Herrick Lake Restoration Project Starts Dec. 20, Will Cause Trail Closures

News Release

Herrick Lake Restoration Project Starts Dec. 20, Will Cause Temporary Trail Closures

Smaller habitat improvement projects also starting at three other DuPage forest preserves

(Dec. 13, 2021) — A habitat improvement project starting Dec. 20 at Herrick Lake Forest Preserve in Wheaton will cause temporary trail closures at the preserve.

The work will require closing a section of the Green Heron Trail through April 2022 between the spur leading to Warrenville Road and the intersection to the Danada-Herrick Lake Regional Trail to the northeast. There will also be intermittent closures of the spur to Warrenville Road, but the Danada-Herrick Lake Regional Trail connecting Herrick Lake to Danada Forest Preserve will remain open. Signs will be posted at the preserve notifying visitors of the closures.

Other temporary trail closures may be needed as the project progresses over the next three years. Work will primarily be done in December, January, and February, but crews may do follow-up hand and mechanical work in the spring and summer.

The project involves removing aggressive plant species that threaten the 545 native plant and 238 native wildlife species — some state-endangered, threatened or rare — that rely on the area.

Crews will cut and remove invasive trees and shrubs and apply herbicides to the cut stumps so these aggressive plants can’t grow back. They may also create and burn brush piles on the site. Wetland and prairie areas will be mowed to control nonnative, shallow-rooted plants, leaving native plants with deep roots unaffected and able to grow stronger with less competition. Crews will also conduct beneficial prescription burns to assist in the recovery.

The work is a board-certified master plan project, furthering the Forest Preserve District’s mission to preserve the flora, fauna, and scenic beauty of DuPage natural areas. Once complete, it will improve ecological conditions on 550 acres of the 887-acre preserve and create nearly 1,000 acres of connected high-quality restored habitat between Herrick Lake and Danada — the largest restored tract in the county.

Habitat improvement projects will also soon begin at three other DuPage forest preserves.

Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve, Darien: Crews will remove aggressive plants that keep sun and water from reaching the grasses, wildflowers, and oak and hickory seedlings that grow on 72 acres surrounding the youth-group campground. The area is a small piece of the larger 773-acre Bluff Savanna ecosystem, which contains 422 native plant species, including one state-threatened and 36 of special concern.

Egermann Woods Forest Preserve, Lisle: Crews will remove aggressive plant species from 87 acres of the 110-acre preserve, which is one of the few remaining presettlement oak forests in DuPage County and home to 347 native plant and 127 native wildlife species, some state-endangered or rare.

Hickory Grove Forest Preserve, Lisle: Crews will remove aggressive plant species that threaten 245 native plant and 91 native wildlife species, some state-endangered or rare.

The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 6.2 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, six education centers and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter, blogFacebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
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