Crest Ink - Volume 32 - Number 02 & 03

I would bet that a lot of the Crest Team has at one time or another had a chance to visit our local treasure along beautiful Franklin Creek, Franklin Creek State Natural Area, (FCSNA) . It’s truly worth the short trip espe-cially now that sum- mer is here. Franklin Creek is one of Illinois’ newest State Parks but it is actually a State Natu- ral Area. It will never be developed like White Pines or Starved Rock is, the pur- pose is to leave it in more of a ‘natural state’. Many of Illinois’ State Parks have a friends of the park group but with

What’s New at Franklin Creek by Jim Lillyman, FCCA Secretary

Franklin Creek it actually started the other way around. A group of local folks created a park and then rebuilt a rep- lica of the Lahman Gristmill that once stood at the site and then donated it to the State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Franklin Creek Conservation Association, FCCA, is the group that helps promote, maintain and add-to the FCSNA. FCCA is the former Franklin Grove and Creek Preservation Area Committee. The name was recently changed to reflect its mission of service to the Mill, to the natural area, and the full community of Franklin Creek. At the Feb- ruary board meeting of FCCA two Crest employees were nominated and took seats on the FCCA Board. Dan Stumpenhorst (QA A) and Ben Fichter (Sanitation A) both were sworn in and joined the board of directors for FCCA so we are excited to have part of our team helping with our local state natural area. Dan brings a wonderful passion for outdoor recreation and IT skills. While Ben has good mechanical abilities and longtime outdoor activities on his resume. FCCA welcomes these two individuals as they both have great skills and abilities and look forward to collaborating with Crest Foods to help achieve FCCA’s mission. One of FCCA’s missions is to help acquire additional acres that have been identified by IDNR as being integral to the Park’s ecological and historic footprint. Two such properties have been added in the last few years with the cooperation of FCCA & FCSNA. The Hurd property of ‘40’ acres in 2017 and the Kelly property, 22 acres, late last year. A third property was identified in 2017 and acquired by FCCA in December of that year, 1480 Old Mill Rd. It consists of 4.5 acres on the northeast corner of Old Mill Rd and Franklin Creek. That bridge is often re- ferred to as Sunday’s Bridge since the Sunday family once lived and farmed the area. The acreage this house sits on is unique in that it has upland hardwoods, exposed St. Peter’s limestone, wetland bot- toms and Franklin Creek frontage. You can understand why IDNR wants this piece of FCSNA puzzle added to the picture. However, the IDNR does not want the house or the acre it sits on, they deemed it unusable as a DNR facil- ity. The ambitious and hardy members of FCCA decided the building was usable and functional if a ‘little TLC’ was applied. The plan was to create housing for Mill and FCCA personal and a community room/outdoor education classroom in the ground floor level. All of 2018 FCCA cleaned up the property, both the acreage and the buildings. At the start of 2019 FCCA’s crew of volunteers started the long task of rehabbing the building. Every Saturday the crew met and worked on the

20 Crest Ink April, May, June, July, August & September 2020

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