Skokie River Nature Preserve
Location and Access:
From Lake Forest at the jct. of Deerpath and Greenbay Roads (stoplight at this jct.), head north on Greenbay Rd. for 0.75 mile, then go west on Laurel Ave. (a small residential street). Parking for the preserve is at the end of Laurel Ave.
Special Notice: Wood chip and grass trails provide access to the preserve.
Skokie River Nature Preserve is comprised of wetlands, mesic and wet-mesic prairies and woodlands situated along both sides of the Skokie River. These plant communities are remnants of the large expanse of prairies and marsh that once occupied the valley between the Highland Park Moraine and the Blodgett moraine, which extended the length of the Skokie River. The most outstanding feature of the preserve is a 15 acre segment of very high quality mesic prairie. Since the early 1900s the area has been known locally as Shaw's Woods and Prairie when Mr. Shaw owned this land. The pristine portion of the preserve was never plowed and only lightly grazed. Because Mr. Shaw thought this area was aesthetically pleasing, he set this portion aside for preservation. Today it remains relatively the same pristine prairie that Mr. Shaw admired. In June, July and August, the Skokie River Nature Preserve offers visitors an excellent opportunity to see a glimpse of what the prairie looked like when it covered much of the Illinois landscape. In late summer and early fall, the giant prairie forbs and grasses arch over the footpaths revealing the richness of the prairie. Compass plant, leadplant, prairie phlox, hoary puccoon and Indian plantain are some of the many plants found in the preserve.
Ownership: The Nature Conservancy, Lake Forest Open Lands Association, William and Sally Searle, Augustin and Margaret Hart, T. Stanton and Jean Armour, Wesley and Suzanne Dixon, Jr., and American National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago
Dedicated: December 1992
Size: 134.4 acres with buffer
Topo Map: Waukegan 7.5
For Further Information Contact: Lake Forest Open Lands Association, Educational Director, 560 N. Oakwood, Suite 103, Lake Forest, IL 60045 (708/234-3880)
03/10 R. Heidorn