Learning to identify trees and shrubs in the winter may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. On this nature walk, we’ll go through the basics of how to identify trees and shrubs once most of the leaves have fallen. And we’ll show you a system that uses twigs, bark, and buds to identify many of the common woody plants you’ll find in the winter woods on the North Branch of the Chicago River.
During this walk we’ll also introduce you to the surprising diversity of trees and shrubs found in our natural areas. And we’ll talk about the work being done to preserve this diversity, which supports so much of the wildlife that inhabit the preserves. Watersmeet Woods is a particularly interesting site for shrub habitat restoration because an abnormally high abundance and diversity of native shrubs (shrubs that would have lived in the Chicago Region before modern settlement) were able to survive among the invasive shrubs and trees that destroyed most of the native shrub habitat at many other preserves on the North Branch in the last 200 years.
We’ll meet at the large red Forest Preserve sign along Winnetka Rd, near the address 100 Avon Ave, Northfield, IL 60093. Park in the neighborhood north of the preserve, on the west side of Avon Ave, north of Winnetka Rd. Look for yellow ‘volunteer’ signs to find the meeting spot. Dress for the weather. Wear sturdy, preferably waterproof shoes. We will mostly avoid wet areas, but will likely need to cross a few small wet areas. We also suggest wearing warm gloves that will still allow you to write if you’re interested in taking notes during the walk. Notice of event cancellation will be sent out prior to 1 hour before the event. We’ll only plan to cancel for lightning, strong rains, or strong winds.
For more information, contact Derek Ziomber at email@example.com.