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Volunteer information for restoration workdays
Bids and Proposals
Volunteer Special Events
People and Groups
Aurora West Forest Preserve, Aurora
September 15, October 20, November 17 / 9 a.m. to Noon
This large 582-acre preserve features a 40-acre mature woodland with large oaks, a prairie and wetlands. Last year 1,000 oak saplings as well as 8,000 wetland species were planted at this preserve. In addition, one hundred and forty-five acres were restored to native prairie habitat.
Big Rock Forest Preserve, Big Rock
September 3, October 1, November 5 / 9 a.m. to Noon
Within its' 455 acres, Big Rock Forest Preserve has 60 acres of restored prairie with a small wooded brook at the north end that joins the fine 80-acre Oak Hickory savannah woodland which overlooks Welsh Creek Fen and the southerly stem of Big Rock Creek. A familiar feature, the impressive 65' deep 35-acre quarry lake with its surrounding shores of dolomite bedrock contain many Ordovician fossils. Restoration is taking place in the woodlands north of the recently constructed suspension bridge.
Bliss Woods Forest Preserve, Sugar Grove
September 17, October 29, November 26 / 9 a.m. to Noon
Full of rare plants and geological and cultural history, Bliss Woods is a 231-acre preserve with high ecological diversity. The preserve holds an 18-acre wetland basin, which is surrounded by a band of woods holding the county’s only stand of endangered Golden Seal. Also in the woods are the rare Spikenard and several delicate ferns, such as the Maiden Hair Fern, Fragile Fern, Marsh Shield Fern and Sensitive Fern. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Bliss Woods is the esker, east of Bliss Road. This geological feature is a winding ridge of stratified gravel deposited by a sub-glacial river. The esker’s slopes hold two distinct woodland habitats, one with Sugar Maple and Basswood-Linden trees and the other with Oak and Hickory trees. The floors of these woodland habitats are covered with wildflowers like Hepatica, Blood Root, Dutchman’s Breeches and Solomon’s Seal. Restoration is underway to keep these woodland ephemerals in bloom.
Burlington Prairie Forest Preserve, Burlington
Mary Jo Murphy, Karen Sherman
September 1 / 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; September 11 / 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; October 2 & 16, November 6 / 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Burlington Prairie is one of those very rare parcels of land, that through a series of fortunate land use events, remains as totally undisturbed prairie. It is an isolated bit of raised, sandy soil separated from the west, north and east by a wetland, and from the rest of the farm on the south by a 20 foot high railroad embankment. Over 215 native species resident here in this 35 acre prairie and wetland, which is now a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve. Part of the preserve’s 437 acres is a restored prairie.
Burnidge Forest Preserve, Elgin
Gary Swick, Chris Townsend
September 17, October 15, November 5 / 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Beautiful vistas and rolling terrain are the outstanding features of the largest preserve in the system (602 acres). Burnidge is a series of watersheds filtering into Tyler Creek. The size, various soil types and the high water table provide great habitat for a wide variety of plant and animal species. Restoration efforts here focus on the woodland habitat, found in the center of the preserve. Twenty-five acres of woodland were “opened up” using forestry machinery, allowing native plants to come back and reestablish in the area.
Campton Forest Preserve, St. Charles
Call the District for Dates & Times
Campton is a large preserve (304 acres) with rolling hills, woodlands and restored prairie. Farming activities destroyed many of the natural features; however, the potential for reforestation and habitat restoration is great. Last year 5,000 oak saplings were planted here during the Forest Preserve District’s Earth Day Celebration. Prairie restoration began in 1986.
Dick Young Forest Preserve, Batavia
September 6, October 4, November 1 / 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Nelson Lake Marsh, a dedicated State Nature Preserve, is without question, one of the largest and finest natural areas in Kane County. This wet basin is a product of a late melting ice mass from the last retreating glaciers some 10,000 years. Beneath this basin runs an older bed rock canyon and along with the surrounding gravel hills combine to furnish an abundant and complex source of water that thwarted early pioneer attempts to drain the area for agricultural use and consequently much of the original rich habitat remains intact. This 983-acre preserve features wetlands, woodlands and prairies. The Dick Young Forest Preserve benefited from the planting of 1,500 oak saplings and the return of 100 acres of farmland to prairie during the past year.
Fabyan Forest Preserve, Fabyan Shelf Prairie, Geneva
Bob Lootens, Jon Cooper
September - Off; October 8, November 12 / 9 a.m. to Noon
Fabyan Forest Preserve is without question our most used and heavily populated preserve. Thousands of people spend hours visiting the Fabyan Villa, the Japanese Garden, and the historic Windmill. Thousands more fish along its' river shores and jog and ride bicycles along the trails and river bridge. This 245-acre site also features a unique rock shelf prairie on the south side of the parkway. Restoration has been underway for a number of years, and due to its’ high quality, a program to reintroduce an endangered species to this area is being considered.
Freeman Kame Forest Preserve, Rutland Township
Call District for Dates and Times
In this 450-acre preserve, glacial kettle pockets defined by the wooded hill (kame) and drumlins create a panorama of habitats ranging from the spectacular to the cozy secluded nooks. Freeman Kame is one of our highest rated natural areas and from "Wild Plants and Natural Areas", "....40 acres of this exceptional mix of habitats that now provides a very valuable window to our past and a link to the protection of a host of wildlife forms. The quiet splendor and richness of this place transcends description, and it is a humbling experience to witness this interesting native pageant." Consisting of many different habitats, many of them wetlands, this site is prime spot to continue restoration efforts and maintain its environmental integrity.
Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve, Elburn
Kim Haag, Jim Judd
September 15, October 20, November 17 / 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
A heavily wooded, 743-acre preserve, Johnson’s Mound is a classic example of a stratified gravel hill known as a "kame,” which was deposited by glacial ice and water some 10,000 years ago. Much of the woods here is of nature preserve quality, and there is a serenity in the deep woods that offers a special "get away from it all” feeling for those wanting a quiet walk in the woods. Restoration is taking place in several different areas of the preserve, mainly focusing on removing non-native plant species and clearing maple saplings that have becoming invasive.
LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles
September 20, October 18, November 15: 9:30 a.m. to Noon
With the relic Murray Prairie, the restored Horlock prairie, the meandering Ferson Creek, flood plain forests, seeps, oak woodlands and grassy fields, LeRoy Oakes is a varied and beautiful landscape. Set on 353 acres and connecting with the Great Western Trail, the preserve offers a great mix for those looking for passive or active recreation. Also situated on the property is the historic Pioneer Sholes School and Durant House Museum, operated by the Pioneer Sholes School Society and Preservation Partners, respectively. Restoration is actively taking place in the prairies and grasslands, mainly concentrating on seed collection and invasive species removal.
Les Arends Forest Preserve, Batavia Township
Martin Valenzuela, Therese Michels
September 10, October 8, November 12 / 9 a.m. to Noon
Les Arends’s 48 acres follow along the Fox River and feature outcroppings of dolomite bedrock, which can be seen is spots along the bike path. This floodplain woodland contains specimens of White and Chinkapin Oak and has a creek meandering its way towards the river. Restoration is currently taking place directly east and south of the playground.
Glenwood Park Forest Preserve, Aurora
September - Off; October 1, November 5 / 9 a.m. to Noon
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