Winter 2018 Conservationist

News & Notes

2018 Annual Permits

You can now purchase 2018 annual permits for off-leash dog areas, private boats and model crafts online 24/7 at dupageforest.org. Just click “Registration & Permits” and “Purchase Permits,” scroll to the one you want, click “Add to Cart,” and follow the instructions. You’ll receive your permit via U.S. mail. (Even off-leash permit holders will get plastic cards — the ones many remembered and loved from before!) Interested in picnic or family camping sites? You can make reservations at dupageforest.org up to a year in advance. For details call Visitor Services at 630-933-7248 Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 

Master Plan Update

As part of its efforts to determine which projects and initiatives to address over the next five years, the Forest Preserve District hosted six community and nine special-interest meetings in October and November to hear what people thought about different aspects of DuPage County’s forest preserves. In November it sent 5,000 surveys via U.S. mail and 5,000 via email to randomly selected DuPage households, and in December it posted the survey on its website for others to complete.

The District will share a summary of the information it gathered in early 2018. It will then analyze the data and draft a five-year list of priorities for public comment. The Board of Commissioners is expected to consider the plan for approval near the end of the year.

For updates, visit dupageforest.org/master-plan.

 

St. James Farm Breaks Ground on Arena Updates

Work began in October on renovations at the indoor riding arena at St. James Farm. The Forest Preserve District hopes to have improvements completed for Family Field Day in May.

The renovated arena will have upgraded HVAC, electrical and lighting systems; fire alarms and sprinklers that meet building-code requirements; modified doors that meet accessibility requirements; and updated windows and skylights. A new addition will have restrooms, a reception area and a multipurpose room with counters and cabinets. Overall, the project will help prolong the life of the arena, reduce future maintenance, and bring the building up to code for public use for proposed activities such as horse shows, exhibits, riding programs, plant sales, archery events, educational programs, meetings and receptions.

Roughly $3.14 million from the Forest Preserve District’s construction and development budget and the St. James Farm McCormick Endowment will fund the work.

 

Habitat Improvements at Harrier Lake

Over the summer the Forest Preserve District continued restoration efforts at Harrier Lake at Pratt’s Wayne Woods, furthering its goal of managing the lake as a wildlife haven and a northern cool-water fishery for smallmouth bass, walleye and yellow perch.

After removing dense stands of cattails, crews planted native hard-stem bulrush, eel grass, white waterlily and water willow along the shore. The new vegetation will create inviting shaded areas and spawning grounds for fish and smaller aquatic animals and foraging opportunities for waterfowl and wading birds (not to mention popular fishing spots for anglers). Submerged concrete and wooden “bass benches” near the shore are already providing protected spawning areas for smallmouth bass. Similar structures are doing the same for minnows (and are one of the ways ecologists hope to sustain populations of small fish needed to feed the larger ones).

The former mining pit began its transformation into a 20-acre lake in 2007, when the Forest Preserve District re-contoured the lake bottom, added the first stands of shoreline vegetation and stocked the water for catch-and-release fishing.

 

Many Thanks

The Forest Preserve District thanks the donors who contributed to its efforts between July 17 and Nov. 17, 2017. To make your own tax-deductible donation or to learn how sponsorships and 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.

Take 5 Photo Contest Sponsors
The Bike Hub
Cabela’s
Erehwon Mountain Outfitter
Plano Synergy
Dick Pond Athletics

 

Gifts of Note
Donna Jelf Estate, $140,545.11, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Clarke, $23,333, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for the Belleau Woods priority project

Anonymous, $17,250, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Mayslake Peabody Estate

Louis and Cosette Kosiba, $10,000, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Mayslake Peabody Estate

Exelon, $7,500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Mary J. Demmon Private Foundation, $3,500, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for the Danada Equestrian Center

William J. Smith II and Patricia Smith, $2,400, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Kline Creek Farm

Arjohuntleigh Inc., $1,600, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Kohl’s, $1,000, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Mary Ann Mahoney, $1,000, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle

Commissioner Linda Painter and Family, $1,000, Friends of the Forest Preserve
District for a tribute bench at Waterfall Glen

Donald and Susan Panozzo, $1,000, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle and the Belleau Woods priority project

The Richard Laurence Parish Foundation, $750, Friends of the Forest Preserve District

Michael Firman and Marilyn Schweitzer, $600, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle, Willowbrook Wildlife Center and projects in greatest need of support

Ross Hill, $500, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Mayslake Peabody Estate

George W. Luvisi Jr., $500, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle

Karen Muehlhausen, $500, Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Bruce “Zink” and Martha Sanders, $500, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Willowbrook Wildlife Center

Mark and Heather Yeager, $500, Friends of the Forest Preserve District for Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle