New signs over McHenry County streams share watershed information

Very few signs marked the streams in McHenry County before a new collaborative effort between the McHenry County Division of Transportation and the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, according to the county’s water resources specialist.

Newly installed signs at McHenry County bridges now share not just the name of the stream but the watershed it belongs to, according to a news release from the county. All McHenry County streams are part of either the Fox River or the Kishwaukee River watersheds.

“While stream crossing signs are common in many parts of the country, there were very few in McHenry County,” McHenry County Water Resources Specialist Scott Kuykendall said in a statement. “We hope the Stream Sign Project will help people learn to recognize streams in the county and develop a personal connection to the land and water around them.”

The Environmental Defenders obtained an $8,100 grant from the Full Circle Foundation for the project, which covered the cost of the sign stock, posts and other hardware, according to the release. The McHenry County Division of Transportation is printing the signs and installing them at stream crossings on roads under the county’s jurisdiction.

The Environmental Defenders hope to work with other communities to add the signs at stream crossings on municipal and township roads, according to the release.

“The Environmental Defenders are hoping to create a better understanding of the streams in our watersheds through this project,” Second Vice President Nancy Schietzelt said in a statement. “We believe that having consistent stream signage will improve awareness of, and concern for, water quality in our streams.”