Barrington resident’s volunteer work pays off in lake views
Barrington resident Mark Knight is a volunteer steward for the Cook County Forest Preserve. He leads groups of volunteers who take part in restoring land that has been damaged by invasive species. | Photos courtesy of Mark Knight
Updated: February 25, 2013 6:03AM
BARRINGTON — The overgrowth of invasive species behind Mark Knight’s Barrington home motivated him to begin volunteering for the Cook County Forest Preserve because.
He is now the volunteer steward at Baker’s Lake, where he leads groups of volunteers who take part in restoring land that has been damaged by invasive species. He is working to become a steward at other locations, too, and has completed several certification programs.
Knight, who has lived in Barrington for three years, also oversees the volunteer Work Days, which occur the second and fourth Saturday of every month from 9 a.m. to noon.
Anyone interested in more information about volunteer Work Days, is encouraged to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Why did you pick Barrington?
A: I was looking for a home, and as a handyman and remodeler, I was willing to take a house that needed a lot of work. And this house has that lake view beyond the trees.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: I grew up in Schaumburg.
Q: What about Barrington makes you proud?
A: I really love this community. There’s a really strong feeling of family here. I’ve never known as many of my neighbors as I do now.
Q: What is your favorite community event?
A: I go to some Schaumburg events, but I don’t have a favorite in Barrington.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant or entertainment venue in town?
A: Chinese Palace on Northwest Highway for take out.
Q: If you were mayor for the day, what would you do?
A: I would have to say the only thing I’d like to get done is some form of bypass on Hough Street when it goes through downtown. There’s lots of traffic there.
Q: What inspired you to pursue being a site steward for the forest preserve?
A: I moved here about three years ago and when I moved in, I looked out the window and I could barely see a lake beyond the trees. By summer, I couldn’t see the lake at all. I started going to the Cook County Forest Preserve and discovered that there were all these invasive species like Buckthorn.
Q: What got you interested in site stewardship?
A: I’d have people over and I’d say ‘there’s a lake behind the trees,’ but no one was able to see it. I wanted to restore the property and other natural beauty in the area.
Q: What are your future career/volunteering goals?
A: There is more certification that I need, but I’m going to come to a point in my certification where I can work at multiple sites independently.
Q: What is your proudest moment or greatest achievement working with the forest preserve?
A: Aside from the beautiful view I get, the relationships I’ve built with the people I’m working with.
Q: What are you reading?
A: I’m working on my house so I’m not really reading right now. I’m a huge Stephen King and Dean Koontz fan.
Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: My favorite movie is “The Notebook.”
Q: What’s on your iPod?
A: I have old stuff like the Beatles that I listened to growing up. I also enjoy anything my daughter will send my way.
Q: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
A: Port Charlotte, Fla.
Q: Are you a summer or winter person?
Q: What is your favorite Chicago sports team?
A: I’d have to say the Bears. Win or lose.