On a hot July day, a man in a dapper suit gets out of his shiny black car, brushes gravel dust from the lane off of his starched jacket, and confidently approaches the farmhouse door. Before he can even knock he is greeted by the steely barrel of the shotgun wielded by a short, wiry spitfire of a woman, her gray hair pulled tightly into a bun. Sound like a scene from “The Beverly Hillbillies”? It’s actually a scene that played itself out almost daily, like a tired rerun, in the late eighties and nineties at a farm right here in Naperville.
The spitfire was Lenore (Clow) McDonald, and the shotgun was her polite way of declining the offer of Mr. Dapper Suit and every other developer who ever knocked on her door. Lenore deeply loved her land, and realized that if she was going to save it she was going to need more permanent protection than a shotgun. So in 1992 she donated the 60-acre farm to The Conservation Foundation, a local nonprofit she had come to trust for our work saving land and rivers in the area. Lenore knew the Foundation was in the business of “forever,” and forever open is the vision she had for her beloved land.
As home to The Conservation Foundation and the Green Earth Institute, a separate nonprofit who leases the farmland to grow organic vegetables, the McDonald Farm is a showcase of Naperville’s rich agricultural, historical and natural heritage. There’s a lot of good going on up our quarter mile long (still gravel) lane. We invite you to come see what Lenore McDonald fought so hard to protect, and be part of that legacy by becoming a supporter today. Click here to become a member , or give us a call at 630-428-4500.