How one Couple is Conserving Land for McHenry Country

Establishing the Sava Property Fund

Stu and Tammi Sava of Marengo have a deep passion for land conservation. In 2010, the couple decided to turn seven acres of their property into its native prairie and woodland landscape. The process was a gradual and extensive one—a true labor of love.

Because the couple doesn't have children and extended family lives far away, they began to wonder how they could preserve the land for future generations.

“We put a lot of time and effort into the place. People need open space! Little pieces of land like ours can turn into a larger good for the community,” said Stu.

In 2019, the Savas placed a conservation easement on the land, to ensure it remained in its natural state in perpetuity. But they also recognized that maintaining a healthy landscape requires time and resources.

“You have to care for the land, reseed and deal with invasive species,” Stu explained. “Someone is going to have to take care of this place someday, and how do you fund that?”

The Savas reached out to The Land Conservancy, which recommended they work with The Community Foundation.

“I didn’t even know there was such a thing,” said Tammi.

Now, the Savas have established a land trust with The Foundation. While they have hopes for how the land will benefit future generations in McHenry County, they know its maintenance will be funded for years to come.