Living with the Land

Establishment of a historic district and the activation, adaptive re-use and commercialization of village property for the benefit of the community


Mission of the project

The Living with the Land Initiative aims to attract new life to Stickney House and Farmstead, making it a center for community activity and education. By offering new opportunities to interact with the area's natural resources, the site will contribute Bull Valley's philosophy of conservation and stewardship. As a site for outdoor recreation, the Stickney Farmstead and Cherry Valley Trail will connect with existing and proposed trails included in the McHenry County 2030 Comprehensive Plan, contributing to the regional plan for land use. With new commercial uses, the Stickney House and Farmstead will become a self-sustaining hub for ecotourism and eco-education, deepening the harmony between life and land. 

Stickney House Partnership with the Art Institute of Chicago

The initiatives by the Village of Bull Valley in Living with the Land as a concept were informed by a year-long collaborative exploration by students from the Programs in Architecture and Historic Preservation at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Faculty members Professor Anne Sullivan from Historic Preservation and Dr. Hennie Reynders, Professor of Architecture and resident of Bull Valley, have directed two seminar-studios during 2022 which responded to the cultural landscapes and unique ecological character of Bull Valley. This work is available in different formats from the Stickney House Foundation at Village Hall. 

Upcoming Events

Rodger Bechtold Thompson Road Farm Painting Auction

Living with the Land is hosting an online auction featuring the work of renowned artist Rodger Bechtold.  Click here to learn more about the artist.  Proceeds from the Auction benefit the Stickney House Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

On-line bidding starts at Noon on Saturday, May 4 and ends strictly by 5pm on Friday, May 17, 2024. Click here to learn more details about the auction process.

13 beautiful paintings are available for auction. Click here to see the catalogue of paintings. 

Bidding happens in real time, is fully transparent and with easy access through the auction website.

Stickney House Renovation

A first phase in the exploration of the initiative under the banner of Living with the Land envisions the establishment of a historic district, the restoration of the landmarked Stickney House and the adaptive re-use of the existing barn and overall site.

Click here to read more about the Stickney House Renovation

Stickney Farmstead

The adaptive re-use of the existing barn will kick-start the initiative of relocating the current offices, making the Stickney House available for restoration.

Click here to read more about the Stickney Farmstead Renovation

Stickney Trail

Located in the heart of Bull Valley, the Trail will extend along Cherry Valley Road with the goal of connecting important historic and natural landscapes.

Click here to read more about the Stickney Trail 



Contact to get more information on the project