Spring 2018 Conservationist

News & Notes

Forest Preserve Research Reaches Regional Guide

yellow flowers of shrubby St. John's wortFor career ecologists and people who study plants as a serious pastime, last year’s release of Flora of the Chicago Region by Gerould Wilhelm and Laura Rericha was a welcomed event. As the updated successor to the fourth edition of Plants of the Chicago Region by Wilhelm and Floyd Swink from 1994, the scientific tome contains descriptions, maps, historical references and more for 3,149 species, including 292 new finds for DuPage identified and submitted by the Forest Preserve District’s plant ecologist and volunteers.

Of those 292 newly identified plants, 205 grew in the Chicago area but hadn’t been officially identified in DuPage; 87 had never been documented anywhere in the region.Forest Preserve District research discovers new accounts like these each year, including some in 2017 that didn’t make it into Flora of the Chicago Region.

Experts consider the 1,392-page hardcover to be the most comprehensive regional flora guide in the United States. It follows the basic formatting of its predecessor with added features, such as lists of pollinators and other animals associated with each plant.  Image by Javier Alejandro/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

County Farm Bridge Receives Dual Awards

the bridge over County Farm RoadThe Forest Preserve District’s County Farm Road bridge and trail improvements project in Hanover Park recently received awards from both the Suburban Branch of the American Public Works Association and the American Council of Engineering Companies of Illinois.

The 388-foot-long prefabricated steel truss structure over County Farm connects Hawk Hollow and Mallard Lake forest preserves and provides a link in the North Central DuPage Regional Trail. A new trail on the east side of the road connects the bridge to trails in Mallard Lake. The project as a whole provides safe crossing over the busy road and makes it easier to commute by bicycle, reducing traffic congestion and pollution.

For a map of the trails at Mallard Lake (and maps of other scenic forest preserve destinations) visit our forest preserves page.

 

If You Care, Leave Them There

newly hatched American robins in a nestWith the arrival of the spring breeding season, Willowbrook Wildlife Center reminds residents it’s normal for wild animals to leave their young alone for several hours at a time while they look for food. Human intervention may be helpful, though, if an animal is injured or truly abandoned.

Call Willowbrook at 630-942-6200 or email willowbrook@dupageforest.org
for guidance. Calls are answered daily 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and after-hours recordings provide general information.

 

Thank You, Volunteers!

three volunteers in front of Mayslake Peabody EstateIn recognition of National Volunteer Week, April 15 – 21, the Forest Preserve District is applauding its 940 long-term and 1,385 one-time volunteers. Last fiscal year these dedicated individuals donated more than 59,000 hours, an in-kind value of over $1.5 million! The District will honor its volunteers and recognize those with milestone accomplishments May 3 at its annual banquet.

 

Adopt a Blanding's Turtle

closeup of the face of a Blanding's turtle hatchlingFor over 20 years the Forest Preserve District has been leading regional efforts to help the state-endangered Blanding’s turtle by raising hatchlings in captivity for a year or two, giving the young turtles a better chance for survival in the wild. Now, you can be a part of the program, too!

Adopt a Blanding’s turtle and your donation will help provide care for one of the hatchlings. You won’t be able to take it home (we’ll give you a plush turtle for that) but you will be able to name it. Because each turtle is chipped, you may even get updates once yours is released in the wild. Your gift will also support field-monitoring and habitat-improvement efforts.

For donation levels and other info, visit the "Adopt a Blanding's Turtle" page.  Image by Josh More/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

 

The Preserve Receives Golf Digest's Green Star Award

scenic view of The Preserve at Oak MeadowsIn December Golf Digest magazine bestowed its 2017 Green Star environmental award on the Forest Preserve District’s The Preserve at Oak Meadows for demonstrating “the best in sustainable, efficient and innovative environmental practices that every golf facility could emulate.”

“The Preserve at Oak Meadows ... might be the most important new golf course of 2017,” said Ron Whitten, golf architecture editor at Golf Digest. “The Preserve demonstrates that a golf course can serve golfers and the greater community.”

The Preserve underwent a major two-year restoration project that improved stormwater management and water quality for Salt Creek, enhanced habitat for fish and other aquatic species, and created a premier 18-hole public golf destination. It reopened for a brief preview season in late summer 2017 and has a full grand-opening season scheduled for 2018. Visit dupagegolf.com for details.

 

A Delightfully Difficult Job

mayapples photographed from the ground upYour challenge was to show us what five minutes in a DuPage forest preserve does for you. Our challenge was to select winners from the 1,500 awe-inspiring images you submitted to the Forest Preserve District’s Take 5 Photo Contest.

For the second year in a row, local photographers and forest preserve enthusiasts wowed us with images of forest preserve plants, animals, people, buildings, landscapes, landmarks and weather. Recognized photographers for 2017 included Kim Stines of St. Charles, whose winning image of springtime mayapples is shown above.

 

Many Thanks

redbud tree with pink bloomsThe Forest Preserve District thanks the donors who contributed to its efforts between Nov. 18 and Feb. 11. To learn how contributions of financial support can benefit the District, visit dupageforestgiving.org. To give to the Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit fundraising arm of the District, visit dupageforest.org/donate.

Gifts of Note
Harold and Mary Bamford, $1,500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Michael and Diane Webb, $1,500, Mayslake Peabody Estate
     and Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Chicago Pastel Painters, $1,388, Mayslake Peabody Estate
Anonymous, $1,200, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
First Congregational Church of West Chicago, $1,000, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Patrick and Mary Ellen Mauro, $800, Mayslake Peabody Estate
Richard James McCann Foundation, $750, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Jeffrey Fowers and Janneke Waal Fowers, $702, Mayslake Peabody Estate
Diane Telander, $600, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Anonymous, $500, Mayslake Peabody Estate
Brian and Kathleen Beggerow, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Gary and Therese Davis, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Kenneth McAfee, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Howard Goldstein and Margaret McGrath, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
John Hudak, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Roux Associates Inc., $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Gifts of Note to the Friends of the Forest Preserve District
Chamberlain Group Inc., $5,000, Special Needs Adventure Days
The Crown Family, $5,000, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Seth Becker and Helen Nam, $1,510, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Anonymous, $1,150, Greatest Needs
Tom and Ruth Cloonan, $1,000, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Donald and Susan Panozzo, $1,000, St. James Farm
     and Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Wild Goose Chase Inc., $1,000, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Paul Herbert and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation (matching gift), $750,    
     
Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Memory of Nancy Herbert
Kathy Isoda, $600, Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle and Accessible Piers Priority Project
Daniel Grobe Sachs and Kathleen Sachs and the Motorola Solutions Foundation
     (matching gift), $600, Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Honor of Greg
     and Alice Plutko
Susan Armitage, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
P.R. Davis, $500, Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle and Greatest Needs
Mohammed “Jeff” and Jamila Esat, $500, Greatest Needs
Phil and Amy Gelber, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Daniel and Barbara Hanrahan, $500, Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve
Dave and Connie Hill, $500, Mayslake Peabody Estate
Larry Larson, $500, Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle, Willowbrook Raptor Housing
     and Greatest Needs
Mark and Janet Lawrence, $500, Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle
Brian Nalley, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Roger and Susan Nelson, $500, Fish Stocking in Memory of Rich and Carol Liebich
John and Marion Tableriou, $500, In Memory of Alexis Breeze and Colby Jebidiah
Webco Industries Inc., $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Memory
     of Dolores Kowalski