Springbrook Prairie: Cooperative Invasive-Species-Control Program
In 2009 a Forest Preserve District of DuPage County volunteer steward found the invasive species flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) — a species on the New Invaders Watch List — along Spring Brook Creek, an approximate 4-mile-long tributary of the West Branch of the DuPage River that flows through the 1,849-acre Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve in Naperville. At the time this was the only known population in DuPage County and one of only two populations in Illinois. District staff determined the invasive species’ population originated at a shopping center upstream from Springbrook Prairie. Flowering rush has also been found upstream of the forest preserve near a Naperville Park District property and downstream in Will County and has now been found within a nearby wetland restoration project.
In-house crews began control in 2009 immediately after its identification within District property. Then the District designed a control program at Springbrook Prairie and worked with the Naperville Park District and local businesses on a program to systemically remove the invasive species watershed wide. In 2012, the Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership granted funding that has enabled the District to implement this multisite program to achieve control of the entire population on both private and public lands. The partnership has continued since that time and contractors will sustain invasive species treatments into the foreseeable future to hopefully gain full control.
Initial funding for this project was provided by Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership. The Naperville Park District and Forest Preserve District are now providing in-house services and project funding and management.
Image © FPDDC
The Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership funding has enabled the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Naperville Park District and a local shopping center to implement a successful invasive species control project along Spring Brook Creek.