September 8 Prairie Walk for Families
CAMPTON HILLS, IL On Saturday September 8, 2012, at
9 am museum biologist Jerome Johnson will lead a prairie walk at Garfield
Farm Museum with a special opportunity for families to discover the native
As it has been a drought year that has devastated crops
and cultivars, the native plants of Illinois are flowering and producing
seed for future generations. Though not as robust or as tall as they would
normally be, the deep rooted plants of the prairie are succeeding whereas
introduced lawn grasses and garden flowers dried up long ago unless they
were heavily watered.
A walk through the prairie, oak savanna and Mill
Creek sedge meadow will best demonstrate the most successful of this
strategy. It is a prime example that only the best adapted systems can
survive extremes. Some of the deepest rooted plants still flowering such as
prairie dock and compass plant show little impact. They are near their
normally heights and the bright yellow blooms seem all the brighter against
the succession of brilliant blue cloudless skies.
The long term impact on the oak savannas will
not be seen for several years. Other stresses such as disease and age may
catch up to these trees that survived the 1930s dust bowl era and the
drought of 1988. One can imagine that such stress for such long lived
species is a way to open up more dense woodlands to necessary sunlight for
young oaks to germinate. Because oak savanna restoration is still a young
field and the life span of these trees is so long, it will be a number of
generations before the impact of weather extremes much less restoration
efforts can be fully understood.
In the meantime, science can be forgotten for
the moment on the walk as a chance to pause and take in the natural world is
becoming a rare opportunity with all of modern life's distractions and
disconnections from nature. “It is especially important to get adults with
children out into nature because children learn best when a father or
grandmother, aunt or uncle share discovery and wonder for the natural world.
My grandmother's frequent mention of ‘Mother Nature’ and my father's casual
walks in the woods had a profound effect on my discovery of nature and
subsequent study of biology,” stated Johnson, a founder of Garfield Farm
Participants should wear long pants and shoes for
hiking through the tall grasses and sedge meadow. There is a $6 donation for
adults and children under 13 years are $3. Reservations are suggested by
calling 630 584-8485 or e-mail email@example.com.
Garfield Farm Museum is 5 miles west of Geneva, IL
off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road. Garfield Farm Museum is Illinois‚ only
historically intact former 1840s prairie farmstead and teamster inn being
restored as a working farm museum by donors and volunteers from over 300
households and 37 states.
Tours of the 1846 brick inn will be ongoing. These tours
often spark conversations between grandparent and child as grandparents
recall their childhood visits to relatives‚ farms. Tours of the museum‚s
prairie reconnect visitors to nature and its resilience, as the last prairie
flowers bloom and go to seed.
Students will have a chance to help screen soil for
artifacts as part of the 5 Year Archaeological Investigation sponsored by
Campton Historic Agricultural Lands. Test pits will be dug in an
effort to find the original well and other features that were on the farm
when the Garfield family moved here from Vermont in 1841.
Reservations are required for Student Harvest Days on
October 5th can be made by contacting the museum at (630) 584-8485 or email
firstname.lastname@example.org. Students under 13 years are $4 each and students 13
and over and chaperones are $5 each. On Sunday, October 7th, the museum will
hold annual Harvest Days event for the general public from 11:30am-4pm, $6
for adults and $3 for children under 12 with family. Organized youth groups
on Sunday are $4 under 13 years of age.
The 370-acre Garfield Farm Museum is the only
historically intact former 1840s farmstead and teamster inn being restored
by donors and volunteers from 3000 households in 37 states as an 1840s
working farm museum. Garfield Farm Museum is located 5 miles west of Geneva,
IL off ILL Rt.38 on Garfield Road.
For more information about Garfield Farm send an e-mail message to: email@example.com
or call 630/584-8485.