The Donald P. Klein Award

The Donald P. Klein Award was created in May 2010 to honor the first and long-time Executive Director of BACOG, Donald Patrick Klein, who served from 1970 to 2000.  

When Klein passed away in December 2009, the Donald P. Klein award was established to honor him and to recognize the excellent work currently being done by the villages and townships that further BACOG’s goals.  These projects protect open space and natural areas, for example, or create innovative community planning, or enhance collaboration among governments.  These are the projects that carry on the legacy of BACOG and contribute to the character and quality of the region.

2019 Recipient

Village of Tower Lakes


“Raingardens and Bioswales Project”

On October 25th, BACOG Executive Board President Amy Nykaza presented the Village of Tower Lakes with the 2019 Donald P. Klein award for their “Raingardens and Bioswales Project”.  The village partnered with the Tower Lakes Improvement Association to develop the project, which included design and construction of large engineered raingardens, bio-swales and a wetland restoration at two key locations.

The project reduces pollution from reaching the community’s lakes, reduces the volume of stormwater entering the community’s drainage systems, and detains and filters stormwater.  Education was key to get residents’ engagement and build awareness of the positive impact of green infrastructure.  The project has already improved water quality, helped surface water recharge to aquifers, stabilized soils, and significantly reduced sediment loads to the lakes.  As a bonus, the region will see more wildlife habitat and improved aesthetics.

Funding was granted from the federal 319 program through Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Lake County Stormwater Management Commission.  The Village and homeowners association were able to supply grant matches in the form of volunteer hours, resulting in zero tax dollars or assessments from residents for this major improvement.  Other community partners included the Barrington Area Conservation Trust, the Tower Lakes Drain Partnership, and Illinois Lakes Management Association.

For more information: Press release 10-29-19

This year, six outstanding projects were nominated by BACOG villages and townships, and each was highlighted in a presentation preceding the award:

  • Barrington Township, “College Street Flood Project”
  • Village of Barrington, “Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project”
  • Village of Barrington Hills, “Comprehensive Plan Update”
  • Village of Deer Park, “Village Stormwater Master Plan”
  • Village of Deer Park, “Multiple Village Park Improvements”

The judging committee for this year’s award consisted of representatives from three organizations that are recognized for their own excellence in planning:   Danielle Gallet, Metropolitan Planning Council; Ryan James, University of Texas at San Antonio; and Stephane Phifer, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning.

The Barrington Area Council of Governments (BACOG) created the Donald P. Klein award in 2010 to recognize and honor the work of Donald Patrick Klein, the first Executive Director of BACOG.  The award was created to honor him for 30 years of service and recognize the excellence in current projects, efforts and activities of the BACOG villages and townships. These projects carry on the legacy of BACOG and contribute to the character and quality of the region.

Mr. Klein’s son Will thoughtfully reflected on his father’s life with current BACOG Executive Director Janet Agnoletti, stating, “My father told me that the 30 years he spent shaping the Barrington area at BACOG was a legacy he was incredibly proud of.  I’m so pleased that his legacy lives on through the annual award, and that the spirit of urban planning he embodied is being nurtured and recognized still.”

Past Award Recipients

History of Awards

  • Village of South Barrington, Conservancy 2.0 Project, November 2019
  • Village of Barrington, The Barrington White House Restoration, November 2015
  • Village of Tower Lakes and Cuba Township, Barclay’s Woods Nature Preserve, November 2013
  • Village of North Barrington, Watershed Best Management Practices Handbook, November 2011
  • Village of Lake Barrington, Open Space Initiative/Freier Farm, November 2010