Sauer, IL House Honor Life of Celebrated Conservationist

Recently, State Representative Nick Sauer (R-Lake Barrington) offered House Resolution 1042 before the House of Representatives to honor the life of celebrated local conservationist Tom Vanderpoel. Vanderpoel was the driving force behind the Citizens for Conservation (CFC) volunteer organization based in Barrington.

“Tom Vanderpoel worked tirelessly for decades as a behind-the-scenes leader of the Citizens for Conservation,” said Sauer. “Through their efforts, the Citizens for Conservation have helped guide the preservation of almost 3,500 acres in and around the Barrington Area. Although Tom would have never taken credit for the work of CFC, anyone who knew him would tell you that he was a pivotal cornerstone of their impact.”

Sauer continued, “Tom was an expert conservationist who humbly offered his knowledge and experience in a kind-hearted way that left an impression on everyone who rolled up their sleeves to work alongside him. He has left a truly lasting impact on so many, but the testament to his legacy won’t be remembered in words, but in the thoughtful planning he gave for the preservation of land in our community and our region.”

Rep. Sauer with Tom Vanderpoel's wife, Gail, and
members of the Vanderpoel family.
Tom Vanderpoel passed away unexpectedly on August 8, 2017 at the age of 66. He was the Director of Restoration for the Citizens for Conversation and became widely recognized for the many native restoration efforts he led in the Barrington area. Despite the many overtures for his services, including by the Nature Conservancy, which is a leading international conservation organization, he remained passionately focused on local conservation projects and education. Those who knew him noted his humility and dedication to the local community as something that set him apart and inspired others to join the conservation efforts of CFC.

Although Vanderpoel never pursued personal accolades or recognition, he received numerous awards for both his volunteerism and his restoration work. He was named the 2009 Citizen of the Year by the Barrington Area Development Council and received the inaugural Excellence in Conservation Award from Chicago Wilderness in 2004, an honor he cherished.

Sauer presented House Resolution 1042 on May 9, 2018 with members of the Vanderpoel family present. To watch the House floor proceedings when Sauer presented the resolution, Click Here.

For the full text of the resolution celebrating Vanderpoel’s life, Click Here. For more information about the Citizens for Conservation and how to become involved, Click Here.

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