Belleau Woods Habitat Restoration
Belleau Woods Forest Preserve in Wheaton is a 121-acre Illinois Land and Water Reserve. Dedicated as such in 2012, the preserve features woodland, shrub meadows, vernal ponds and a small stream. However, over the decades the woodlands have become threatened with invasive and exotic woody brush.
To address this issue, the Forest Preserve District is conducting a habitat improvement project at Belleau Woods Forest Preserve beginning in late January 2021 and continuing through winter 2022.
The Forest Preserve District has hired V3 Companies to conduct habitat improvements at Belleau Woods Forest Preserve beginning the week of Jan. 18, 2021. During the winter, crews will remove nonnative or invasive brush and small trees from the woodland.
The magnificent oak, hickory, walnut, and other native trees will remain to flourish and reproduce under the new, sunnier conditions. Most of the work will finish by late April 2021, but some may continue through winter 2022.
The work will also allow native wildflowers and grasses to rebound and flourish. Prescription burns will help maintain the invasive brush from recolonizing the site.
In total, the District will enhance approximately 44 acres. The habitat improvement portion of the project will create a larger and more functional restored wetland landscape. Native wildflowers and grasses will increase through seeding and planting, resulting in a healthier and more sustainable habitat.
St. Charles-based Clarke has donated $23,333 to the Friends of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, the 501(c)(3) nonprofit fundraising arm of the Forest Preserve District, for habitat restoration. The Friends also conducted fundraising to aid in the project. In total $47,000 has been raised for the project.