Preserving the West Chicago Prairie since 1983
Our Schedule of Events is available in a form suitable for those of
you keeping an electronic calendar.
Simply subscribe to the calendar at
with whatever software you use.
This calendar is always kept up-to-date, and includes the latest available
information on meeting places.
Registration Form. It's in Adobe Acrobat
format. If you need the Acrobat reader, you can get it free from
Adobe by clicking the icon below and following the instructions.
Sorry, we're not set up for on-line registration -- you need to print the
form and mail it in.
Newsletters, also in Adobe Acrobat format.
We typically publish two or three per year.
By-laws of the Stewardship Group.
Blooming Periods of Selected Flora of the West Chicago Prairie.
Bird Observations on the West Chicago Prairie 2001-2005.
A short history of the West Chicago Prairie.
Aerial view of the Preserve.
Taken June 30, 2010. Courtesy of Google Earth.
Map of the Trails on the West Chicago Prairie.
Also shows the boundaries of the Truitt-Hoff Preserve at the WCP.
The West Chicago Prairie is in a glacial outwash plain, just west of the West Chicago Moraine.
This moraine formed at the end of the last ice age ten to twelve thousand years ago, as the ice was melting
as fast as it was advancing, thus depositing its load of sand and gravel.
One of the interesting geologic forms here are Ice-walled Lake Plains.
When the advance stagnates, and permafrost is still present, lakes can form in pockets dammed by the ice.
Once formed these lakes collect sediment and can become home to plants and animals, insulated from the cold
of the ice by the layer of debris.
This forms distinctive bands in the soil.
Geologists have identified a number of Ice-walled Lake Plains at the Preserve.
As you can see in this map,
the collected sediments from the lake make these the higher elevation areas of the prairie.
We are an affiliate of The Conservation Foundation,
a nonprofit land and watershed protection organization, is dedicated to preserving open space and natural
lands, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of the environment in northeastern
Illinois. Established in 1972 by business and community leaders, it is the only environmental
organization to receive the 2008 Annual Award for Business Excellence from The Business Ledger.
Working closely with citizens, elected officials, developers, land use planners, park districts
and forest preserves, The Conservation Foundation has helped protect more than 30,000 acres of
open space. The Conservation Foundation has more than 4,500 donors and members. Its main office
is at the 60-acre McDonald Farm in Naperville, Ill., with a program office located at Dickson-Murst
Farm in Montgomery, Ill. For more information about activities, programs and membership, visit their
web site or call 630-428-4500.
The City of West Chicago and the
Forest Preserve District of DuPage
County jointly own 153 acres of the West Chicago Prairie.
The FPD owns the rest solely and manages the entire site and many
other preserves in DuPage County. Find out more about the activities
going on. They also have a
specifically for the WCP, with background and history.
The Nature Conservancy - TNC manages
a number of preserves and was instrumental in saving the WCP originally.
They continue to operate a Stewardship Network to share management techniques
among volunteers like us. TNC also owns and manages the Nachusa
Grasslands, where we have adopted a 10-acre site for management.
Illinois Prairie Path - The Geneva Spur of the
Illinois Prairie Path runs through the West Chicago Prairie Forest Preserve
and provides access for visitors.
A map of the system is on-line.
The Friends of the Great Western Trail provide information about more trails
in the area.
A paper on Backcountry Lightning Risk Management
from the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Lots of useful information on dealing with lightning outdoors.
Threats from Invasive Beetles - Info from the USDA
Firewood Pest Alert Flyer
Firewood Quarantine Notice
is an association of many natural resources in the Chicagoland area.
Chicago Green Tech
lists a number of programs of interest to environmentalists in the area.
Lake Forest Open Lands Association
is a private not-for-profit land trust in the Lake Forest area.