A nature trail honoring former principal James J. McCauley was dedicated June 2 at Rockfords Swan Hillman School. McCauley, who died in 1981, was principal when the school opened in 1967 on the former Swan Hillman farm land. Hillman was a prominent Rockford businessman.
Jim Phelps started teaching at Hillman in 1968, and it was his idea to honor McCauley with the nature trail that goes through woods near the school. Phelps retires this year after 37 years at Hillman. Ibelis Rosas, the current principal, helped with the nature trail plans.
McCauley planted many of the trees making up the woods, which through the years have been used by teachers and students in nature study.
As a dear and loving husband, I feel this memorial is a tribute to Jims life and love of nature, said Edith McCauley, his widow. She writes about theater for The Rock River Times.
From the June 8-14, 2005, issue