We are 700 acres of pristine, undeveloped land located at Haegers Bend and Spring Creek Roads at the northwesternmost corner of Barrington Hills.
The rarity of Barrington Hills lies in its open space, fresh air, clean water, and wildlife. It also only exists as a result of being designed that way in 1957.
This is where we raise our families, pass down traditions, principles, and culture, and set examples for our children and future. The land is valuable and delicate and in constant need of stewardship to keep it that way.
This website is dedicated to providing information on the heritage of Barrington Hills and insight on the many benefits our community has to offer, and also to serve as a guidepost as we strive together to protect our unique equestrian-oriented lifestyle.
The environmental benefits that contribute to the ecological health of Barrington Hills and surrounding communities include:
Most horse farms include large open areas that are left more or less natural and used for pastures, trails, or other minimally invasive purposes. This practice leaves large areas of semi-natural vegetation, including meadow-type spaces and remnant woodlands, which are perfectly suited to deer, turkey, squirrels, rabbits, and other forms of wildlife, especially those that do well in edge habitats.
Compared to other livestock operations, horse farms are more likely to utilize water troughs instead of relying on natural water bodies, primarily to prevent the horses from contracting diseases from natural waterways. In many cases, this protection can extend to fencing off these natural water bodies, protecting their banks from erosion and minimizing sediment loads in the streams in the process. This practice also provides a natural buffer between the livestock operation and the waterway, creating the opportunity for nutrients to be filtered out of runoff before it reaches surface waters.
In addition to protecting surface waters, horse farms can help recharge underground aquifers. Especially in the case of lower intensity farms, the large areas of pastureland and relatively low percentage of impervious surface allow ample opportunity for rainwater to filter into the groundwater rather than run off into sewer systems or swell surface waters. The benefits of locating horse farms over groundwater recharge areas result from their generally low intensive use and few chemical residues. This leaves water percolating through the soil cleaner and groundwater requiring less purification, saving money and time.
A properly managed pasture retains at least 70 percent ground cover year round, as compared to traditional cropland which lies fallow part of the time with no stabilizing crop roots to hold valuable topsoil in place. Pastureland with year-round grass cover helps prevent soil erosion, reducing sediment loads in surrounding streams and preserving the productivity of the soil and the nutrients in it.
Properly managed grazing can help maintain range and pastureland in good condition by providing the necessary level of disturbance to encourage growth and reproduction of the desired grasses, maintaining habitat for desirable wildlife species.
The healthy and consistent seasonal migration of birds affects many components of the ecological system, including both plants and other animals. This annual genetic imperative is a fascinating and complex phenomenon that demands flat and tranquil land suitable for nesting, rest, and feeding. The vitality of a wide number of bird species is significantly enhanced by keen sensitivity to these basic habitat needs in an increasingly developed society.
Studies have shown that people who ride horses rate their emotional level as happier and more cheerful after riding. Studies have also shown horses' positive impact on heart health and depression. Riding horses may also lower stress and help increase physical fitness. Many differently-abled children, like those coping with autism, also benefit from working with horses. New programs using horses to treat those suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), including soldiers returning from deployment, have shown great success.
Residents of Barrington Hills are fortunate to be able to enjoy the health benefits of living in an equestrian community. Not only are horses beautiful to watch and enjoyable to ride, they also have a significant positive impact on the health and quality of life of all residents.
Barrington Hills Farm, previously known as Strathmore Organic Farms, is 700 acres of pristine farm and grazing land located in Barrington Hills and McHenry County. Standing watch over Barrington Hills Farm is a 40-foot-tall red brick silo. Built in 1895, the silo is one of the oldest silos of its kind and a monument to the roots of Barrington Hills.
Barrington Hills Farm envisions a future of horse trails, fenced pastures, and organic hay and wheat fields. It also includes sponsoring and conducting fundraising events that assist military veterans and help develop community and youth-centric initiatives.
Horses make wonderful childhood companions. Children are naturally attracted to them, making horses a desirable alternative to TV watching, Internet surfing, and just “hanging out.” Horseback riding also puts children in touch with nature and can be enjoyed alone or in groups.
Handling, riding, and caring for a horse or pony can help a child develop a host of positive traits including responsibility, accountability, patience, level-headedness, empathy, kindness, and self-discipline.
The land of Barrington Hills Farm has been enriched by a long history of organic farming. For much of the past century, Barrington Hills Farm is where former Strathmore Organic Farms produced organic beef, wheat, and soybeans for regions throughout the Midwest.
Barrington Hills Farm is proud to continue the tradition of organic farming today. Numerous plots are interspersed throughout the property, following the core principles for safe and sustainable organic farming. These standards include replenishment and maintenance of soil fertility, the elimination of chemical pesticides and fertilizers, and the creation of a biologically diverse ecology.
The Equine Land Conservation Resource (ELCR) provides essential tools to help protect and conserve land and open space for horses. The sustainable, healthy, and respectful fundamentals of equestrian activity are elemental to equine land conservation. For more information visit www.elcr.org.
Barrington Hills Farm is partnering with the Hooved Animal Rescue and Protection Society (HARPS), one of the nation’s best-known and respected rescuers of abused and neglected horses and other hooved animals. For more information visit www.harpsonline.org.
Barrington Hills Farm is a member of the National Sunflower Association. For more information visit www.sunflowernsa.com.
For more information, feel free to fill out our contact form or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will respond as soon as possible.