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Walks on the Wild Side

Natural Yard Tours 2017

Every year the WPPC offers garden walks of various Native Gardens in the greater
McHenry County area. These walks are a great way to learn about native plants, get design ideas for your garden and ask questions!

One Location, Two Times...
Tuesday, April 25
4:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Pat Sullivan-Schroyer and Bob Schroyer
4810 N. Waltshire Ln., McHenry, IL 60051

Pat began restoring her woodland and savanna front yard in 1989 by doing all the “wrong” things! Today the shaded areas, and even some of the sunny areas, are almost 100% native. In 2009, Pat and Bob took on a new challenge: planting a small prairie in their “old field” backyard soccer field. The shady portions of the yard begin blooming by early to mid-April with bloodroot and hepatica, and end in November with witch hazel. The ample diversity of native flowers, ferns, vines, shrubs, and trees (over 200 species) welcomes a wide variety of birds, insects, mammals, and even a few reptiles! Come see a wild yard in the midst of a subdivision.

Directions: From McHenry: Go north on Rt. 31 to Pioneer Rd. Turn north (right) on Pioneer to Ringwood Rd. Turn east (right) to 1st street on right, Hampshire Ln. Take Hampshire Ln. to Elmshire Ln., turn left; then continue to Waltshire Ln. Turn right again. Our yard will be on the left or east side. (815) 675-9004.

Saturday, May 13, 10:00 a.m.

Becky Walkington — Spring Hollow Farm
1314 South Fleming Rd., Bull Valley

Rain date Sunday, May 14, 1:00 p.m.
Questions, Becky (815) 621-3196

A visit to "Spring Hollow" will take us back to a time when our senses were awakened by the beauty of spring wild flowers and bird song from the towering oaks. This very special 33 acre property is a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve. Becky has many native flower gardens surrounding her home and then she will lead us down and up steep hills carpeted with wildflowers under the giant oaks and hickories. Expect to see shooting stars. several species of trillium, early meadow rue, wild geranium,virginia water leaf , red baneberry in bloom. A bridge crosses the gurgling brook with a waterfall. There is a prairie, too. A true treasure!

–From Crystal Lake, take Country Club Rd. to Fleming Rd.. Turn right onto Fleming Rd. and take the first right at 1314. Continue down the driveway along the left fork until you reach the house.
–From Woodstock, take Country Club Rd. to Fleming Rd. Turn left onto Fleming Rd. and take first right onto 1314 Fleming Rd. Continue down the driveway along left fork to the house. –From McHenry, take Rte.120 to North Fleming Rd. Turn left onto N. Fleming Rd across Bull Valley Rd. onto S. Fleming Rd. Turn left onto 1314 Fleming Road (top of Hill). Follow left fork down the driveway until you reach the house.

 Sunday, June 11, 2:00 p.m.

Citizens for Conservation (CFC)  Flint Creek Savanna

459 W. Highway 22, Barrington
Across from Good Shepard Hospital

Peggy Simonsen and CFC members will lead us through this amazing restoration. It is CFC"s largest land acquisition at 146 acres and the most diverse with savanna, creek, wetland and prairie. The results of the restoration are spectacular, with over 200 native species, including the oldest white oak in Lake County. CFC members have donated millions of dollars  since 1988 to make their vision of a greenway corridor along Flint Creek a reality. Come see what a dedicated group of like minded people can accomplish. Don't miss this walk!

Directions: Look for white farm house across from Good Shepard hospital. There is a small parking lot. Overflow can park across the street. Please carpool if possible. Do not park along the highway. 

Saturday, July 8, 10:00 a.m.

Dennis Dreher
7219 Milburne Ct. Bull Valley

My property is in a newer “conservation design” subdivision which has about 25 acres of well-managed prairie plantings. The non-turf areas of my 1/2-acre yard feature almost entirely native species arranged in planting beds, 3 rain gardens, and a backyard prairie as well as a nice mix of native shrubs and trees. The tour also includes the beautiful Boloria Meadows Fen and Sedge Meadow nature preserve immediately to the west. This 40 acre preserve features high quality fen, sedge meadow, and partially restored old-growth woods and savanna.

Directions: Located on the eastern edge of Bull Valley in the McAndrew Glen subdivision. The subdivision is on the north side of Bull Valley Rd. between Draper Rd. on the east and Ridge Rd. on the west. Enter the subdivision and turn left at the second street. Yellow House. Call (815) 861-2303 if lost.

Two Locations!
Saturday, August 12

Dee and Art Budelier, 10:00 a.m.
3905 Spyglass Ridge, Crystal Lake 
(Deerwood subdivision)

We would like to welcome you to “the Budelier Gardens.” Our first garden was planted in the spring of 2013 as part of the WPPC Mentor program. Since then, we have created three more native areas, including a large garden under our oak trees. We have placed signs to educate "passers by" and have been encouraged by neighbors requests to see "what we are doing". We have noticed an increased presence of pollinators and birds visiting our gardens. Come see how beautiful native gardens fit into a subdivision of manicured landscapes!

– From Crystal Lake. Take Rt 176 to Walkup Rd, head North. You will pass Hillside Rd and Prairie View High School. Turn left (west) onto Live Oak Rd., Spy Glass Ridge is short distance on the right.
– From McHenry head south on McHenry/Crystal Lake Rd. Pass through intersection of Deerwood on right and Prairie Ridge High School on left, turn right on next Rd Live Oak follow to Spy Glass Ridge. (dark grey house/white trim).

Second Walk: 
Wingate Prairie (part of Veterans Acres) 11:15 a.m.

Pat Sullivan-Schroyer and Judi Stuck
Crystal Lake Nature Center, 330 N. Main St. Crystal Lake

Join us for a hike through the hills of Wingate Prairie, a dedicated Illinois state nature preserve—meaning it is the highest quality and has protection from ever being developed. It was named for Bill Wingate, McHenry Counties reknown, late naturalist. Many sections are remnants of our past prairie discovered by Bill in the 1970's. A time when  Illinois “the Prairie State” had only 0.01% prairie left. It is presently managed by the Crystal Lake Park District with the help of steward Jim Wigman and Steve Byers of the Illinois Nature Preserve Commission.

Directions: Take Rt.176 to Main Street, turn North. Will give directions From Budeliers, also. 

Sunday, September 10, 1:00 p.m.

Jim Cudney
Salamander Springs, West Dundee (see directions below)

Join us for a tour at Salamander Springs, a 100 acre Dundee Township Open Space property in Northern Kane County. Our tour will take us through prairie, pond, wetland and extensive Oak/Hickory woodland habitats on the rolling glacial terrain. Years of restoration work by the Township staff and volunteers have helped to restore many areas making excellent habitat for birds, reptiles and amphibians. We’ll also be taking a look at the adjacent Binnie Marsh on the KCFP’s property to the west as well as a spring at the north end of the property. Steward and WPPC mentor Jim Cudney, who also lives in the old farm house at Salamander Springs, will be leading the group.

Directions: Salamander Springs is located in West Dundee off Binnie Road, 1 mile W of Randall Road at the N end of Adams Drive (where it dead ends). A gravel road on the E side end of Adams leads to the main trail head about 100 yards up the gravel road where there is room for some cars to park. When that fills up park at the end of Adams and walk up to the trail head where we will meet.

Google Maps Link to Adams Drive -
Call (630)514-4741 if lost.