Summer 2019 Conservationist

News & Notes

Solar Power Coming to The Preserve

solar panels

The Forest Preserve District’s Board of Commissioners has approved the installation of solar panels on the golf cart storage building at The Preserve at Oak Meadows.

The system is expected to cost about $167,000 and to provide 102% of the storage building’s power. The excess kilowatts would make it eligible for ComEd’s net metering program. Savings from the program would be in addition to renewable-energy certificates and ComEd’s distributed generation rebate. Plans also call for The Preserve to use solar energy to power its fleet of 75 carts.


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Visitor Services Summer Saturday Hours

This summer, get forest preserve info and help with permits, program registrations and reservations from Visitor Services Saturdays 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. This seasonal schedule runs through Aug. 24 (except July 6) and is in addition to the regular Monday – Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. hours.

The office is inside Forest Preserve District headquarters at 3S580 Naperville Road in Wheaton. Stop by or call 630-933-7248. You can also use the information kiosk inside the building’s foyer daily 8 a.m. – 10 p.m. and get info 24/7 here at


Collections Corner

Daniel and Ada Rice with guests at Danada House

In the 1950s and 60s, Hollywood occasionally descended on Danada Farms for parties hosted by owners Daniel and Ada Rice. The photo above shows (clockwise starting from the second from the left) Ada Rice with actor Don Ameche, performer Liberace and Daniel Rice at one such soiree.

As part of its efforts to extend its mission to connect DuPage residents with the county’s cultural history, the Forest Preserve District has donated the photo and related artifacts to the nonprofit Friends of Danada, which operates the Danada House on behalf of the District and can use exhibit space there to share the items with visitors.

To read how the District works with its community partners to tell the stories of the preserves, follow the Nature’s Storytellers blog, and check out future “Collections Corner” features here in News & Notes.


Many Thanks 

dew drops falling off a blade of sedge

The Forest Preserve District thanks the donors who contributed to its efforts between Feb. 4 and May 12. To learn how contributions of financial support can benefit the District, visit To give to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Friends of the Forest Preserve District, visit

Gifts of Note
Gary Dobson and Cynthia Rein
$2,500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Myron Rosenthal
$1,000 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Patrick and Mary Ellen Mauro
$900 — Mayslake Peabody Estate
College of DuPage — 90.9FM WDCB
Public Radio
$870 — Mayslake Peabody Estate
Charles Robertson
$700 — Mayslake Peabody Estate
Barbara Rosenstock
$500 — Areas of greatest need
Chester and Jeanette Wilczak
$500 — Mayslake Peabody Estate

Gifts of Note to the Friends of the Forest Preserve District
Jack and Janice Yong
$10,000 — Danada Equestrian Center for cross-draft horses
Cathy Perkowitz
$5,000 — Herrick Lake in memory of William and Matthew Perkowitz
Louis and Cosette Kosiba
$4,932 — Mayslake Peabody Estate
Pamela Conrad
$3,000 — Fullersburg Woods in memory of Chris Conrad
Domtar Paper Company
$3,000 — Natural Resources and ADA-accessible piers project
DuPage Birding Club
$2,500 — Springbrook Prairie restoration project
Kenneth McAfee
$1,500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Frank and Joyce Bauer
$1,000 — Pratt’s Wayne Woods
David K. Ginther
$1,000 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Mary Ann Mahoney
$1,000 — Areas of greatest need
John and Gloria Page
$1,000 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Donald and Susan Panozzo
$1,000 — Belleau Woods restoration project, Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle, Danada Equestrian Center, St. James Farm and Willowbrook Wildlife Center
John and Diane Fiore
$500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center
Motorola Solutions Foundation
$500 — Willowbrook Wildlife Center matching gift for Daniel Grobe Sachs
David and Norma Thompson
$500 — Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle

District Joins National Lake-Level Study

lake observation sign next to a gauge in the water

To better understand how and why lake levels change over time, the Forest Preserve District is joining the University of North Carolina and other agencies in a research project funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The Forest Preserve District has installed water-level gauges at Silver Lake at Blackwell, Herrick Lake at Herrick Lake, Deep Quarry Lake at West Branch and Harrier Lake at Pratt’s Wayne Woods. Each is marked with a sign that explains how casual visitors (aka “citizen scientists”) as well as Forest Preserve District employees can text in the current water level. With help from as many people as possible, researchers can gather more daily data than they could on their own.

Every 16 days, a satellite will take images of the lakes so scientists can compare reports from the gauges with the surface area of each lake. They hope these regional studies will help them better understand how precipitation, evaporation and other global factors affect the surface area of local waters.