It’s fall and that means trees will soon be showing their colors. Who can resist a stroll on a crisp fall afternoon to gaze at nature’s colorful changes?
You might remember that last year, the Forest Preserve District celebrated “OAKtober” with programs and activities highlighting the importance of oaks trees in our ecosystem. As a keystone species, oak trees are vitally important to literally everything in our natural world. Oaks help prevent flooding and provide shelter and food for woodland critters.
Woodland plants thrive in the shade and leaf litter of oak trees. Oak and hickory leaf litter also provide very good substrate for prescription fires and help forest managers maintain woodlands in as close to a natural environment as possible. They provide wood for building homes, and shade for cooling in the summer. Simply put, humans could not exist on the planet without trees, including oak trees.
Here are a few ways you and your family and friends can celebrate OAKtober in DuPage forest preserves.
- Take a walk in one of DuPage forest preserves’ marvelous oak forests and savannas. Check out Oldfield Oaks Forest Preserve in Darien, Mayslake Peabody Estate in Oak Brook or Greene Valley Forest Preserve in Naperville’s White Oak Trail. See how many varieties of oak trees you can identify!
- Feed your brain and change how you view nature by reading a story about trees: The Overstory by Richard Powers, The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben and Lab Girl by Hope Jahren are three we’d recommend.
- Read “Interview with an Oak” to learn more about oak trees.
- Reflect on the many ways that oak trees are in your own life. Do you have oak floors or furniture in your home? Admire the luster of the wood, the durability of the fibers and the purpose it plays in your home or work life.
- Read up on fun facts about oak trees.
- Plant an acorn tree to grow an oak tree using these simple directions.
- Help us create healthy habitats for DuPage County oaks by making a donation in any amount to the Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County to benefit natural resources restoration work.
Oak leaves along White Oak Trail at Greene Valley Forest Preserve in Naperville.