I had to take a drive through some of the more “rural” parts of Lake County (Illinois that is) and boy was I shocked at the changes since the last time I had been in those areas.
I use quotes above because Lake County certainly isn’t close to being as rural as it even was when I was growing up back in the early 70’s. There have been massive changes in the county since then and the growth has been unbelieveable.
I’ve lived in Lake County most of my life save for a 12 year stint in Chicago I and I know that we’ve been losing a lot of farm land here but nothing quite brings it home as much as a drive through the area.
Driving along Gilmer Road between Route 120 and Route 176 I almost don’t even recognize the area even from a year ago which is probably the last time I was through that stretch. Houses were up or going up everywhere except for the bits of land that the Forest Preserve District bought up.
It really is depressing to see so much farm land disappearing and being turned in to houses (and houses that aren’t even built well for that matter). I certainly understand why someone would sell their land given the prices probably being fetched right now. I just don’t know what the people “in charge” are thinking when they keep allowing this to happen. I’m glad the forest preserve folks are buying up the land they can but also makes the land essentially useless for farming and it certainly isn’t that interesting to look at from a recreation standpoint.
Every year Lake County still has a fair that is supposedly to celebrate our farming heritage. I just don’t know what farming heritage will be left to celebrate in a couple of years.