Outdoor Report

Take advantage of the changing seasons by planning a hike or outing to one of our local preserves. Our fall lineup of programs offers something for everyone to enjoy and experience Kendall County’s natural areas local wildlife.

Over the past 10-years, the District has expanded outdoor recreational opportunities within several preserve areas across Kendall County, with efforts underway to open and enhance additional forest preserve areas over the next three to five years.

Little Rock Creek Forest Preserve

Kendall County Forest Preserve District with support from The Conservation Foundation and the Forest Foundation of Kendall County are working to establish a NEW forest preserve near Plano, Illinois. The goal is to acquire 135-acres of the stream corridor and oak woodland bluffs along Little Rock Creek near the confluence with Big Rock Creek and the Fox River. The Little Rock Creek forest preserve will connect with southwest boundary of Maramech Forest Preserve, providing an important buffer area for protection of the Maramech flatwoods, a unique habitat area and Illinois Dedicated Nature Preserve.

The District’s Board of Commissioners recently approved a $750,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant agreement in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and US Department of Interior to establish the Little Rock Creek Forest Preserve. The preserve will be purchased in partnership with The Conservation Foundation, which has pledged to raise the required 50% match of the total acquisition cost estimate of $1.5 million, with their efforts well underway with their announcement of a $600,000 grant award from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The acquisition will protect 1.3 miles of the Little Rock Creek, a system rich in fish species diversity, and one of the highest-quality stream sections in the State of Illinois. The Forest Foundation of Kendall County is supporting efforts to raise funds to acquire the property, announcing a $5,000 matching grant program. Individuals interested in contributing to the project should contact the District at kcforest@co.kendall.il.us or contact Executive Director, David Guritz, at 630-553-4131.

Henneberry Forest Preserve Restoration Project

45-acres of Henneberry Forest Preserve will be restored this fall as part of the District’s commitment to enhance the natural areas of Kendall County. The restoration plan includes the planting of 1,000 trees and shrubs, perennials, and prairie, woodland and wetland seed mixes to reestablish an oak savannah. The goal of the project will enhance pollinator and conservative grassland bird habitat. Restoration project support includes $70,000 from the Kendall County Highway Department, a $10,000 ComEd Green Region grant, and a $15,000 grant from The Conservation Foundation’s “Fox Valley Monarch Corridor Project,” a regional collaboration working to expand breeding habitat for local pollinators including Monarch butterflies.

The public is invited to assist the District’s planting activities, and learn more about the restoration program during a workday scheduled from 9 am to 3 pm on October 28, 2017. Individuals interested in participating should contact the District at kcforest@co.kendall.il.us for more information.