2022 Wildflower Walkabout Series

Join Severson Dells and the Natural Land Institute staff and volunteers on an exploration of many of the local wildflower hotspots.  Wildflower Walks showcase what is currently in bloom at various woodland and prairie preserves around Winnebago, Boone and Ogle Counties. All walks will begin at 6:00 p.m. No fee for the walks, but membership in Severson Dells and/or the Natural Land Institute is encouraged.

Registration for all of the walks will be required this year through EventBrite.  Each walk has two leaders.

For more information, please call 815/335-2915 (SD) or 815/964-6666 (NLI).

Wednesday, April 27 – Howard D. Colman Dells Nature Preserve

Zach Grycan and Jerry Paulson will lead this hike on property owned and managed by NLI. This 96-acre Nature Preserve is located along Hall Creek, southwest of Rockford.  One of the attractive features of this preserve is a series of cliffs known as the dells. Many unique plants restricted to limestone and dolomite outcrops are found here, as well as some northern relict plants. Located near the intersection of East Severson Road and North Weldon Road. From Meridian and Montague Road, drive south and turn west onto McGregor Road, turn north onto Weldon Road.  Moderate-difficult hiking.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Tuesday, May 3 – Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve

Connie McIntosh and Kathy Martinez will take us on a tour of the Pecatonica Wetlands Forest Preserve, which includes river edge floodplain forest, oxbow pond marshes and upland forest along the Pecatonica River. The site has outstanding spring flora and birdlife. Please meet on Blair Road on the north side of the forest preserve. Hiking will be easy to moderate.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Wednesday, May 11- Kinnikinnick Creek Conservation Area

Aaron Minson, Boone County Conservation District, and Brian Hale, Conservation District Volunteer, take us through the recently restored prairie and basswood, hickory and white oak forest to explore the wildflowers in northern Boone County. Kinnikinnick Creek Conservation Area is located 3.2 miles north of Route 173 on Caledonia Road. The entrance is just north of North Boone School Road. Moderate hiking.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Tuesday, May 17 – Funderburg Forest Preserve

Join Forest Preserves of Winnebago County staff, Mike Groves and Steve Hornbeck, for an exploration of one of the newest forest preserves. We will be on the lookout for many of our favorite woodland wildflowers and learn more about the dramatic restoration plans for the 868-acre preserve on the southwest side of Rockford. Please park at the trailhead on Meridian Road, roughly a mile south of Montague Road. Moderate hiking.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Wednesday, May 25 – Burr Oak Valley Nature Preserve

Zach Grycan and Tyler Pellegrini, Natural Land Institute staff, will lead us through this 99-acre property that is owned and managed by NLI.  The natural communities we will visit include mesic upland forest, dolomite prairie, dolomite cliff and intermittent stream. Expect to see blue-eyed grass, Columbine, maidenhair fern, and the rare kittentails. Please park at the northern entrance of the preserve at Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 7404 Elevator Rd. in Roscoe. Moderate hiking.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Tuesday, May 31 – Cedar Cliff Forest Preserve

Explore one of the newest forest preserves with Mike Brien and Steve Hornbeck from the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. We will walk through a fourth year restored prairie and head to the forest full of Chinquapin, Bur and Red Oaks on the cliffs over- looking the Rock River. Take Highway 2 south, turn right on Kishwaukee Road and drive for 3.8 miles. Cedar Cliff Forest Preserve will be on the right side of the road at 7901 Kishwaukee Road, Stillman Valley. Moderate-difficult hiking.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Wednesday, June 8 – Jarrett Prairie Nature Preserve

Join Byron Forest Preserve naturalists Russell Brunner and Austin Webb to search the prairie for early summer wildflowers.  We will meet at the Jarrett Prairie Center, 7993 N. River Rd., Byron and explore the Indigo Trace Trail.  This will be an easy hiking adventure.  Please bring comfortable hiking shoes and binoculars if you’re interested in seeing some of our summer resident beauties. 

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Tuesday, June 14 – Deer Run Forest Preserve

Join us for an evening with Mike Groves and Richard Benning from the Forest Preserves of Winnebago County. We will be on the lookout for a variety of milkweeds (and the monarchs that love them), lupines and more as we enjoy the prairie at Deer Run. Located 3 miles southeast of Rockford city limits on River Road.  Easy hiking.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Wednesday, June 22 – Searls Prairie Nature Preserve

Joni Denker of the Rockford Park District and Jack Armstrong, Severson Dells and Rockford Park District board member, will lead this hike through mesic and wet-mesic prairie where prairie dropseed, Indian grass, and big bluestem grow. This site is one of the highest quality wet prairies in the state. Meet at Searls Park on Central Avenue in Rockford across from the soccer fields. Easy hiking, but the area may be wet.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

Tuesday, June 28 – Pecatonica Ridge Prairie

NLI staff Zach Grycan and Laura Helmich will lead a tour through this beautiful upland prairie, located west of Winnebago.  From U.S. Route 20, turn north on Conger Road and drive one mile.  Keep driving straight where Berglund Road meets Conger Road.  Prairie smoke, leadplant, birdsfoot violet and New Jersey tea may be seen at this native prairie.  Easy hiking.

Click here to register for this walk via the Eventbrite website.

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