Top 5 Things to Do in the Preserves This Week May 22, 2015
1. Kick off summer at Family Field Day on Saturday, May 23 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Take a wagon ride, milk a cow, tour historic barns, try your hand at archery and fishing, and visit with District naturalists, interpreters, rangers and volunteers at the fun-filled, family-oriented “Family Field Day at St. James Farm” in Warrenville. Watch dog obedience and field trials, view dairy demonstration; meet live birds of prey from the Northern Illinois Raptor Center, and enjoy live music at this free family event. St. James Farm is located on Winfield Road one-quarter mile north of Butterfield Road in Warrenvile.
2. Go Fish. Fishing is one of the most popular activities in the forest preserves. The District stocks many lakes with bass, northern pike, walleye and trout and allows fishing in all District waters, along both branches of the DuPage River, Salt Creek, and in tributary creeks. Learn to fish on the lake bottom for a variety of species at Fishing: Hook, Line and Sinker at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at Meacham Grove. If you’re new to the sport and not sure where to start, join us for Fishing Clinic for Beginners on Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m. at Herrick Lake. Here you will learn fish ecology and identification as well as techniques and regulations.
3. Explore nature by boat. Boat, canoe and kayak rentals are available at Blackwell and Herrick Lake forest preserves. Boats with trolling motors are also available at Blackwell. Rentals are available on weekends through the end of September and daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Private boating is permitted on Silver Lake at Blackwell, Round Meadow Lake at Hidden Lake and Mallard Lake at Mallard Lake. Watercraft allowed are nongasoline-powered watercraft up to 20 feet in length, including boats, canoes, kayaks, and multi-chambered inflatables with factory-installed hardened floors and transoms.
4. Take a hike. Join experienced site stewards as they lead interpretive walks and field trips highlighting the delicate wildflowers and beautiful birds found in their unique preserves. Each interpretive walk is free and open to participants ages 12 and up (under 18 with an adult). Join an experienced birdwatcher to see birds on a Bird Watching Field Trip on Saturday, June 6, at 7:30 a.m. at Springbrook Prairie, an expansive grassland area. Or join the Parson’s Grove site steward for an interpretive walk to see what wildflowers are blooming and beautiful oak hickory savanna on a Nature Walk on Saturday, June 6, at 10 a.m. at Danada. Or see spectacular displays of early blooming flowers and summer resident birds on a Wildflower and Bird Watching Field Trip on Saturday, June 13 at 8 a.m. at West Chicago Prairie.
5. Go on a picnic. Pack a lunch and spread a blanket on the ground or grab a table at one of the many scenic sites in our forest preserves. Bring your own grill or use the grills at some of the picnic shelters. Groups can reserve several picnic areas, most with shelters. What a wonderful way to enjoy nature and time with family and friends.