The Natural Land Institute (NLI) will host an open house at the Nygren Wetland Preserve from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24 at 2810 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton.
The event, free and open to the public, will explore the mysterious life of wetlands and prairies, and how extreme weather conditions impact plants and wildlife.
Andy Bacon, stewardship director for NLI, said a drop in the water level and a rise in water temperature this summer killed many fish, primarily carp, in the oxbow lake at the Nygren Wetland Preserve. On the positive side, Bacon said, we have seen an increase in wildlife activity related to feeding on the remains of the fish. Large numbers of great blue herons, green herons, egrets, raccoons and turtles have been taking advantage of the easy meals. Even though natural fish kills can be an undesirable sight, they are a part of the natural cycle and the ecological web of life.
WTVO meteorologist Eric Nefstead will present a program at 11:30 a.m. on the above normal temperatures of this past spring and summer, and talk about why we are experiencing one of the most severe droughts in this areas history.
Guided tours from a wagon pulled by a tractor can be enjoyed at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. A short walk will take visitors to hear Dr. Pond Scum, who will present a series of presentations beginning at 10 a.m. Displays on prairie and wetland ecology by local Girl Scouts and students from Belvidere High School can be seen throughout the day.
The Nygren Wetland Preserve, owned by NLI, is one mile west of Rockton. NLI is a private, member-supported conservation organization established in 1958 that preserves natural land in northern Illinois. The preserve is being restored to protect water quality, soils, native plants and animals.
Info and directions: 815/964-666.
From the Sept. 21-27, 2005, issue