Future of the Fox River: Burtons Bridge to Johnsburg

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With support from CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, McHenry County Department of Planning and Development and City of McHenry Department of Economic Development are leading a collaborative effort to develop a Fox River Corridor Plan that will focus on:

  • Commerce within central business districts adjacent to the river's edge
  • Environment and natural resources (including water resources)
  • Multi-modal connections to/on the river
  • Public access and recreational use to/on the river and adjacent to business districts


We want to hear from you!

Public input is crucial to developing a plan that is driven by the needs and vision of the community. Opportunities to tell us what you think will be added to the site as we move through the planning process. Check the tabs below for the most recent engagement opportunities. You are also welcome to reach out to members of the project team listed under the 'Who's Listening' widget on the right.


With support from CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program, McHenry County Department of Planning and Development and City of McHenry Department of Economic Development are leading a collaborative effort to develop a Fox River Corridor Plan that will focus on:

  • Commerce within central business districts adjacent to the river's edge
  • Environment and natural resources (including water resources)
  • Multi-modal connections to/on the river
  • Public access and recreational use to/on the river and adjacent to business districts


We want to hear from you!

Public input is crucial to developing a plan that is driven by the needs and vision of the community. Opportunities to tell us what you think will be added to the site as we move through the planning process. Check the tabs below for the most recent engagement opportunities. You are also welcome to reach out to members of the project team listed under the 'Who's Listening' widget on the right.

  • Public Input Opportunity: Virtual Public Visioning Workshops

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    04 Jan 2021

    McHenry County and the City of McHenry, in partnership with CMAP, will host two virtual visioning workshops via Zoom for the Fox River Corridor Plan. This is a great opportunity to share your vision, goals, and ideas for the future of the Fox River and its communities, from Burtons Bridge to Johnsburg. Everyone is welcome!



    Visioning Workshop #1

    Tuesday, January 19

    2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

    Click here to register for Zoom meeting


    Visioning Workshop #2

    Thursday, January 21

    6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

    Click here to register for Zoom meeting



    Attendees will participate in facilitated small group discussions to identify their vision and goals for economic development, river management, environmental protection, recreation, and transportation in the Corridor. Then, attendees will reconvene to rank priority actions and develop a shared vision. The content of both workshops will be the same, so you only need to attend one.


    The workshops will build on the success of the public open houses held in November 2020 where participants identified opportunities and challenges within the Fox River study area. See below for more details on the past open houses.


    Please contact Kelsey Pudlock at kpudlock@cmap.illinois.gov or 312-386-8631 with any questions. To learn more about the project, visit the webpage https://engage.cmap.illinois.gov/fox-river-mchenry.

  • Plan Update: Existing Conditions Report

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    19 Jan 2021

    The Existing Conditions Report is now available!

    This Existing Conditions Report provides an overview of the current conditions within the Fox River Corridor planning study area. The report conveys key issues and opportunities that have emerged from the culmination of research, analysis, and public outreach activities. Developing an accurate understanding of the existing conditions impacting the study area is essential for creating an appropriate and effective plan that reflects the values of Holiday Hills, Johnsburg, McHenry, Prairie Grove, as well as unincorporated McHenry County.

    Building on the Corridor Profile, this report incorporates the expert knowledge and viewpoints of key stakeholders who live, work, and recreate in the Corridor. A full summary of the project’s outreach efforts can be found under Chapter 2, and detailed summaries of the key issues and opportunities that were identified can be found under Chapter 3. Chapter 4 summarizes the priority challenges and opportunities that emerged and flagged as topics that should be looked at further as the plan is developed.

    The report was presented to the Steering Committee in December 2020. Committee members gave feedback and the report was revised accordingly. Information compiled in this report, alongside input received through the visioning workshops, will be used to prepare a shared vision and craft recommendations that will be presented in the Fox River Corridor Plan.

  • Past engagement activities

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    18 Dec 2020

    Online surveys

    A public survey and interactive mapping exercise were open to the public between October 8 and November 27, 2020 and received over 110 responses. A summary of the survey results will be posted soon!


    Open houses

    McHenry County and the City of McHenry, in partnership with CMAP, held two virtual public open houses via Zoom for the Fox River Corridor Plan on Tuesday, November 10 and Thursday, November 12, 2020. Each open house gave members of the Fox River community an opportunity to discuss the strengths and challenges of the Fox River study area. After a brief overview of the project, participants broke out into small groups to discuss two of the following topics: Economic development, environmental quality, parks and recreation, and transportation.

    All input received during these group discussions will inform the Existing Conditions Report and help craft a comprehensive plan that includes strategies and actions for communities in the Fox River study area to realize their long-term vision for the corridor. Summaries of each meeting can be found under the Related Documents widget or using the links below:

  • Project background

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    05 Oct 2020
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    The Fox River is one of the region's greatest public assets. Historically, it has played a major role in shaping the region’s landscape, both natural and developed, but today its full potential remains unrealized.

    The study area for this planning project spans five communities, conservation areas, nature preserves, and parks over a distance of eight miles from Burtons Bridge at Route 176 on the south end to North Chapel Hill Road in Johnsburg on the north end. Municipalities within the study area include McHenry, Johnsburg, Holiday Hills, and Prairie Grove.

    The project builds on the foundation of two previous Fox River Corridor plans—one for Villages of Algonquin and Carpentersville(External link) (completed in December 2015) and another for McHenry and Lake Counties(External link) (completed in September 2018). However, this project is ultimately a blank slate upon which priorities can emerge through the planning process.

    The map of the study area can also be found under the Related Documents widget on the right-hand side of the main page.