We’re number 25!

Harms Woods has just become the 25th Illinois Nature Preserve in the Forest Preserves of Cook County!

Dedication as a Nature Preserve provides the highest level of protection for land in Illinois. It is granted only to natural areas of exceptional ecological or cultural significance.

Harms is a high quality oak woodland with a rich plant community. The spring wildflower display is outstanding, with expanses of Trillium, Phlox, Toothwort and others to delight the eye. The woods are a great place to enjoy the great variety of warblers passing through during spring and fall migration. Great horned owls, hairy woodpeckers, red-eyed vireos and yellow-billed cuckoos are among the nesting birds of Harms.

Ecological management of the site began in the 1980s by dedicated North Branch volunteers and Forest Preserve staff, and continues to be supported today by our community of volunteers. Harms Woods joins four other North Branch Nature Preserves — Somme Prairie NP (dedicated 1984), Glenbrook North High School NP (1986), Kent Fuller Air Station NP (2017), and Harms Flatwoods NP (2017).

We’re in good company indeed!

Jane Balaban