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Garfield Farm Museum Woodland Wildflower Walk April 21

What: Guided Wildflower Walk
When April 21, 2012, 9:30 am
Where: Garfield Farm Museum 3N016 Garfield Road Campton Hills IL 60175

Fee: $6
Contact: 630 584 -8485 or

     On Saturday, April 21st at 9:30 am Garfield Farm Museum will hold a woodland wildflower walk through the Garfield Harley Pond & Woods.  Jerome Johnson, museum biologist, will lead the hike identifying plants and discussing the history of the woods and the unique features of this ephemeral wetland.

    This is one of the most unusual growing seasons on record. Plants that normally bloom days if not weeks apart have been blooming simultaneously. Where typically the first prominent woodland wildflower, bloodroot, would now just be ending its bloom, flowers associated with early June like the wild geranium are blooming. In many ways the concurrent blooming is almost like the fantasy image of what a woodland spring flora would be like. Most unexpected is the blooming of water crowfoot and this last week turned the surface of the pond bright yellow under blue skies. Normally this plant blooms in June. This and other anomalies will be observed in what is essentially a once in a lifetime occurrence.

     Timothy Garfield who came to Campton Township in 1841 had four sons and four daughters. Seven of these children married and lived on farms within 3 miles of their father's homestead. Jefferson Adams Garfield purchased his farm about 1863 and his grandson, Garfield Harley last actively farmed it in the 1980s. In 2002, the museum's preservation agency, Campton Historic Agricultural Lands, raised funds to purchase the 9 acre wood lot containing the pond from the BFB Land Partnership that developed Sunset Villa Estates. In subsequent years, the Campton Township Open Space Plan acquired and protected neighboring natural areas and properties protecting the waters of Harley Pond.

     This temporal pond dries down every year preventing fish from inhabiting it, thus making a critical protected habitat for amphibian eggs and larva. Temporary wetlands, some no bigger than a bathtub, are important for the lifecycle of frogs and salamanders that must lay eggs in an aquatic environment that will persist long enough for their young to mature. Such overlooked seemingly insignificant pools are often ignored and filled in so some states like Massachusetts have programs to recognize and protect such habitats. A conference on such wetlands was held in Chicago in the 1990s and provided the inspiration for saving Harley's Pond.

    Participants are encouraged to call 630 584-8485 for reservations or email There is a $6 donation for the 2.5 hour hike. Long pants, socks and hiking shoes are needed for poison ivy protection.

For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: or call 630/584-8485.