Baxter Helps Connect Local Community through Millennium Trail

Baxter Helps Connect Local Community through Millennium Trail

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Baxter's Round Lake facility is located in Lake County, Illinois, which is known for its forest preserves and natural areas. Baxter works with the community to preserve the natural habitat of the surrounding area.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - 3:15pm

CAMPAIGN: Case Studies in Sustainability

CONTENT: Article

Case Study: Baxter Helps Local Community through Millennium Trail

Employees and visitors heading to Baxter's Round Lake, Illinois, United States facility will soon have an alternate mode of transportation for getting there. Over the past decade, the company worked with the Lake County Forest Preserves (LCFP) to help develop the Millennium Trail, which, once finished, will connect central, western and northern Lake County communities and forest preserves through 35 miles of trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. Today, more than 20 of those miles are completed and available for public use, and Baxter has been instrumental in making some of them a reality through a series of land sales and easement permissions throughout the last several years. The company's efforts will help ensure the trail is built without obstruction, said Bonnie Thomson Carter, LCFP commissioner and chairman of its Planning and Restoration Committee.

"Baxter's support has made it possible for the Forest Preserves to reach its goals of bringing trail access and connected preserves to the western quarter of Lake County," Thomson Carter said. By linking residential areas to parks, forest preserves, schools, businesses and shopping districts, trails allow people to alter their travel behavior by bicycling or hiking to their destination instead of driving. At the end of the day, it means cleaner air, less traffic and a greater quality of life for all Lake County residents -- including many Baxter employees.

The Millennium Trail's complex network of connected open spaces also provides a vital and diverse habitat for a variety of plants and animals. Baxter has worked with the Forest Preserves to establish natural areas on both sides of the trail as it runs adjacent to Baxter's facility to encourage the growth of native prairie and woodland species, designed to attract a variety of wildlife and create a scenic passageway.

"I continually hear from residents about how much they use these trails and how much they appreciate this connection to nature," Thomson Carter said. In addition to connecting residents to nature, the trail also helps encourage connections between neighboring areas by improving regional transit -- a priority in building more environmentally sustainable communities, said Art Gibson, Baxter vice president of Environment, Health and Safety and Sustainability.

"Many Baxter employees live and work in Lake County -- we are part of this community -- and we're committed to working with the Lake County Forest Preserves to make it a more environmentally sustainable community," Gibson said.

The expansion of the Millennium Trail is not the first time Baxter has partnered with local agencies to benefit the environment and improve quality of life for Lake County residents. In 2002, Baxter launched a novel water reclamation project that reused the majority of treated wastewater at its Round Lake campus. The project, a first-of-its-kind in Illinois at the time, involved Baxter leasing up to 185 acres of land to a local nursery for the planting of nursery stock, which were then irrigated with Baxter's treated wastewater. And in 2008, Baxter donated $40,000 to assist in the rebuilding and modernization of the Long Lake Dam. The dam, built in 1930, helps control of the flow of water from Long Lake to Fox Lake and allows pleasure boat traffic from Long Lake to the rest of the Chain of Lakes.

For more information about the LCFP and the Millennium Trail, visit

For more about sustainability at Baxter, including more case studies, please visit:

CATEGORY: Environment