Will County Forest Preserve Programs

Spring beauties are just one of the many blooms hikers are likely to see during a series of hikes called Where the Wildflowers Are this spring in the Forest Preserve District of Will County. (Forest Preserve photo | Glenn P. Knoblock)
Spring beauties are just one of the many blooms hikers are likely to see during a series of hikes called Where the Wildflowers Are this spring in the Forest Preserve District of Will County. (Forest Preserve photo | Glenn P. Knoblock)

This spring, the Forest Preserve District of Will County will host a series of Where the Wildflowers Are hikes at multiple locations to showcase the bounty of beautiful flowers that bloom in the preserves.

Scheduling the wildflower walks as a series this year is new.

“It makes sense for us to group similar programs across the county under the same name with the preserve location added for ease of use,” said Heather Van Zyl, an interpretive naturalist at the Forest Preserve’s Plum Creek Nature Center.

Also, rather than have only one hike at each wildflower hot spot, Forest Preserve staff decided to schedule multiple programs at some preserves.

“This way, wildflower hike participants will see the full story, what will be blooming next and how the areas change over time,” Van Zyl said. “It is a special experience to visit the same place repeatedly and get to know it intimately.”

Ninety-minute Where the Wildflowers Are hikes are set for:

Raccoon Grove Nature Preserve, Monee Township – 10 a.m. Saturday, April 13.
Hammel Woods, Shorewood – 8 a.m. Saturday, March 30; 2 p.m. Saturday, April 20; and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11.
McKinley Woods – Frederick’s Grove, Channahon – 10 a.m. Saturdays, April 27 and June 8.
Four Rivers Environmental Education Center, Channahon – 1:30 p.m. Saturday, May 4.

Registration is required for each wildflower walk. Online registration is available on the Event Calendar at ReconnectWithNature.org.

Van Zyl said wildflowers can bring joy to those who view them.

“The wildflowers are so special, especially in the spring when they are so fleeting,” she said. “They are significant to the interconnectedness of their habitats, and have been used as important food, medicine and ritual sources throughout time. These are all things that we will dig into on the wildflower hikes. There will be so much more than just hikes to identify plants, though of course we’ll do that, too!”

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