Description: We will meet in front of West Elementary School and walk a short distance to Butternut Preserve where site stewards Judi Stuck and Nicole Griffith will guide us through the beautiful 16 acre preserve along the Kishwaukee River. A path leads through the tall grass prairie and crosses over a bridge and through woodlands with a diversity of trees and shrubs. Buckthorn removal is an ongoing activity here! Many rare warblers and other migrating birds stop here to refuel in the spring and fall. Natives are continually added to provide food for them along with the many resident birds. Learn about Meercat Mountain–a favorite destination at Butternut! Afterward, we will be walking four blocks to the next walk at the property of Nicole and Mike Griffith. They live in an older neighborhood where an aging lawn is giving way to gardens that are alive with native plantings. Thanks to the help of the WPPC’s mentoring program, this bit of earth they call their own is shared with a myriad of butterflies and birds. Come and enjoy a peek at sun and shade gardens! All WPPC Walks on the Wild Side are free of charge and no pre-registration is required. Guided walk led by the site stewards starts at the posted time.
Directions: From the intersection of Rt.14 and Rt.176 go west on Rt.176, passing Lippold Park. At stop light turn left (south) onto Briarwood Dr.and proceed to the stop sign, turn right (west) onto Ballard Rd. Park in front of West Elementary School, 100 Ballard Rd, Crystal Lake. If the small lot in front of the school is full, there is more parking in the back lot.