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Autumn Prairie Walk Sept. 10

Campton Hills, IL: The final flush of the prairie’s growth will be featured on Saturday, September 10 at 9 am at Garfield Farm Museum. Jerome Johnson, museum biologist, will lead the 3 hour walk through newly restored areas as a well as 30 year managed acreage that includes unplowed prairie.

The iconic tall grass prairie is best seen in late summer when the plants that have been patiently out growing all the earlier season plants, use height to their advantage to absorb the most sunlight and get their flowers well above the rest to attract pollinators or spread their pollen

Big blue stem and Indian grass are only out towered by saw toothed sunflower that can easily reach ten feet based on growing conditions and location. Yellows, purples, blues, pinks and oranges can easily be found as part of this natural palette.

A portion of the unplowed Mill Creek Prairie and the recently donated Harmon Fen have had their first 6 - 18 months of sun exposure after being shaded out by buckthorn, boxelder, and honeysuckle for as much as 45 years. The first recovery of these lands can be seen by the appearance of Joe Pye weed, orange jewelweed, sweet black-eyed Susans, bottle brush grass, great blue lobelias, pink obedient plant, and cinnamon willow herb. Many of these results are because of volunteers, museum staff, over 6 Eagle Scout projects, donated services by ComEd, and an Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation challenge grant of $13,000 and the contracted services of Pizzo & Associates of Leland, IL.

This is a moderately strenuous walk that will cover over 1.5 miles of woods, wetlands, and prairie. Appropriate shoes, hats for sun, long pants and socks, and water are recommended as well as one’s favorite insect repellent. Reservations are required by calling 630 584-8485 or emailing There is a $6 donation.

Garfield Farm and Tavern Museum is the only historically 375 acre intact former 1840s Illinois prairie farmstead and teamster inn being restored as an 1840s working farm and inn museum. Volunteers and donors from over 38 states and four countries have contributed tens of thousands of hours of volunteer time and over $10 million in the past 39 years to preserve the site. This National Register Site of Historic Places which includes the 1859 second generation’s farmstead consists of over 18 historic structures. Three million dollars are being raised to complete the restoration and preservation of the historic structures. Garfield Farm & Tavern Museum is located west of Geneva, IL off ILL Rt. 38 on Garfield Road in Campton Hills,