An initial donation in 1975 by Charlie Heath, a longtime resident and sportsman established this area. Subsequent acquisitions by the Conservation Department have brought the area to its present size of 1,635 acres. Charlie Heath had made his donation with the hopes that a lake would be constructed on the conservation area. After much deliberation and searching for a suitable site a tract of land approximately five miles to the east was purchased and a lake was built in the county. This lake is called Fox Valley Lake.
Charlie Heath Memorial Conservation area is nearly 90 percent forested. The remainder is grasslands and idle fields. Oak-hickory dominates the upland forests, and the bottomlands are a mix of hardwood and softwood species.
Over 3.7 miles of the Fox River meanders through the area. The area is characterized by gently rolling timbered hills and includes such natural habitats as a small remnant stand of native grass, wetlands, streams, shallow ponds, and a cottonwood plantation. An active heron rookery can be found along the Fox River in the southeast portion of the area.
The Conservation Department manages Charlie Heath Memorial Conservation Area to provide public recreational opportunities, provide habitat for game and non-game species and to protect soil and water quality.
Management techniques include farming, timber harvest, prescribed burning, discing, wetland development, water manipulation, and wildlife food plots. Portions of the area are managed for upland wildlife species, such as quail, rabbits, and songbirds. Timbered portions are managed for deer, turkey, squirrel, woodland songbirds, as well as for timber products.