Sedge Meadow at Hackmatack NWR
|Contained within the 12-acre easement that
is the first piece of land protected as
Hackmatack NWR is an unplowed sedge meadow, a
unique wetland community occupying the broad
floodplain of Slough Creek. Dominated by tussock
forming plants called sedges and supporting
colorful wildflowers such as Spotted Joe Pyeweed
and Boneset, this parcel is a living history
book, illustrating what the new Hackmatack
National Wildlife Refuge may have looked like on
the eve of settlement 180 years ago. It is home
to rare plants, butterflies and wetland
|Read the January 11, 2013 USFWS press
release on the establishment of the refuge
|For a map showing the location of this first
|Timeline of Hackmatack Refuge
Approval and Establishment
|• Fall 2004
A small group of dreamers begins pursuit of a
national wildlife refuge.
• November 5, 2009
The proposed refuge is one of 21 Green Legacy
Projects identified by the Burnham Plan
Centennial Committee and Openlands.
• April 5, 2010
US Fish & Wildlife Service launches a study of
an urban bistate refuge in a 55-square mile area
centered on the Illinois-Wisconsin stateline.
• October 31, 2011
The proposed refuge is highlighted as one of
Illinois’ two America’s Great Outdoors projects.
• July 10, 2012
US Fish & Wildlife Service authorizes the
establishment of Hackmatack NWR in McHenry
County, Illinois and Walworth County Wisconsin.
• August 15, 2012
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar publicly
announces the authorization of the refuge at an
event at Glacial Park in McHenry County,
• October 9, 2012
Openlands purchases 72-acre parcel within the
southwest core area of the Hackmatack refuge
• October 18, 2012
Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
Partnership receives Department of Interior
Partners In Conservation Award at an award
ceremony in Washington DC.
• McHenry County Conservation Foundation,
Friends of Hackmatack and Openlands provide
funds to pay for a conservation easement on a
12-acre wetland area of the 72-acre parcel.
• October 11, 2012
McHenry County Conservation District completes
an agreement with Illinois DNR and USFWS to
conduct restoration and stewardship of the site.
• November 6, 2012
USFWS accepts the conservation easement on 12
acres conveyed by Openlands. Hackmatack
National Wildlife Refuge is established!
• December 12, 2012
IDNR buys the 72 acre parcel from Openlands.
• January 11, 2013
Secretary Salazar lays Hackmatack NWR plank at
boardwalk at the nation's first National
Wildlife Refuge at Pelican Island in Florida.
• March 10, 2013
Friends of Hackmatack received 2013 Theta Award
from Environmental Defenders of McHenry County
for their work to establish the refuge.
• April 11, 2013
Ducks Unlimited purchases an 86-acre parcel
within the Hackmatack refuge boundary north of
Genoa City Wisconsin. DU plans to restore the
parcel to a mix of wetlands, grasslands and
savanna and to make it a part of the
new Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge.
• April 20, 2013
Friends of Hackmatack receives Protector of the
Environment Award from Chicago Audubon Society.
• June 27, 2013
First Hackmatack Workday held on Ducks
Unlimited's Wisconsin property.