Friends of the Fox River partners with Carpentersville School District 300 to lease a house on 160 acres in West Dundee, Illinois. The house was donated to Kane County Forest Preserves by Emily Schweitzer upon her death at the age of 89, on September 5, 2001.
Emily Schweitzer loved the rolling hills, oak forest, meadows, and marshes on her 160-acre estate so much that she wanted the land preserved when she was gone. She bestowed her estate as a generous gift to her fellow citizens in Kane County. Along with the land she granted her beautiful Edwardian house and dog kennel. When Emily passed away her last wish was that her land remained open space. It’s a legacy carried on today by the Kane County Forest Preserve District, and the Friends of the Fox River.
Volunteers worked long and hard to clean and rehabilitate the house and grounds which had been uninhabited for years following Emily’s death. Local businesses donated goods and services to restore the house to a safe and usable condition. Friends of the Fox River members and volunteers organized a committee to establish, maintain and program the house and re-named it the “Schweitzer Environmental Center” (or “SEC” for short).
Friends of the Fox River utilizes the house for board meetings, office and storage space, and our Schweitzer Committee produces free public programs on the 2nd Sunday of each month throughout the year. We also organize weekly environmental restoration workdays in the Spring and Fall.