Simonsen commits to conservation in Barrington
Peggy Simonsen, president of Barrington’s Citizens for Conservation, said her favorite community event of the year is the organization's annual native plant sale in May. | Photos courtesy of Donna Bolzman
Updated: December 12, 2012 8:28AM
BARRINGTON — Peggy Simonsen is dedicated to maintaining and restoring open land and wildlife in the Barrington area.
As president of Barrington’s Citizens for Conservation, she tasked with that mission.
Simonsen is in charge of grant writing for the organization, but she also works as a volunteer on its projects.
Although she lives in northwest Palatine, Simonsen said she’s always identified more with Barrington, specifically the area’s passion for the outdoors, conservation and gardening of native plants.
Simonsen also is a world traveler who has sailed around the world and been on numerous trips to Africa and Antarctica.
Q: How long have you lived in Palatine?
A: I’ve lived here all my adult life.
Q: Why did you pick this area?
A: I came down here for my first job and I stayed.
Q: Where are you originally from?
A: White Bear Lake, Minn., a suburb of St. Paul.
Q: What about Barrington makes you proud?
A: I’ve always been an outdoor person. I’ve always been proud that Citizens for Conservation restores open space by getting rid of invasive species. And we have a lot of people in the community that support what we’re doing.
Q: What is your favorite community event?
A: I’m co-chair of our native plant sale. It’s always the first Saturday and Sunday in May.
Q: What is your favorite restaurant or entertainment venue in town?
A: I do like the Barrington Bistro and the Catlow Theater.
Q: If you were mayor for the day, what would you do?
A: I would certainly decree the organizations like Citizens for Conservation who are doing things for the environment.
Q: What has changed in Barrington since you moved here?
A: I think the development. It used to all be open fields and forests. It’s sad to see so much open land being built on.
Q: What inspired you to go into conservation work?
A: I’ve always been interested and involved in the environment. I’ve also always been a gardener of native plants. After I retired, I immediately began volunteering with Citizens for Conservation.
Q: What got you interested in conservation?
A: My mother was a botanist and her specialty was native plants in Minnesota.
Q: What are your future career/volunteering goals?
A: I want to make sure the organization stays current in social media, and that is partly where the grant writing comes in.
Q: What is your proudest moment or greatest achievement?
A: I wrote the grant application that has caused two of our prairies to receive awards from the Environmental Protection Agency and Chicago Wilderness.
Q: What are you reading?
A: I’m reading “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.”
Q: What’s your favorite vacation destination?
A: I ski every year in Vail. I also really like adventure travel.
Q: Are you a summer or winter person?
A: I particularly love spring.