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Zoo Woods and Waubansee Preserve Tours

Recap of the 2010 Zoo Woods & Waubansee Preserve Tours

Those that joined us for the Zoo Woods tour last May were delighted by the sights of native spring wildflowers such as Trillium, May Apple, Meadow Rue & Wild Geranium. We also saw a huge Oak tree estimated to be 150 years old & a magnificent “Phlox farm” near the river. It was a glorious day to walk in the woods. The 18 kids, mostly from Central Brownie Troop #238, and the dozen or so adults that attended were engrossed & amazed by this little piece of nature with so many beautiful surprises.

The tour of the Waubansee Preserve on June 19th was wet & swampy but luckily the old sidewalk built by the Riverside Improvement Company saved the day. The two children & the seven adults that attended were delighted to see Trillium, Green Dragon & May Apple in the savanna. The tour could not include the prairie due to the extreme wet conditions but another tour may be planned so watch your email for details.

These areas, once owned by the Riverside Improvement Company, were never fully developed prior to the company’s bankruptcy and the subsequent acquisition by the county for incorporation into the Des Plaines River corridor. Both contain remnants of the pre-settlement flora and fauna of the region and, thanks to the hard work of the Riverside Brookfield High School Ecology Club, the student body in general on Day of Service days, interns from the Morton Arboretum, the Brookfield Zoo, the Natural Gardens and the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, are well on their way to full restoration of the richness and diversity of the northern Illinois landscape. It must be noted that much of the work and many of the tools and resources used in this work were the fruits of the Olmsted Society’s generous support of the Ecology Club work.

We whole-heartedly thank John Kolar, FLOS member & Forest Preserve District of Cook County Master Steward, for his engaging talk during both tours.

To be added to the Landscape Committee e-list, please contact co-chairs, Holly Machina or Cindy Kellogg at gro.yteicosdetsmlonull@epacsdnal.