Walks on the Wild Side

2014 Natural Yard Tours

Every year the WPPC offers garden walks of various Native Gardens in the greater
McHenry County area. View the list below or download the flyer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014 Two tour times!
3:00 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.

Randy & Nancy Schieltzelt – 4419 Walkup Road, Crystal Lake

As springtime carpets the woodlands with the blues of Virginia bluebells and the yellows of celandine poppies you are invited to walk our forest trails. Whether you're exploring the pine forest in the front yard or the oak/hickory forest in the back yard, there will be many species of spring ephemerals to seek out. Wild Geraniums, trilliums, wild ginger, Jack- in-the-pulpits, and Mayapples will be just some of the wildflowers blooming. This property, once the home of Bill and Ardath Wingate, definitely puts on its best show in the spring. Come see it!

Directions: Take Walkup Rd. north out of Crystal Lake. Driveway is on the left, (west) side, just north of Hillside Rd. Parking space is limited. If you are able to walk a short distance, please park on Vermont Trail, north of the driveway (the street with the covered bridge). That will leave the few driveway parking spaces for those that need them.
Note: This walk is on a weekday. We are offering 2 separate times to accommodate various work schedules. Choose the time that works best for you.


Saturday, June 28, 2014
10:00 a.m.

Nina Denne – Volo Bog State Natural Area, 28478 W. Brandenburg Rd, Ingleside

Fourteen year old Nina Denne, a student of botany and volunteer gardener at Volo Bog, will be our guide. After viewing the native wildflower gardens around the nature center, Nina will lead us along the boardwalk across the bog. She will point out the many unusual plants, including orchids and carnivorous pitcher plants, that grow in the acid bog. We will be visiting in the daylight, so no need to fear the “bogey man”!

Directions: From the south (Crystal Lake), take Rt. 31 north to Rt. 120 in McHenry. Turn right and continue east on Rt. 120 about one mile past the Fox river to Chapel Hill Rd. Turn left on Chapel Hill and go 1/2 mile to Lincoln Rd. Turn right on Lincoln and go 2.5 miles to Brandenburg Rd. Turn left and go 1/2 mile to Volo Bog entrance. For more information visit http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/PARKS/R2/Volobog.htm


Saturday, July 26, 2014
10:00 a.m.

Jim & Marlene Keenan – 6905 South Solon Road, McHenry

Come see the results of Jim “The Seed Man” and Marlene’s efforts to reconstruct prairie in what was once a soybean field. You will see a progression of prairies, started in 2006, with seeds that Jim gathered in McHenry County. You can compare seeded prairie to areas planted with plugs. Many of the over 150 species will be in bloom. Jim has earned his Ecological Restoration Certificate from the McHenry County Conservation district and has a wealth of knowledge to share. If you would like to learn how to grow a prairie, or just be surrounded by its beauty, don’t miss this walk!
Directions: Take Rt. 31 north out of McHenry, go 6 miles north of Rt. 120 to Harts Rd., turn right (away from Glacial Park). Follow Harts Rd. 1.2 miles to its end, turn left (north), go .35 miles to 6905. Turn left onto blacktop drive just past white farm house. Park on grass on left side of drive.
Note: There are four Solon Roads: East, West, North, South. If lost call 815-823-3327.


Saturday, August 16, 2014 Two yards!

— 10:00 a.m.
Sue Early 824 Wedgewood Drive, Crystal Lake

Nestled behind a lower patio is a small city garden of native and favorites of the owner. During the growing season the garden provides privacy to the patio for reading, entertaining, and bird and butterfly watching. The garden was designed and built in 2007. This property backs to a mitigated wetland in city of Crystal Lake. Guests are also invited to view a rain garden designed and planted by the Wedgewood Garden Club in a Wedgewood Association detention basin. Members were assisted with this project by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife staff. This garden is located at the corners of Wedgewood and Lakeview Drives.

Directions: Take Rt. 14 (Virginia St.) in Crystal Lake to Dole Ave. south to Main Beach. Turn left onto Country Club Rd. to Wedgewood Dr. Turn right. Property is on the left. Please enter garden on the west side of property and proceed down to the backyard.

— 11:15 a.m.
Pat & Terry Dieckhoff 967 Barlina Road, Crystal Lake

This is your opportunity to see a city subdivision backyard designed with water conservation in mind. Terry and Pat achieve this goal with the use of rain barrels, a rain garden and plantings of native wildflowers. Terry will explain how he constructed the rain garden. Birds and butterflies are regular visitors! The property backs up to a park where a detention area is also planted with natives.

Directions: From Sue Early’s home go west on Wedgewood Dr. to Huntley Rd., turn left, follow Huntley to Barlina Rd., turn left. Continue on Barlina to 967 on the right side on the street.


Saturday, September 13, 2014 Two locations!

— 10:00 a.m.
Phyllis & Roger Theodos 6306 Hidden Oak Drive, Crystal Lake

Phyllis and Roger have been enjoying their 1/4 acre prairie and all the wildlife it attracts for the last 17 years. They burn it each year to control invasive species. We will see grasses in seed, goldenrods and asters in bloom. The late summer and early fall flowers are important fuel sources for migrating and over wintering pollinators.

Directions: The house is located on the corner of Hidden Oaks Dr. and Walkup Rd. between Pleasant Hill Rd. and Edgewood Rd.

—11:00 a.m.
Sterne’s Woods & Fen, East Hillside Road, Crystal Lake

After touring the Theodos’ yard we will head to nearby Sterne’s Woods & Fen. No need to travel to Door County when we can walk the trails of this 180 acre Illinois Nature Preserve managed by the Crystal Lake Park District. We will see lots of interesting plants in the varied terrain. You are invited to enjoy lunch with us in the picnic shelter. John Fiorina, Natural Resource Manager for the C.L. Park District, will prepare the meal using an outdoor Dutch oven!

Directions: From Hidden Oaks Dr. turn left (south) on Walkup Rd. Follow Walkup to Hillside Rd. and turn left. Sterne’s entrance is on the right.