Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve subject of Jan. 17 event

Online Staff Report

Restoring the Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve” will be the subject of a Jan. 17 Wild Ones — Rock River Valley Chapter program at Burpee Museum of Natural History.

The program begins at 7 p.m., but the public is invited to arrive at 6:30 p.m. to socialize, browse merchandise tables, and check out the library and Wild Ones information booths. Burpee is at 737 N. Main St., Rockford.

Keith Blackmore — past president of the Audubon Council of Illinois, the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society and the Prairie Preservation Society of Ogle County — will present the program about the Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve. He will share the principal ideas guiding the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society chapter in its efforts to restore/recreate the 43-acre parcel known as the Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve.

Although small in size, the preserve contains an impressive diversity of geologic and hydrologic features, and the associated plant communities in both acid and alkaline wetlands, which include sedge meadows, a small brook and the namesake Elkhorn Creek.

The woodland component includes oak savanna areas as well as a bit of floodplain forest.

Additionally, former cropland is being converted to prairie and savanna using seed only from plant species that are found on the preserve and on adjacent acres. Blackmore will illustrate his discussion with slides.

With bachelor’s and master’s degrees in zoology from Northern Illinois University, Blackmore has been active in prairie work since the mid-1960s. Most of his work has been devoted to gaining protection to native relic sites and restorations and recreations. He taught biology and ecology at Highland Community College for 37 years.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information about Wild Ones, visit www.WildOnesRRVC.org or call (815) 627-0344.

Posted Jan. 16, 2013

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