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Natural Enquirer N e w s l e t t e r f o r S p r i n g Va l l e y S u p p o r t e r s a n d Vo l u n t e e r s

Vo l 1 0 • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

In this issue...

Sustainability is a buzzword appearing more and more in the business world as well as popular discussions of lifestyles and the environment. It is something that has informed Spring Valley’s mission for many years in an unspoken way. Our mission talks about educating people about the natural and cultural history of this area. While we don’t come right out and say it, we want people to be educated about this stuff so that they are better prepared to make changes in their lives that lead them towards more sustainable ways of relating to the earth. This issue of the Natural Enquirer provides several deeper looks at the workings of our natural world and our relationship to it. After a botanical foray into the colorful world of native phlox flowers, we get down and dirty with a treatise on seed dormancy and what we can learn from the patience of seeds lying beneath the soil. Conservation staff Matt Mercado provides a thought-provoking look at innovative fossil fuelfree ways of envisioning agriculture. While much is being done in the scientific community to explore sustainability and how new ideas can mollify our impact on the world ecosystems, our cultural conversations generally shy away from these deep ideas. Spring Valley tries in subtle ways to start some of those conversations and inspire curiosity.

Inside The Flames of Spring....................................... 2-3 Patience of a Seed Bank.................................. 4-5 A Big Welcome to Lane Linnenkohl....................5 Farming in Nature’s Image.............................. 6-7 What’s Happenin’.............................................8-11 Homemade Insect Sprays..................................12

Spring Valley General Information....................16 Volunteer News Contents Volunteer Information........................................13 Volunteer Calendar....................................... 14-15

Schaumburg Park District

Visit parkfun.com and take our Spring Valley Program Survey.


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

The Flames of Spring

by Dave Brooks

Prairies Phlox

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pril showers bring May flowers—thereafter, a constantly changing tapestry of color unfolds until the first frosts of autumn. Among the flashes of color bursting onto the scene during late spring, few wildflowers shine as brightly as the phloxes. The name is derived from the Greek word for flame, attributed to the fact that most phlox flowers come in various fiery hues of red, pink, magenta, and purple. While the colors displayed by some wildflowers are subdued or subtle when compared to their refined and cultivated garden cousins, the phloxes are naturally showy and garden-ready. Their bright colors are displayed liberally, with flowers clustered near the tops of the plant. Garden phlox or Sweet William is the best known of all phlox species and has been extensively cultivated for many years. Most of the wild varieties, however, are relatively unknown among gardeners, and many are uncommon or rare in the wild as well, being long-lived perennials found in increasingly scarce undisturbed natural areas. While most of the 60 or so phlox species are found in western North America, there are several eastern U.S. species. Botanically speaking, all members of the Phlox genus are a part of the Polemoniaceae family. All plants in this family have five petals, joined into a tube near the base where it attaches to the stem. This tube is especially long and conspicuous among phloxes and conceals the pollen-producing stamens and the pollen-gathering pistil. The petals flare away from the tube, providing both a neon sign of sorts that says, “Fresh nectar here!” as well as a sturdy landing pad for a light-footed butterfly. Nectar is produced deep within the corolla tube providing the sweet lure that brings insects and hummingbirds to the flowers for pollination. Those pollinators equipped with a tongue long enough to reach down into the tube are rewarded with a sip of nectar and carry pollen grains from flower to flower in the process. The first native phlox to make its appearance in spring is the blue woodland phlox, Phlox divaricata. This is also the most common of the wild phloxes, being fairly plentiful in the oak woodlands found throughout the eastern states and Midwest. It is also the most tolerant of disturbance, having been seen growing in wooded parks where dandelions and mowed grass have replaced most of the other wildflowers. Three-quarter inch blue to light violet flowers appear on the 8-12 inch stalks from early to late May in our area. Woodland phlox normally grows alongside many other beautiful spring wildflowers. Nevertheless, it is a treasure to behold, looking like pieces of spring sky that have settled onto the forest floor.

The prairie phlox, Phlox pilosa, was once a common sight on the Illinois prairies, massing with other prairie wildflowers to paint entire vistas in shades of pink and magenta from late May through mid-June. The following account by one early traveler in the Joliet area gives some sense of the glory that was the Illinois prairie in late spring. 2


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

You will scarcely credit the profusion of flowers upon these prairies. We passed whole acres of blossoms all bearing one hue, as purple, perhaps, or masses of yellow or rose; and then again a carpet of every color intermixed, or narrow bands, as if a rainbow had fallen upon the verdant slopes. When the sun flooded this Mosaic floor with light, and the summer breeze stirred among their leaves the iridescent glow was beautiful and wondrous beyond anything I had ever conceived...

Eliza Steele, near Joliet, Illinois in 1840 From Summer Journey in the West

While not mentioning phlox by name, it is likely that prairie phlox was adding much of the color noted by this traveler. A stunning present-day photograph of a spring prairie in Missouri, with prairie phlox mingling with red Indian paintbrush and yellow wood betony, can be seen in the opening pages of the Nature Conservancy’s beautiful book, Tallgrass Prairie, which can be found in the Spring Valley library. Typical of many prairie plants, prairie phlox has narrow leaves covered by a dense coat of fine hairs; characteristics that help it conserve water. It prefers ground that is somewhat rocky or otherwise well drained, and thus rarely gets over one foot high. If neighboring plants become too tall and dense, prairie phlox tends to decrease. It appears as though grazing and even mowing benefit this plant by removing some of the competition from taller plants. Originally, bison and elk provided the necessary thinning of grasses on the prairie. Presently, where unplowed prairies are cut for hay in mid-summer, as is true in parts of Kansas and Missouri, prairie phlox thrives.

Woodland Phlox

Also found on the Illinois prairies but blooming a bit later in the season is the smooth phlox, Phlox glaberrima. As is typical of prairie plants that bloom in mid-summer, this plant grows tall enough to reach above the rising tide of grass, which can be up to two feet tall by early July. Smooth phlox is also called marsh phlox, since it prefers moister ground than prairie phlox. Its smooth, hairless leaves and stems indicate that this plant does not have a problem with moisture conservation, unlike its cousin on higher ground. This is one of the showiest of the wild phloxes, displaying dense clusters of one-inch magenta blooms over a 2-3 week period. If tromping through a virgin prairie under the June sun in search of the two aforementioned native species does not sound appealing, you can always simply enjoy your garden phlox, which is just as beautiful, blooms in late summer and is tolerant of shade. You could also seek out a reputable supplier of native wildflowers, and invite these wonderful natives into your home landscape. Given conditions that simulate those they are accustomed to in the wild, all of the native phloxes will thrive in a home perennial garden. With proper planning and care in selecting varieties, you can enjoy phlox fire in your home garden from May through September. They will hold a candle to anything else in your garden. Marsh Phlox

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S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

Patience of a Seed Bank

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by Matt Streitmatter

e are often reminded of the importance of patience. On countless occasions, the phrases, “All good things come to those who wait” and “Patience is a virtue” have been recited. While there is obvious truth to these statements, they often go in one ear and out the other. As society has shifted to an impulse buy, instant gratification-type world, these lessons are falling farther away from reality; however, in the plant world, patience and opportunism are embedded deep within the soil. Without the stresses that seem to overcrowd the human mind and agenda, patience allows for existence. While waiting for the perfect moment and conditions, seeds may lay dormant for years. And a simple change, like more sunlight to the forest floor after a tree falls in a storm, can prompt an entirely new plant ecosystem below. While a seed may be fairly simple in construction, this tiny capsule of DNA can undergo the most complex demonstration of restraint and diligence. After all, this patience is the only thing allowing many plant species’ survival.

Prairie Seeds

Depending on the species, plants have different types of growing strategies and techniques. Generally, a plant’s objective is to set root, reach maturity, flower, and produce seed for future generations. There are many avenues for a plant to achieve this goal, but most plant species can be separated into two classes distinguished by the time it takes to reach maturity. Long term flora like trees, rely on persistence. Fighting through changes in climate and the environment, they display their durability, hardiness, and adaptability to change. While these seeds do show patience within the soil, they also tend to take more time to develop and mature. Due to this, simple changes in growing conditions are far less drastic and noticeable. The other group is the short term species; herbaceous natives and weeds that can complete their life cycle within a few years, or even annually. These species’ seeds are extremely resourceful, possessing the ability to sprout quickly to take advantage of an altered environment. While there are numerous scenarios that can prompt a seed bank to germinate, many revolve around increased sunlight and soil disturbance. A lack of sunlight can stunt or destroy any ecosystem. From the battle for light on a dense rain forest floor to small forbs beneath a sea of Indian grass on the prairie, all plants must acquire light to complete life functions and grow. And, if the light is removed, the seed bank below can remain dormant. A prime example of this is often seen after invasive species are cleared from woodland ecosystems. A main goal for many restoration efforts across the Midwest is to slow the spread of the invasive species European buckthorn, an aggressive shrub that grows so quickly and densely that it eventually crowds out natural areas. By swallowing up the light from above, nothing else can grow on the forest floor. Often after clearing projects, the site will display a reemergence of woodland wild flowers that were absent where the buckthorn once stood. These native wildflowers were not planted, but were rather waiting for the sun. Seeds embedded in the soil finally received their chance to shine. In addition to changes in sunlight, soil disturbance also plays a vital role in exposing a seed bank. In today’s age, this often has a negative effect on ecosystems. Due to the quantity of weed seeds within the soil, disruption brings these seeds to the surface. Constant construction and less available uninhabited wild space, drastically diminish the survival chance of sensitive native species. And as these plants lose habitat, they are slowly phased out of the seed bank.

32,000 Year Old Campion

As invasive species continue to spread and fewer high quality natives go to seed, the overall health of today’s seed bank is concerning. More green space, natural areas, and selective planting can help to promote plant diversity within the seed reserve. In turn, human disturbance may help the distribution of certain adaptable species. Native plants like common milkweed, black-eyed Susan and tall goldenrod thrive in disturbance, adjusting well to changes to the soil. These plants are often growing abundantly along expressways and in abandoned fields. These natives, along with weeds and invasive species, are frequently the first to be seen after the soil has been turned over. But one must wonder if soil disturbance had a different effect thousands of years ago. Before the introduction of exotic weed species and frequent human disturbances, remnant prairies stretched from the Rocky Mountains to Illinois. For thousands of years, high quality grasses, sedges, and perennial wildflowers conducted their life cycle and contributed to the seed bank annually. Their root systems entangled massive webs deep into the black soil that held the soil in place, ensured future growth, 4


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

and possibly prevented aggressive species to move into a site. This raises the question of whether the previously mentioned resourceful natives were as prevalent long ago; and whether these species relented to the already established rare and high quality plants. Besides the occasional bison herd, effects of floods, and wildfires, the prairie remained fairly intact. And, minimal disturbance may have equated to less potential habitat for aggressive flora. One can only wonder if today’s overly opportunistic native species were few and far between, due to the vast variety of plants, lack of soil disturbance, and diverse seed bank. The length of time a seed can remain viable is affected by many factors. Some species’ seed can wait for optimal conditions for decades, and others may only remain viable for a year or two. Often, moisture and temperature will determine how much time can pass until the seed can no longer sprout and grow. And, if a seed finds itself in a cool dry place, incredible acts of patience can be displayed. The oldest viable seed discovered comes with great controversy and debate. Stories of lotus seeds from ancient Japan and the pyramids in Egypt circulate. Many proclamations date back to the ice age as more and more seeds are discovered frozen in the arctic tundra ice. This was the case with arctic lupine seeds discovered in an ancient lemming burrow in Canada. Two dozen seeds were discovered and originally thought to be thousands of years old; however, according to BBC’s article, “10,000 Year Old Seed Debunked,” these seeds were actually dated back only 50 years. There are two discoveries accepted by the scientific community that vie for the record as the oldest viable seed. The oldest viable seed known to germinate naturally is held by a 2,000 year old Judean date palm discovered in Jerusalem near the Dead Sea. The irony is that the seed was not dead, but rather waiting! Now a small tree, formally named Methuselah, it is the oldest on record to naturally sprout from seed once discovered and planted. Some still consider Methuselah to be the oldest viable seed because of the natural process in which it was germinated; however, another astonishing breakthrough occurred in 2012 by a team of Russian scientists who discovered seeds from a 32,000 year old narrow-leafed campion. The seeds were excavated from ancient squirrel burrows 125 feet below the permafrost along the Kolyma River in northeastern Siberia. The seeds were encased in ice Methuselah and remained at an approximate temperature of -7 ºC. The team first tried to germinate the seeds, but was unsuccessful. Through another strategy to revive the campion, they were able to extract living tissue cells from the placenta of the seed. From there they were able to successfully thaw and grow the campion in culture dishes. While these seeds did not naturally germinate, the in vitro growth is truly remarkable and opens the door to countless possibilities for seed germination. Scientists are continually searching to break this record as ice continues to melt from the polar ice caps. As time passes, and seeds are exposed, they are confident that viable seeds will arise dating back to ancient and possibly prehistoric tundra ecosystems. From record breaking viable seed expeditions to a clump of wild ginger sprouting after a brush clearing project, each is remarkable in its own way. As the world continues to rush to the next appointment on the calendar, the seed bank just below the surface will lie and wait. Sources https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/02/120221-oldest-seeds-regenerated-plants-science/ http://news.bbc.co.uk/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8142000/8142037.stm https://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/jun/12/ancient.seed

A BIG Welcome to Lane Linnenkohl – Farm Operations Supervisor

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ane has been involved in living history for nearly twenty years. He was educated as an ecologist and worked in ecology for approximately 15 years. Due to his interest in sustainable farming and historical methods of producing food, he bought a forty acre farm and started a horse powered farm in Kentucky. He produced pasture-raised meats for sale at farmers markets. He was able to wrap his interest in sustainability, living history, and working horses in one endeavor. He used his experiences on the farm and working with horses every day to add color and realism to his living history programs. Lane was born and raised in Huntley, IL. He currently lives in Algonquin, IL, with his wonderful partner, Emily and their two children, Evelyn and Nick. He is part owner of a horse drawn carriage business, and he enjoys spending time with his family. 5


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

Farming in Nature’s Image

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by Matt Mercado

limate change poses a serious threat to organized human life. Depending on where you look, the effects will be different but the challenges posed to farmers can impact humanity’s food security. Industrial agricultural practices directly contribute to this problem, but with modifications designed to assist nature instead of control it, growing delicious and healthy food can be one of the solutions.

Industrial agriculture requires fossil fuels from production to consumption. Pesticides and fertilizers are made with petroleum through processes dependent on it for energy. Gas powered machines prepare fields and transport crops. Although we still see an abundance of food in grocery stores, the dependence on oil makes these practices unsustainable even without considering the destructive pollution they cause. Carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from burning fossil fuels is raising the global temperature leading to less unpredictable climates. Overzealous use of fertilizers and pesticides turn farm soils into dead zones by killing microorganisms that build soil fertility. Excess chemicals flood out of the soil into waterways leading to dead zones in the oceans.

UCSC Farm Rows • Pic by David Silver

Fossil fuel reliance is designed into the system for modern farmers to manage crops in tight rows of genetically identical plants called monocultures. You would be hard pressed to find such a concentration of a single organism here at Spring Valley with the exception of a few thickets and cattail marshes which still provide habitat for wildlife. The conservation staff, with the help of volunteers, fights the formation of buckthorn and loosestrife monocultures. Plants concentrated in this way are more susceptible to pests almost guaranteeing the need for pesticides to save crops. Besides the health concerns associated with the use of pesticides, they are still effective; but continued use leads to what some call a co-evolutionary arms race. Through evolution, pests develop resistance to the chemicals leading to the need for stronger ones which in turn leads to new resistant pests; therefore, pesticides work now but become less effective over time. We use pesticides at Spring Valley as a last resort and apply them in small amounts when the situation economically calls for it; whereas farmers spray entire fields for years. As long as farmers keep including them as production tools, which they will if they keep planting monocultures, this evolutionary battle will continue to take place. Between the dependence on fossil fuels and the declining effectiveness of pesticides, humans must look to ecological properties, the very ones demonstrated here at Spring Valley, for solutions that don’t fight nature but work with it. As a better understanding of how ecosystems function is developed, this knowledge can be applied to farm planning and management. This won’t require us to abandon our favorite crops but instead reimagine how they are best incorporated into a farm as an ecosystem. Originating from research done on indigenous cropping systems in Latin America, the study of food system ecology is called Agroecology. Its primary goal is to modernize and innovate what worked in the past to make future farms as self-sustaining as possible. The most important ecological components utilized by future farms will be biodiversity and succession.

Intercropping Coffee Tomatoes Pic by Neil Palmer (CIAT)

Walking the far-east trail at Spring Valley, one can immediately see the diversity of ecosystems across the landscape. Almost seamlessly, following the trail, we see the prairie flowing into wetland. Following the curve westward, the wetland turns into woodland. Within these three ecosystems you can see a diversity of plant and animal species adapted to their respective habitats. Within each of these species populations there further exists a diversity of genetics causing organisms in the same species to look, behave, and function differently. All of these examples of differences demonstrate the ecological concept of biodiversity which can be applied to strands of DNA at the cellular level all the way up to the miles of comparative landscapes that cover our earth. Biodiversity serves to make ecosystems functionally more resistant to disturbances. The more diversity within the system, the less the system itself depends on any single organism to properly function and the less susceptible any particular member becomes to various disturbances. One might think of the old colloquial saying that warns of “putting all your eggs in one basket” when describing why diversity is key to ecosystem function and resilience. The oldest established sites at Spring Valley are where the least management of invasive species is required simply because the natives easily out-compete the invaders because of biodiversity. We can effectively call our wild ecosystems poly6


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9 cultures compared to the single crop monocultures on industrial farms. We know these diverse groups of organisms evolved over time through natural selection, but how do scientists understand the formation of diverse ecosystems? This diversity is formed through changes in community composition and function over time in a process called succession. Ecosystem successions tend to move towards higher complexity and higher stability. The process is influenced by the way organisms behave and interact with each other and the nonliving components of landscapes. These nonliving factors determine what type of ecosystem and species will survive best on a given patch of land. Water runs down a hill and settles into the conditions for wetland species or a north facing slope gets less light and less heat attracting species that prefer these conditions. Organisms then carve out a living in these diverse areas competing and sharing resources while influencing the phases of succession. The process of succession starts with the creation of soil. This is carried out by microorganisms turning rock particles into plant nutrients. From there plants we would classify as weeds capture these newly available nutrients into their physical structures. In death they give back these nutrients to the soil for breakdown by the microorganisms making them available to plants again. As soil fertility increases, grasses and wildflowers take over, forming grasslands and prairies. These plants have deeper roots and grow taller creating habitat for more diverse soil and terrestrial organisms. Over time shrubs and trees slowly start to invade grasslands transforming them into savannahs. The more prevalent they become, the more the former prairie begins to look like woodland. Tree roots can grow deep getting previously unavailable nutrients and converting them into leaves that will be dropped onto the soil for breakdown. The trunk and branches will grow tall and wide to cast shade and block wind creating habitat for different shade tolerant plants and forest animals to move in. The trees eventually take hold turning woodlands to forests where a site would be unrecognizable from the patch of weeds that started the process. Plant nutrients are rarely lost because of how many opportunities they have to reAP Biology_-_Primary Succession Drawing cycle through the system. Various forms of Pic by Joshfn on Wikipedia Primary Succession page disturbance alter the ecosystem by either resetting the process or altering its course of development. Although the succession of an ecosystem from less complex to more is understood on the linear continuum just outlined, there is no guarantee an ecosystem will move in any specific direction because disturbance is a functional property and the outcomes will depend on the diversity of disturbances and the diversity of organism and their reactions in a given ecosystem. It still holds that the more biologically diverse an ecosystem the less drastic a shock to the system will be for the community as it gives the opportunity for different members to participate whether dandelions grow where a tree just fell before another tree grows to take its place in the canopy. Farm monocultures disturb the soil every year, thus the soil can’t build up fertility. Chemical inputs damage the soil microorganisms that would build up this fertility if they could. This is comparable to over drafting a bank account while running up credit. Future farms can design crop rotational plans that grow staple grains one season and overtime eventually establish orchard-like polycultures with livestock grazing in between. Some space can be designated for wild habitat within the rotation, purposefully designed to increase predator populations that will make it harder for pests to thrive. As a polyculture starts to decline in productivity, disturbances can be planned either to start successional rotations over again or to increase productivity at different stages. Farms utilizing agro-ecological principles can produce a mixture of food, fibers, medicines, and fuels while building fertility and increasing resilience like natural ecosystems. These strategies are designed to keep nutrients cycling within the system and increase biodiversity. Farms will then act more like the homesteads of the settlers or the Native American-managed ecosystems that restorations are designed to recreate (but using modern tools and knowledge). We can then imagine the rural landscape a myriad of diverse farms and wildlife restorations based on climatic conditions of regional landscapes. Some of these farms and restorations will be in the middle of cities and suburbs helping us view our human habitats more like ecosystems. If you have ever grown a home garden or volunteered here at Spring Valley, then you are already working to increase suburban biodiversity and I can only hope you continue helping and learning from nature! Sources: Gliessman, Stephen R., and Eric W. Engles. Agroecology: the Ecology of Sustainable Food Systems. CRC Press, 2015. Shepard, Mark. Restoration Agriculture: Real-World Permaculture for Farmers. ACRES U.S.A., 2013.

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S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

Click on program/icon for information and to register online.*

*To create a new account, visit the registration desk at the CRC or download an internet registration form at parkfun.com under the registration tab. Programs will be cancelled three days in advance if minimum is not reached, so register early! Spring Valley offers an early bird discount on programs. Prices in the current brochure reflect that discount and will be in effect until one week before the date of the program. At that time, fees will increase 15%. Programs with insufficient registration will be cancelled at noon three days before the program. Please take advantage of this opportunity. It is our attempt to serve you better!

Early Childhood Educators’ Combo | Saturday, May 11 • 9 a.m.- 4 p.m.

Receive two nationally acclaimed curricula, Project Learning Tree Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood and Growing Up Wild.

Project Learning Tree | Saturday, May 25 • 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Project Learning Tree® is an award-winning environmental program designed for educators, parents and community leaders. Enjoy a fun filled day learning about and participating in many of the 96 interdisciplinary activities.

Project Wild & Wild Aquatic Teacher Workshop | Friday, June 7 • 9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Project WILD and WILD Aquatic are award-winning environmental education and conservation programs designed for teachers, scout leaders and others to learn about many of the interdisciplinary STEM activities.

ADULT

21 YRS+

Rain or Shine

Harper College & Spring Valley

Presented by:

Register through Harper College or call 847-925-6707. Class held at Spring Valley.

Illinois Heirloom Gardening

Saturday, May 18 • Noon-2 p.m. Learn to grow organic herbs and vegetables in your own backyard without the use of pesticides or chemicals. Course: LLG008-001

Saturday, June 15 • 6-9 p.m. • Meineke Park

Creating with Concrete: Birdbaths

Saturday, May 4 • 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Participants will get hands-on experience working with cement and making a rustic birdbath.

Enjoy a summer evening in a beautiful park setting as wineries and breweries provide tastings of their top picks. More information and Tickets are available at SchaumburgParkFoundation.org.

Weekly Yoga at the Cabin

$30 per person All proceeds benefit Schaumburg Park Foundation

Tuesday, June 4-Aug. 20 • 6-7 p.m. Thursday, June 6-Aug. 22 • 6-7 p.m. Thursday, June 6-Aug. 22 • 7:30-8:30 p.m. Nurture your mind and body in this rustic setting and connect with nature.

ALL AGES

A Beginner’s Intro to Yoga at the Cabin

Breakfast with the Birds

Saturday, May 4 • 7-9 a.m. Enjoy an early morning walk to look for Spring Valley’s colorful migratory birds.

Tuesday, June 4-Aug. 20 • 7:30-8:30 p.m. This yoga class is designed to introduce new students to yoga. All ages are welcome. 8


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

EARLY CHILDHOOD NEW • Lil’ Insect Trekkers

Spring Bird Count

NEW • Lil’ Nature Trekkers

Help count birds during the Audubon Society’s spring bird count. This is an excellent opportunity to sharpen bird identification skills.

Saturday, May 4 • 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Nature Center

Saturdays • 3-4:15 a.m. June 11 - Grasshoppers & Beetles Join a naturalist for a nature-based story, craft and outdoor exploration. Saturdays • 9:30-10:45 a.m. May 11 - Wildflowers June 8 - Turtles Join a naturalist for a nature-based story, craft and outdoor exploration.

Open to all ages

FAMILY NEW • Low Carbon Diet Family Program Saturday, June 22 & July 20 • 10 a.m.-Noon Explore ways to reduce your carbon footprint and ameliorate global climate change.

NEW • Nature Play Date

Thursdays, May 2, 16 & 30 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Explore natural wonders through age-appropriate science and spend time at Bison’s Bluff.

Night of the Frogs

Saturday, June 1 • 6:30-8 p.m. As the sun sets, we’ll hike around the wetlands in search of these hoppy amphibians.

Home School Naturalist Group Programs

YOUTH Birding Buddies

Spring Valley Nature Center and Heritage Farm are the perfect places for hands-on, exploration based science programs.

Wednesdays • 3-5 p.m. June 19 - Robins & Orioles We will use binoculars and field guides to identify common birds, while studying their behavior.

This spring the following topics are offered: • Wetland Defenders – Using scientific techniques, determine the water quality of Spring Valley’s wetlands. • Woodland Wildflowers – Learn the parts of a flower and explore the woods for spring flowers. • Spring Birds – Go over bird watching basics, learn common bird calls and examine real bird nests. • Available every spring – Farms and Food, Gardening, Nighttime Nature, Owls: Predators of the Night, Springtime Growth, Wetlands, Conservation in Action, and Woodlands.

NEW • Budding Artists Series

Mondays • 3-5 p.m. June 17 - Colors Discover your artistic side at Spring Valley. We’ll paint, draw and create new works of art.

NEW • Garden Party Series

Tuesdays • 3-5 p.m. June 25 - Seeds & Sprouts Enjoy the bounty of summer’s crop and lend a hand in Spring Valley’s Kids’ Garden.

For more information about programs and pricing, or to schedule a program, call 847-985-2100.

NEW • Hooray for Herpetology

Thursdays • 3-5 p.m. June 13 - Frogs & Toads Herpetology is the study of reptiles and amphibians! We will search and study for some of our cold-blooded friends here at Spring Valley.

Farm to Fork Festival

Wednesday, Aug. 14 • 5-8 p.m.

Join us for a celebration of fresh, seasonal, regional foods! This unique adults-only event will feature some of the area’s top chefs preparing and serving up dishes derived from locally sourced fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses. Locally made beers and wines will be offered as well. Heritage Farm on a summer evening will provide the perfect setting to enjoy an unforgettable meal. Registration Deadline: Aug. 9.

Make It & Take It Sundays FREE! June 16 • July 7 • Aug. 11

Drop by the Nature Center any time between 1-3 p.m. to enjoy a simple nature based craft to take home. Make butterflies, caterpillars, ladybugs and other interesting animals! 9


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

Insect Safari

Heritage Farm Drop-in Programs

Wednesdays • 3-5 p.m. June 5 - Grasshoppers & Beetles We’ll hike the trails to catch and study insects, play some games, do a craft.

Prairie Pirates

Saturday, May 11 • 1:00-2:30 p.m. Put your naviatin’ skills to the test for a pirate scavenger hunt at Bison’s Bluff.

Space Day

FREE • Mother’s Day Celebration

Friday, May 3 • 7:30-9 p.m. Spend an evening at Spring Valley exploring the exciting and fascinating aspects of space.

Sunday, May 12 • Anytime between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. On Mother’s Day, Heritage Farm will be open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., children are welcome to visit Heritage Farm Visitor’s Center to make a simple and free Mother’s Day craft for Mom.

NEW • Spring Day of Fun

Admission is free and all ages are welcome.

Wednesday, May 1 • Noon-3 p.m. Monday, May 27 • 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Spend the day having some spring-themed fun exploring Spring Valley. Dress for the weather.

German Beer Gardens

Turtle Trek

Friday, May 24 • 4:30-7:30 p.m. (Last call 7 p.m.) Saturday, June 8 • 4-7 p.m. (Last call 7:30 p.m.) Heritage Farm is offering a traditional German biergarten complete with German music, pretzels, refreshments, local craft beer and soda. Bring a picnic dinner for the family, have fun with backyard games and enjoy a evening with us. Admission is offered the day of the event. Each ticket includes a pretzel or pickle, and a reusable glass. Beer and soda will be available for purchase. Event runs rain or shine.

NEW • Wet and Wild Science

$5 per person, 3 years and younger are free

Saturday, June 8 • 1-2:30 p.m. Some of our turtles are on the move and we’re going to try find out where they are headed. Saturday, June 1 • 1-4 p.m. Work alongside a naturalist collecting data to determine the health of our pond and creek.

Drop-In Thursdays

Anytime between 10 a.m. and Noon $3/person

Appropriate for ages 3 years and older

June 6: Pop in for Popcorn

Pop into the farmhouse to see how popcorn was popped historically, and then visit our museum shop to create your own flavors of gourmet popcorn.

Summer Camps

June 27: Pretzel Possibilities

Ever wonder how the pretzel got its twist? Visit the farmhouse to find out and then partake in our pretzel bar by decorating your own pretzel just to your liking.

at Spring Valley

FREE • Heritage Farm Local Market Day

Spring Valley offers a variety of summer camps (full and half-day) for children 5-15 years old.

Thursday, June 13 • 9 a.m.-Noon Visit the Heritage Farm Museum Shop early to sample and purchase locally made and grown foods along with other goods. Everything from the farm’s fresh eggs to locally raised meat and cheese, to Handicrafter designed goods will be available for purchase as quantities lasts.

For more information, call 847-985-2100 or click here.

Spring Valley Country Fair

Saturday & Sunday, June 22 & 23 • Noon-4 p.m. • Heritage Farm

Immerse yourself in sights, smells and cultural life of a re-created 19th century community farm fair! Visit the livestock and domestic arts tent. Be drawn in with blue ribbon winning skits and other live entertainment. Purchase the latest wears from Spring Valley Handicrafters. Food and other refreshments are available for purchase. Parking is available west of Heritage Farm at Our Saviour’s United Methodist Church, 701 E. Schaumburg Road. All ages • Free

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S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

Nature Center Drop-in Programs

Weekly Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides at the Farm Saturdays and Sundays until mid-November Wednesdays and Fridays starting June 5 • Noon-2:30 p.m. Beginning June 5, from noon to 2:30 p.m., relax and enjoy a horse-drawn wagon ride through Heritage Farm as staff relates information about the farm, animals and the history of Schaumburg’s farm families. Dress for the weather. • Saturdays, Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays • Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis the day of the ride and no earlier than 15 minutes before the start time. • Tickets are $4/person; children 3 and younger are free. • Wagon holds a maximum of 15 people. • Rides begin and end next to the Farm Visitor Center.

FREE • Peonies Aplenty!

Late May through early June Call the Nature Center at 847-985-2100 to find out if the peonies are in bloom and then stop by Merkle Cabin to see them. Be sure to bring your camera; it’s a site not to be missed!

Note: Wagon rides may be cancelled due to extreme weather (storms or heat) and/or animal health issues. Wagon rides will not be offered on Special Event days. Please call 847-985-2102 or check parkfun.com for updated information.

End of School Campfire

Saturday, June 1 • 7:30-9 p.m. Start summer at Spring Valley with our ‘Almost the End of School Campfire!’ Enjoy a night by the fire as we celebrate the start of summer vacation with family and friends. Bring a blanket or lawn chair, roast marshmallows and take a wagon ride through the prairie. S’more supplies will be available for purchase ($1 per two s’mores)! All ages • $2 per person

Native Plant Sale

FREE • Nature Center Summer Camp Orientation

Friday, June 7 • 7-8 p.m. Do you have a camper coming to Spring Valley’s Nature Center this summer? Come for an informal get together to meet the camp counselors and hear about our philosophy and some of the great things we have planned for your camper, big or small!

Spring Valley Nature Center

FREE • Training for New Monarch Butterfly Volunteers Saturday, May 4 • 2-4 p.m. or Wednesday, May 29 • 7-9 p.m.

Sunday, May 19 • 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Butterfly stewards are needed to help raise monarch butterflies at Spring Valley’s Monarch Rearing Station and help teach visitors about monarchs during daily butterfly releases. Learn what’s involved in collecting monarch eggs and nurturing them through all four stages of development until they are released as adults. Monarchs will be released daily throughout the monarch season, approximately June through early October. Volunteers also will help tag the fall generation for citizen scientists to study if they are found in Mexico. Call the Nature Center at 847-985-2100 to register.

This celebration of environmental stewardship features information on landscaping with native plants, composting, attracting birds, rain gardens, plant sale and more. Pre-order plants at SchaumburgGardenClub.org and SpringValleyNatureClub.org. Order forms may also be picked up at the Nature Center. Click here for more information. Co-sponsored by Spring Valley Nature Club and Schaumburg Community Garden Club 11


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

Homemade Insect Sprays

by Amanda Anderson

For the campers enrolled in Spring Valley’s summer camps, very little can keep them from enjoying their time outdoors. Hot days are remedied with dips into the creek while rainy days are a time to enjoy hopping in puddles. One thing, though, has the capacity to turn an enjoyable afternoon at the pond or in the Heritage Grove into a nightmare; mosquitoes and their itchy bites. For even the most outdoorsy of campers and visitors alike, mosquitoes are a nuisance that can be hard to ignore. To help keep the bug bites at bay the staff always encourage visitors to wear long sleeves and pants and to stay out of the most mosquito prone areas such as the marsh and pond. It is also a good idea to avoid going outside at dusk when the insects are most active. Sometime, though, a repellent is needed. While there are many store-bought insect sprays available that work very well, some people try to avoid chemicals like DEET (the main repellent ingredient in chemical insect sprays) or prefer a product with a better smell. Below is a list of homemade insect sprays that use ingredients typically found in the grocery store or garden. These sprays work well if you are hanging out in open park spaces such as Bison’s Bluff or walking along the trials. If you need to venture into heavily wooden or marshy areas for extended periods of time it is best to stick with a store bought spray.

Simple Bug Spray

This is an effective natural repellent to have on hand, especially if you’re entertaining outdoors and have a flying pest issue in your yard. Yield: about 16 ounces • 2 c. witch hazel • 1½ tsp. lemongrass or citronella essential oil • 1 T. apple cider vinegar Directions: Combine all ingredients and pour them into a large spray bottle or several smaller bottles. To use, shake slightly to reblend, and then spray into your skin.

Herb-Infused Bug Spray

This is an easy way to use plants already in your yard or garden. Yield: 16 ounces • 2 T. fresh mint, chopped • 2 T. fresh lavender leaves, chopped • 2 T. fresh basil leaves, chopped • 1 c. boiling water • 1 c. witch hazel Directions: Combine herbs in hot water and let steep for 10 minutes then strain and let cool. Mix the witch hazel into the herb infused water and pour into a spray bottle. Shake to combine before spraying onto your skin. Sometimes, even with your best effort, insect bites still happen. When a mosquito bites, it pierces the skin with its straw-like mouth called a proboscis to reach our blood. While this is happening a bit of the mosquitos saliva is injected as well to act as an anticlotting agent in the blood so the insect doesn’t get its proboscis stuck in your skin. The immune system recognizes the mosquito’s saliva as a foreign substance and releases histamine to attack the unknown substance to avoid infection. It is this histamine response that causes a bug bite to itch and swell. Not everyone reacts to mosquito bites in the same way. A person’s body can start to reduce the amount of histamine released after a bite if they have had a lot of contact with mosquitos. Eventually the body learns that mosquito saliva is not a harmful agent and will not mount an immune response at all, meaning no swelling or itching. It can take a few years to build up this tolerance so it is more common in adults than in children. If you do get a bite, scratching can make your body release more of the itch-causing histamine, thus causing the bite to become more inflamed and itchier. Besides from distracting yourself from the itch below are some simple homemade ways to combat itchy mosquito bites: • Apply ice or cold water to the bite to slow the spread of histamine • The gel from inside aloe vera can be cooling on bites, just like with sunburn • Herbs such as mint, lemon balm or basil can be mashed into a paste and applied to bites for cooling relief 12


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

Volunteer News

Dates to Remember

Volunteer Want Ads

If you are interested in helping with any of the following activities, please call Judy at 847-985-2100 or e-mail her at juvito@parkfun.com.

Conservation Workdays

May 18 and June 15 • 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Come one! Come all! We’re looking for volunteers to spend the morning with us for our upcoming workdays. Any amount of time you can share with us on these conservation projects would be appreciated.

Country Fair

Saturday and Sunday, June 22 & 23 Noon-4 p.m. Farm interpreters are needed to help recreate the charm of a late

19th century community farm fair. Additional support positions are available for registered volunteers.

Monarch Rearing Station Needs Volunteers!

Saturday, May 4 • 2-4 p.m. or Wednesday, May 29 • 7-9 p.m. Butterfly stewards are needed to help raise monarch butterflies at Spring Valley’s Monarch Rearing Station. Learn what’s involved in collecting monarch eggs and nurturing them through all four stages of development until they are released as adults.

Pats on the back to the following volunteers... • Jeanne Banducci. Diane Crater, Christine and John Curin, Patty Gucciardi, Gloria Moritz, Carol and Harold Pletz, and Roy Svenson for being this year’s sap collectors.

• Duane Bolin, Eve Carter, Dennis and Rosemary Colbert, Christine Curin, Barb Dochterman, Lynn Eikenbary, Arthur Jeczala, Tony Meo, Connie NelsonSanford, Carol Pletz, Ken Ogorzalek, Penny and Tom Perles, Jim Peterson, Denise Suender, Donna Turner, Lydia Tarasiuk, and Angela Waidanz for helping with miscellaneous set-up jobs for Sugar Bush. • All the volunteers who did a fabulous job helping at this year’s Sugar Bush Fair. • Duane Bolin, Lynn Eikenbary, Ken Ogorzalek, and Lydia Tarasiuk for assisting with the spring prescribed burns.

Congratulations to...

Welcome New Volunteers… • Kirk Levis

• Saturday, May 4.................7 a.m.-4 p.m. Spring Bird Count • Saturday, May 4......................... 2-4 p.m. New Monarch Volunteer Training • Monday, May 13...................1:30-4 p.m. Handy Crafters Meeting • Saturday, May 18..............9 a.m.-1 p.m. Conservation Workday • Sunday, May 19...............10 a.m.-2 p.m. Native Plant Sale • Wednesday, May 29.................. 7-9 p.m. New Monarch Volunteer Training • Monday, June 10..................1:30-4 p.m. Handy Crafters Meeting • Saturday, June 15.............9 a.m.-1 p.m. Conservation Workday • Saturday, June 22.............. Noon-4 p.m. Country Fair • Sunday, June 23................. Noon-4 p.m. Country Fair

Happy Birthday to… May 1 2 3 5 7 14 16

Brigid Brausen Tom Skiba Cindy Holmberg Jim Baum Lee Hirstein Carol Johnson Elizabeth Tatom Nirali Patel Angela Waidanz

June

Louis Handke-Roth, recipient of this year’s Spring Valley Volunteer of the Year, for his many contributions and exemplary commitment to Spring Valley during the past year. His assistance with farm interpretation, leather working and special events is greatly appreciated.

• Allie Barner

• Wednesday, May 1.................... 6-9 p.m. Volunteer Meeting

• George Samp 13

1 2 3 5 9 13 15 18 20

Patty Gucciardi Penny Perles Venus Gintowt Amanda Greco Sebastian Zieleziecki Hilary Ellis Tom Walsh Matt Skiba Carol Thomas Pete Gigous Ken Pobloske

17 Jan Costis 18 Betty Bei David Gola 22 Dave Margolis Marcia Wysocki 25 Melissa Carpenter 28 Al Vogel 30 Laura Brefeld 31 Graham Knott

21 22 23 26 27 30

Bill Tucknott Richard Leonhardt Leon Blum Peg Dorgan Harold Pletz Sander Chagoya Julie Margolis James McGee Nancy Griffin Gerri Svenson


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • Vo l u n t e e r C a l e n d a r

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

•Spring Day of Fun Noon

Bold indicates volunteer activities Italics indicates programs which may be taken as complimentary by volunteers See “What’s Happening” for program descriptions

6

Volunteer Meeting 6pm

7

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

12

•Mother’s Day Celebration 11am

13

Handy Crafters Meeting 1:30pm

19

14

8

20

21

Schaumburg Community Garden Club 7pm

15

27

•Spring Day of Fun 9am

Memorial Day

28

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

2

•Nature Play Date 11:45am

Friday

3

•Space Day 7pm

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

10

Saturday

4

Spring Bird Count 7am •Breakfast with the Birds 7am •Creating with Concrete: Birdbaths 11am New Monarch Volunteer Training 2pm

11

•Lil’ Nature Trekkers 9:30am •Prairie Pirates 1pm

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm Sierra Club 6:30pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

16

•Nature Play Date 11:45am

17

18

Conservation Workday 9am •Heirloom Gardening Noon

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

22

23

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

26

Thursday

9

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

Mother’s Day Native Plant Sale 10am

Wednesday

1

Farm Hours: Tues-Sun • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Cabin Closed

5

MAY 2019

24

•Spring Beer Garden 4pm

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

29

30

•Nature Play Date 11:45am

New Monarch Volunteer Training 7pm

14

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

31

25


S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • Vo l u n t e e r C a l e n d a r

Sunday

Monday

Tuesday

JUNE 2019 Wednesday

Thursday

1

Farm Hours: Tues-Sun • 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Cabin Closed

Bargain Bulb Sale 10am •Wet and Wild Science 1pm

Bold indicates volunteer activities Italics indicates programs which may be taken as complimentary by volunteers See “What’s Happening” for program descriptions

2

3

•Night of the Frogs 6:30pm •School’s Out Campfire 7:30pm

4

5

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

9

10

Handy Crafters Meeting 1:30pm

M-F

11

•Lil’ Insect Trekkers 3pm

•Wee Sprouts 9am •Chores and Chortles 9:15am

•All About Fish 9:30am •Lil’ Rock Hounds 9:30am

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

16

•Make It & Take It Sundays 1-3pm

17

•Budding Artists 3pm

M-F

23

•Summer Camp Sampler 9am

Spring Valley Nature Club 6:30pm

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

•Nature Center Summer Camp Orientation 7pm

12

13

•Local Market Day 9am •Hooray for Herpetology 3pm

•Naturalist s Club 10am •Habitat Hikers 1pm Schaumburg Community Garden Club 7pm

19

M-F

25

•Garden Party 3pm •Green Thumbs 9am •Wee Sprouts 9am

•Victorian Finishing School 9:15am •Feathered Friends 9:30am

7

•Farm Drop In – Popcorn 10am

•Birding Buddies 3pm •S.O.S. Junior 10am •Cabin Capers 10am

6

•Summer Camp Sampler 9am •Insect Safari 3pm

14

8

•Little Nature Trekkers 9:30am •Turtle Trek 1pm •German Beer Garden 4pm

15

Conservation Workday 9am

•Farmer Boot Camp 2:30pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm Sierra Club 6:30pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

20

21

•Lil’ Astronauts 1pm

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

24

30

18

•Hungry Hunters 9:30am •Historian’s Apprentice 9:30am

Father’s Day Spring Valley Country Fair Noon

Saturday

Friday

22

•Low Carbon Diet 10am Spring Valley Country Fair Noon

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

26

•Summer Camp Sampler 9am

27

•Farm Drop In – Pretzels 10am

•Campfire Cooking 9:30am •Lil’ S.O.S. Camp 1pm

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

•Weekly Yoga at Cabin 6pm •Weekly Yoga at Cabin 7:30pm

15

28

•Summer Camp Sampler 9am

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S p r i n g Va l l e y • N a t u r a l E n q u i r e r • M a y / J u n e 2 0 1 9

SPRING VALLEY | Schaumburg Park District • 1111 East Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg, Illinois 60194 Spring Valley is a refuge of 135 acres of fields, forests, marshes and streams with over three miles of handicapped-accessible trails, a museum featuring natural history displays and information, a new nature playground and an 1880s living-history farm. Spring Valley is open to the general public. Admission is free.

Hours:

Schaumburg Road

Plum Grove Road

N

Volkening Heritage Farm

Grounds and Trails April 1 - Oct. 31.............. Daily................. 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 1 - March 31........... Daily................. 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

Vera Meineke Nature Center & Bison's Bluff Nature Playground

Nature Center/Museum Hours Year-round...................... Daily................. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Bison’s Bluff Nature Playground April 1 - Oct. 31.............. Tue-Sun........... 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.................. Noon -8 p.m. Nov. 1 - March 31........... Daily................. 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (weather permitting)

Merkle Cabin

Volkening Heritage Farm April 3 - Nov. 18.............. Daily................. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon.................. Museum buildings CLOSED Dec. 1 - March 31........... Open for Special Events & programs only

Spring Valley 135 acres

Unless otherwise noted, all programs are held rain or shine. Participants should dress appropriately for weather conditions.

Vera Meineke Nature Center 847-985-2100

Volkening Heritage Farm 847-985-2102

The earth-sheltered visitor center provides an introduction to Spring Valley’s 135 acres of restored prairies, woodlands and wetlands and three miles of trails. The center contains natural history exhibits that change seasonally, a demonstration Backyard for Wildlife, an observation tower, classrooms, an extensive library, gift sales area and restrooms.

Step back into the past for a look at Schaumburg as it was in the 1880s – a rural German farm community. Help with seasonal farm chores, participate in family activities and games of the 1880s, or simply visit the livestock and soak in the quiet. Authentically dressed interpreters will welcome and share activities with visitors throughout the site.

Environmental Outreach Program

Scout Badges

We’ll bring our outreach program to your site. Topics include forests, worms, spiders, mammals, owls, food chains, food webs, wetlands, and the water cycle. Students will participate in hands-on activities, songs, and games. Topics may be adapted to students in grades one through six, and are aligned with Illinois State Standards and NGSS.

We offer many opportunities for scouts. Our programs will help with your badge, pin or patch requirements. Call for more information or stop in for a brochure.

Spring Valley Firepit and Shelter Rentals

Make your next scout group, business or family gathering something special! Spring Valley offers the use of a picnic shelter and fire pit in a wooded setting near the Merkle Log Cabin. Use of the site includes firewood, trash/recycling receptacles and benches, as well as picnic tables. No alcohol or amplified music permitted. Restrooms are available at the Heritage Farm or Nature Center, a 5–10 minute walk. The adjacent Merkle Log Cabin contains a restroom and may be rented for additional fees.

Programs at Spring Valley

School, Scout and adult groups are encouraged to take advantage of Spring Valley’s Environmental Education Program. Programs change seasonally and are geared for specific age groups. Correlations to the state standards, connections with NGSS, and activity sheets are available on the SPD website, www.parkfun.com. Learn local history with a visit to the Heritage Farm. Elementary and high school students recreate farm life in the 1880s with Hands on History; second graders experience it through Heritage Quest. Children from the age of four through second grade will learn about food, farmers, and farm animals in Farms and Foods.

SPRING VALLEY MISSION STATEMENT:

Spring Valley’s mission is to educate area residents regarding the natural and cultural history of the Schaumburg area and how people have and continue to interact with and upon the landscape.

Hourly use fees: Residents:.............. $25

Civic groups:...............................$25

Non-residents:....... $40 Corporate/business groups:.......$55

SCHAUMBURG PARK DISTRICT BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS:

NATURAL ENQUIRER STAFF: Mary Rice.......... Editor

Mike Daniels Sharon DiMaria David Johnson George Longmeyer Bob Schmidt

Judy Vito............ Volunteer Coordinator Dave Brooks...... “In this Issue...” Scott Stompor.... Graphic Artist

SCHAUMBURG PARK DISTRICT WEBSITE: parkfun.com

E-MAIL:

springvalley@parkfun.com

MEMBER:

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: Tony LaFrenere

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Profile for Schaumburg Park District

Natural Enquirer: May-June 2019