Saturday, September 23, 2017
9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Collecting seeds is easy and fun!

Photo by Kim Johnsen

Natural Land Institute (NLI) will host the annual Fall Prairie Harvest Day at Nygren Wetland Preserve on Sat., Sep. 23, 2017, 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  The preserve, located at 3190 W. Rockton Rd., Rockton, Ill., is a 721-acre natural area and wildlife refuge owned by NLI.  Since 2000, NLI staff and volunteers have helped restore the variety of prairie, wetland and woodland habitats that can be found there. The annual fall seed collection event has helped with the ongoing restoration during the past 17 years.

Photo by Jill Kennay

Collecting seeds from native prairie wildflowers is an enjoyable activity for all ages of individuals, families, scout troops, 4-H clubs, church and corporate groups and provides valuable community service that provides hands-on learning about nature. Girl and Boy Scout troops can work towards their nature related badges.  Volunteers can come anytime between 9 and 1 and work as long as they like, however it is recommended that they allow at least 1-2 hours for collecting seeds. Not only is it fun because it is outside and visitors are exploring the prairie, seeing birds and insects, but it is also educational. NLI staff will show the volunteers how to identify native wildflowers and how to collect the seeds from them. NLI will dry and store the seeds during the winter and then plant them in the spring in the prairies at Nygren Wetland Preserve.

Registration requested for this FREE activity by Friday, September 22, 2017. Please call Natural Land Institute at 815-964-6666 or register online here.

Additional information:

Photo by Jill Kennay

Some of the species that could be collected include the following:

  • whorled milkweed (Asclepias verticillata)
  • thimbleweed (Anemone cylindrica)
  • pasture rose (Rosa carolina)
  • prairie coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata)
  • hoary vervain (Verbena stricta)
  • false boneset (Brickellia eupatorioides)
  • wild bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)
  • yellow coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
  • compass plant (Silphium laciniatum)
  • prairie dock (Silphium terebinthinaceum)