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Columns

Conservation@Home:

John Church
John Church

Happy summer! It has been an unusual spring to endure, but hopefully the weather will be nice enough to have plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature this summer.  Spending time in nature is a major focus of The Conservation Foundation. “Nature RX: Spending Time in Nature is Good for Our Mind, Body, and Soul” is a theme for TCF activities.

June can be a good time to enjoy the outdoors. The first Saturday in June is recognized as National Trails Day. Events throughout the United States help promote awareness of the benefits that trails provide, encourage people to discover their local trials and help create excitement for the outdoors. Although summer can mean traveling to special sites across the country, there are many wonderful natural spots to explore right here in Kendall County and which offer benefits to our “mind, body, and soul.”

TCF’s Kendall County Advisory Council surveyed members, local officials, agency staff, U. of I. Master Naturalists, businesses and individuals to solicit input as to their favorite nature walks/experiences in Kendall County.

Numerous sites were suggested, but the top location identified was the Richard Young Forest Preserve. That seems like an appropriate top location because it was named in honor of Dick Young of Oswego, one of the leading conservationists in the county for years. The preserve, which opened in 1999, has more than 100 acres of beautiful natural area with trails surrounded by prairie and woodlands, with bluffs, ravines, wetlands, creeks and overlooks. Some portions of the trails are ADA- friendly. It is adjacent to and has connecting trails with Lyon Forest Preserve.

Other sites in the top 10 (12 due to ties) are Lyon Forest Preserve, Yorkville; Hoover Forest Preserve, Yorkville; Jay Woods Forest Preserve, Plano; Hudson Crossing Park, Oswego; Silver Springs State Fish and Wildlife Area, Plano; Baker Woods Forest Preserve and Ellis House/Equestrian Center, Minooka; Harris Forest Preserve, Yorkville; Violet Patch Park, Oswego; Maramech Forest Preserve, Plano; the Fox River Trail, from Oswego to Montgomery; and Millbrook South Forest Preserve, Millbrook. Numerous other sites also received mention.

For a complete list and details, call 630-553-0687, ext. 204.

The “Nature RX” program is part of the TCF mission to “improve the health of our communities by preserving and restoring natural areas and open space, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of our environment.”

Spending time on the Fox River can be a great way to explore nature. “100 Years Along the Fox” will be the focus of The Conservation Foundation’s Spring Luncheon on June 18. Scott Johnson of Oswego, will feature his family’s experience in traveling the river in 1912 compared with 2012. For information, visit theconservationfoundation.org.

For information on programs and events, call 630-553-0687, ext 204 or visit the website.

• John Church is the Kendall County program director at The Conservation Foundation.

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