-settlement; today there are 2,300 acres state-wide. The Milne's protected prairie holds nearly 100 native plant species, including the state-endangered queen of the prairie. The queen of the prairie is a majestic, four-to-five foot tall perennial that produces a large, beautiful plume of pink flowers in mid to late summer.
Helping landowners like the Milnes is exactly why the Liberty Prairie Conservancy decided to begin protecting open land. The Conservancy's metamorphosis from a stewardship organization into a land protection group couldn't have come at a better time. In this rapidly growing county, key natural areas are disappearing quickly. "A big part of our job will be to educate landowners about their conservation options," says Barg. "Working together, we can maintain our county's quality of life."
Photo courtesy of Liberty Prairie Conservancy