Fall Harvest Day Oct. 16 at Nygren Wetland Preserve
From press release
ROCKTON, Ill.—Families, groups and individuals are invited to help harvest prairie seeds at Fall Harvest Day, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Oct. 16, at the Nygren Wetland Preserve, 3190 W. Rockton Road, Rockton, Ill. Volunteers will learn from experts in plant identification and collection about how to gather seeds of plants like Indian grass, yellow coneflower and little bluestem.
Greg Keilback, stewardship director for the Natural Land Institute (NLI), said seed collecting is important to the ongoing restoration of the preserve.
“The seeds collected by volunteers will be processed, stored and planted next spring as we work to duplicate as closely as possible the original prairie that we know once existed here based on soil types and century-old records left by surveyors,” Keilback said.
Keilback said birds and other wildlife are making a gradual return to the 721-acre Nygren Wetland Preserve, as native wildflowers and grasses are restored to the land.
“While helping with the harvest, you might catch sight of animals such as river otters, frogs and turtles that make their homes along the river banks and in the oxbow lakes,” Keilback said. “With fall migration under way, this is an exciting time to see warblers, juncos, kinglets, sandhill cranes, great egrets and a variety of waterfowl species making their journeys south.”
The Nygren Wetland Preserve is being restored to protect water quality, soils, and native plants and animals. It is 1 mile west of Rockton and owned by the NLI, a private, not-for-profit land conservation organization founded in 1958. For directions and information call (815) 964-6666, go to naturalland.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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