At the forest preserve, we love oaks. So we’re having a month-long celebration of oak trees and the things that make them great.
What’s the big deal about oaks? Oaks are considered a keystone species, which means their presence is critical for maintaining health and diversity in an ecosystem. Removing a keystone species can cause the loss of biodiversity in an entire natural area. This is important now because DuPage County’s oak trees are aging (many are over 100 years old!). We need to plant more oaks now so there will be mature oaks in 100 years to balance the ecosystem when today’s oaks begin to die off.
Visit the forest preserves in Oaktober for one of our oak-featured programs (PDF). See the list below and sign up for one, or more, programs today. You’ll be glad you did! Can’t make it to a program? No problem. Celebrate Oaks by taking a walk in one of our 60 preserves to see the oaks show off their fall colors.
Kayaking: Oak Reflections
Enjoy the fall oaks from a different point of view as you learn paddling strokes and safety tips. Equipment provided. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. $20 per person. Register online or at 630-933-7248.
|Oct. 12||9 – 11 a.m.||Herrick Lake|
Gear up to enjoy some healthy exercise with one of our naturalists as you walk 2 – 5 miles while exploring the wonders of the preserves. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. Register at the walk, online or at 630-850-8110.
|Oct. 9||6:30 – 8 p.m||Oldfield Oaks|
Nuts for Nature
Learn about the role squirrels play in replanting forests, and see if you have what it takes to be a squirrel survivor. Then, have a close encounter with Willowbrook’s largest resident squirrel: the woodchuck. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. Free. Register online or at 630-942-6200.
|Oct. 12||1:30 – 3 p.m.||Willowbrook|
Mindfulness Under the Oaks
On a relaxing 1-mile stroll, learn why oaks are “keystone” species, and use them as guides as we reflect on personal keystone traits that carry us through our own environments. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person. Register at the walk, online or at 630-206-9566.
|Oct. 12||1:30 – 3 p.m.||Greene Valley|
Tractor-Drawn Rides: Fall Oak Colors
Celebrate Oaktober on a 30-minute covered wagon ride through one of the largest oak forests in DuPage. Rides start at noon, 12:45 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. All ages; under 13 with an adult. $5 per person ages 5 and up; under 5 free. Visit dupageforest.org for additional dates as the colors change. Register online or at 630-580-7025.
|Oct. 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27||Noon – 2 p.m.||St. James Farm|
In and Out: Oaks
Explore the oak walls and floors of a century-old mansion, and learn why oaks are called “keystone” species on a walk through a savanna. (You might even meet a mythical forest creature along the way!) Then, enjoy white oak bark tea and acorn flour cookies. Ages 18 and up. $10 per person. Register online or at 630-206-9566.
|Oct. 13||1 – 2:30 p.m.||Mayslake|
Art at Mayslake: Family Photography — Oaks
Spend part of the school holiday learning fun facts about oaks on a walk through a century-old oak savanna, and learn how to photograph these stately trees. Then, post your shots on Instagram. Ages 12 and up; under 18 with an adult. $5 per person. Register online or at 630-206-9566.
|Oct. 14||1:30 – 3 p.m.||Mayslake|
Volunteer Restoration Workday
Help improve a prairie or woodland by collecting seeds or removing nonnative plants. Ages 8 and up; under 18 with an adult. Free. Register online or at 630-206-9630 at least five days in advance (10 days by phone for groups of five or more).
|Oct. 2 & 9||5 – 6:30 p.m.||Maple Grove|
|Oct. 4||8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.||Blackwell|
|Oct. 5, 6, 20 & 26||9 a.m. – Noon||Springbrook Prairie|
|Oct. 6, 19, 20 & 26||9 a.m. – Noon||Maple Grove|
|Oct. 12||9 a.m. – Noon||Churchill/Glacial|
|Oct. 12||1 – 4 p.m.||Springbrook Prairie|
|Oct. 12||9 a.m. – Noon||St. James Farm|
|Oct. 19||9 a.m. – Noon||Churchill Woods|
|Oct. 19||9 a.m. – Noon||Willowbrook|
|Oct. 18||7:30 – 9:30 a.m.||Fullersburg Woods|