Outdoor Report

COVID-19 Restrictions Lifted for Use of District Facilities

All District shelters, bunkhouses, and facilities may now operate at full capacity without restrictions. We look forward to hosting your next event! Some preventative measures (masks) remain a requirement per CDC recommendations for our younger, non-vaccinated students participating in District education programs.

Kendall County Forest Preserve District Board Adopts 5-Year Plan

The Board of Commissioners recently approved a 5-year plan for the District to guide the District’s strategic priorities and projects through 2025. 5-Year Plan focus areas include:

  • Land Acquisition
  • Conservation and Stewardship of High-Quality Natural Resources
  • Preserve Improvement Projects
  • Connecting People to Nature and Outdoor Recreation
  • Capital Infrastructure and Equipment

Pickerill-Pigott Forest Preserve

Pickerill-Pigott Forest Preserve was established in 2007, named in honor of Ken and Jackie Pickerill who donated their land and estate home to the District. The 95-acre preserve sits atop the Ransom glacial moraine overlooking the Oswego channel, and includes remnant oak woodlands, farm ponds, wetland areas, and tremendous views of the surrounding countryside. In 2018, the District completed a master plan for the preserve, and was subsequently awarded a $316,500 Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) - Open Space Land Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) grant to complete the preserve's entry drive, parking lot, trails and shelter. The preserve was opened on June 4, 2021. This spring, the District was also awarded an $828,200 IDNR Parks and Recreational Facilities Construction (PARC) grant to open the Ken and Jackie Pickerill Estate House to the public, with anticipated completion in 2021. The estate house, once completed, will host District education and partner agency programs, special events, and private events.

Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserve

In 2020, the District began preparations to open Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserve to the public. Fox River Bluffs is a 168-acre preserve located along the Fox River near Hoover Forest Preserve in Yorkville. Preparations included restoration and reforestation of 100-acres of farmland by planting over 31,000 tree and shrub seedlings, and seeding 60-acres with a diverse prairie mix to enhance local pollinator habitat, including the recently discovered population of the federally endangered rusty patched bumble bee (Bombus affinis). In 2021, the District was awarded a Federal Highway Administration – Regional Trails Program (RTP) grant from the IDNR. The $177,100 grant will provide funding for the preserve’s parking area and trail loop. The District is also pursuing Congressional funding for completion of a Hoover-Fox River Bluffs regional trail connection. Fox River Bluffs Forest Preserve will open to the general public in 2023.