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Garfield Harley Pond & Woods Restoration Walk April 21

CAMPTON HILLS, IL On Saturday April 21 at 9:00 am, Garfield Farm Museum will hold a Woodland Restoration Walk of Garfield Harley Pond and Woods. With the late onset of spring, the first evidence of the spring bloom should be begun as the chorus frogs sing in the vernal pool.  

      This winter, thanks to an Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation Stewardship Challenge Grant, Pizzo and Associates were contracted to clear over 9 acres of invasive underbrush in this remnant woodland. A particular thick stand of the invasive burning bush, which is a popular yard planting, was cut and herbicided. Another major offender, the non-native honeysuckle was also attacked by this natural area restoration firm based in Leland.IL. Eagle Scout projects by Jim Neece, Connor Jacobs, Dalon Jeppesen, and Mike Anderson will be seen. Participants will caravan to the woods, a mile from the museum and then return to Garfield to look at other keep flowering areas.  

     Woodland plants must take advantage of the still bare trees as once the tress leaf out, less sun hits the woodland floor. These plants know as ephemerals must quickly bloom and set seed before their source of energy, the sun, is blocked by leafy boughs overhead. Invasive brush prevents such light.

      Red and white trilliums, yellow bellwort, trout lilies, rue and woodland anemones, toothwort, swamp buttecups are just some of the spring plants that are soon to bloom and the false Solomon seals. Jacob’s ladders, blue eyed grass, and marsh marigolds will probably not appear before May 1. Recent years the bloom has begun as early as April 1, though normally May 1 is the peak of the spring flowering in the woods.

     Jerome Johnson, museum biologist and life long native of the area will lead the walk through the properties. Binoculars are well come to spot any migrant warblers or shore birds. Participants should wear appropriate clothing for walking through briars and wet soils. Insect repellant is encourage to discourage biting insects.

     To understand the history of the region one must understand the environment that was here that produced some of the moist fertile soils in the world drawing settlers from the east. As a historically intact former Illinois 1840s farmstead Garfield Farm Museum offers a chance to discover what life was like during early settlement of northern Illinois.

     Garfield Harley Pond and Woods is named after Timothy Garfield’s great grandson just as Garfield Harley was named after his mother’s family. Timothy’s son Jefferson Adams Garfield bought the woods and farm about 1863.

      The walk is $6 for adults and $3 for children under 13 years of age. It will be a three hour hike but after returning from Harley Woods, hikers may leave and the hike at Garfield Farm will resume. Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva, IL off IL Rt38 on Garfield Road, Reservations can be made at or by calling 630 584-8485 so as not to overbook the walk.