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North Branch Restoration Project sites

Where we work. Stretching from Foster and Bryn Mawr on the south to Dundee and Waukegan on the north, these twenty plus management sites are among the finest natural areas in the county. In addition to forest preserve sites, NBRP helps the Glenview Park District manage the Kent Fuller Air Station Prairie in Glenview. Click on a site name below for directions and more information about the site.

Approximately three acres of high-quality prairie hold a remnant of the rich flora that once covered much of the state. The site was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 1984.

Directions: Meet in the Northbrook post office parking lot on the north side of Dundee Road, about a quarter mile west of the Metra tracks. Get Directions >

Contact: Laurel Ross (773) 218-0850 at somme_naturepreserve@northbranchrestoration.org

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Somme Prairie Grove is a mosaic of prairie, savanna, and woodland. Flowers and grasses such as purple milkweed, cream gentian, bottlebrush grass, Indian grass, rattlesnake master, wild quinine, and purple prairie clover delight the eye. Rare birds and butterflies inhabit the prairies and groves.

Directions: The workday meeting place is the Forest Preserve parking lot on the north side of Dundee, just east of Waukegan Get Directions >

Contact: Eriko Kojima (847) 322-7420 at somme_prairiegrove@northbranchrestoration.org

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Somme Woods has bur and white oak savannas and woodlands with massive old oaks, open marshes, and ephemeral ponds. Rich with native plants and animals, the savannas and woodlands are being restored to their original beauty.

Directions: The workday meeting place is the Forest Preserve parking lot on the north side of Dundee, just east of Waukegan Get Directions >

Contact: Eriko Kojima (847) 322-7420 at somme_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

Somme Woods South A neighborhood woodland adopted by the community. This oak woodland will return to health as invasive weeds and brush are removed, returning sunlight to the woodland floor.

Directions: Park on the south side of Ferndale Avenue, a residential street. Get Directions >

Contact: Linda Masters at sommewoods_south@northbranchrestoration.org

Somme Woods Somme Woods South

Chipilly Woods is a wet woods, lying south of Dundee Road and straddling the North Branch of the Chicago river. It is managed by the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Contact: For more information, contact the Volunteer Resource Center at (773) 631-1790.

fpdcc.org

Air Station Prairie sits along the west fork of the Chicago River’s North Branch. The 32 acres of prairie and mitigated wetlands is owned by the Glenview Park District, and was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in 2017.

Directions: Meet at the Tyner Interpretive Center at the south end of the prairie, Lehigh and Compass Road, in Glenview. Get Directions >

Contact: Kent Fuller (847) 729-4642 at airstation_prairie@northbranchrestoration.org

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Watersmeet Prairie Grove lies at the junction of the Middle and East Forks of the Chicago River’s North Branch. It has a wide variety of communities, from a limey, wet woods to open prairie shrubland to woodland, harbors a number of unusual plant species.

Directions: Exit the Edens Expressway at Lake Avenue West. Go west to Wagner Road, north to Winnetka Road, east on Winnetka 3/4 mile. Park on Avon Ave, a side street north of Winnetka Road. Get Directions >

Contact: Eileen Sutter (773) 706-4533 or John Berg (815) 919-4916 at watersmeet@northbranchrestoration.org

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Blue Star Memorial Woods Much of this site was heavily used first as a Prisoner of War Camp and then later as a CCC Camp. Many bunkers are still present throughout the site, along with planted trees such as Catalpa and Scotch Pine.

Directions: Enter the Forest Preserve driveway into the site from Lake Ave, west of Harms Road and just east of the bike path overpass. Get Directions >

Contact: Rett Donnelly (847) 345-4647 at bluestar_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

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Harms WoodsThis fine oak woodland lies on the west side of the North Branch of the Chicago River in the village of Glenview. Harms is notable for its rich native flora.

Directions: Meet at the forest preserve Glenview Woods parking lot on the west side of Harms Road, just south of Glenview Road. Get Directions >

Contact: Jane and John Balaban (847) 644-8184 at harms_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

Harms Woods East lies along the bluff on the east side of the Chicago River’s North Branch.

Directions: Meet at the Harms Woods South parking lot, the first lot north of Golf Road. Get Directions >

Contact: For more information or to volunteer contact Karen Glennemeier (224) 48-9538 or Lisa Musgrave (847) 401-3067 at harmswoods_east@northbranchrestoration.org

Harms Woods Harms Woods East

Harms Flatwoods lies east of the Chicago River’s North Branch. It is dominated by huge old bur and swamp white oaks, with an understory of black ash, winterberry, hazelnut and other native trees and shrubs. It was dedicated as an Illinois Nature Preserve in January of 2017.

Directions: The meeting place for workdays is the Harms Woods North parking lot, Entrance is at the traffic light where Old Orchard meets Harms Road. Get Directions >

Contact: Neil Peck 312 523-6485 or Jette Thomassen at harms_flatwoods@northbranchrestoration.org

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Linne Woods boasts such spring wildflowers as windflower and toothwort under a canopy of oaks and hickories with an understory of ironwood and black cherry. Get Directions >

Directions: The forest preserve entrance will be on the north side of Dempster directly across from McDonalds. Follow the winding road all the way back until it dead-ends at the turn-around circle.

Contact: Marian Thill (847) 966-0231 at linne_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

Linne Prairie is adjacent to Linne Woods but is very different from the usual restoration sites. See that page for details. Get Directions >

Linne Woods Linne Prairie

Wayside Woods Prairie. A former baseball diamond is now covered with prairie flowers joining two small, high quality prairie remnants. Many of the classic prairie plants are found here, including grasses such as big bluestem, northern dropseed; stiff and Riddell’s goldenrods.

Directions: Meet at Wayside Woods Prairie Forest Preserve parking lot on the west side of Lehigh Ave., a few blocks east of Waukegan Road and just north of Dempster. Get Directions >

Contact: Larry Hodak at wayside_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

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Miami Woods and Prairie encompasses 112 acres along the west side of the North Branch of the Chicago River that contain important remnants of the original grasslands and woodlands that formed the natural heritage of the greater Chicago area.

Directions: Located on the east side of Caldwell, two blocks north of Oakton. Meet in the parking lot for Miami Woods. Get Directions >

Contact: Kent and Jerry Fuller (847) 729-4642 at miami_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

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St Paul Woods is an inviting oak-hickory woodland situated east of the North Branch of the Chicago River, across the river from Miami Woods. Like many of our native woodlands, it needs management to clear invasive brush and trees to restore the original structure.

Directions: 6498 Oakton St

Contact: Chris Parson at 847-309-4979 or Kent Fuller at 847-729-4642 at st.paul_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

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Clayton Smith Flatwoods (official name Bunker North Flatwoods) gets its cathedral-like character from the large old pin oaks that dominate the canopy. Join the North Branch Restoration Project and Centennial Volunteers as we restore this oak woodland to health.

Directions: Enter the preserve from Harts Road, just west of Touhy and Caldwell. The approximate address is 6600 W Harts Road in Niles, IL. Get Directions >

Contact: Derek Ziomber (312) 401-1041 or John Balaban (312) 351-1254 at bunkernorth_flatwoods@northbranchrestoration.org

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Oxbow Prairie, formed by an old loop in the river’s course, lies northwest of Bunker Hill. The site is a combination of low, wet prairie soils and slightly higher mesic prairie soils. A small oak savanna on the old east bank has swamp white and bur oaks.

Directions: West side of Caldwell between Devon and Touhy; entrance located just opposite Tonty Street. Follow the drive until it turns north, then park along the west side. Get Directions >

Contact: Neil Peck (312) 523-6485 at oxbow_prairie@northbranchrestoration.org

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Bunker Hill Savanna is approximately 100 acres and lies within the Chicago city limits. It encompasses a mosaic of open savanna, oak woodland, and flatwoods.

Directions: West side of Caldwell between Devon and Touhy; entrance located just opposite Tonty Street. Hill Meet in first section of the parking lot. Get Directions >

Contact: Erin Faulkner (708) 220-5606 at bunker_savanna@northbranchrestoration.org

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Spicebush Woods is a beautifully wooded site filled with towering oaks and hickories and an understory of muscle wood and its namesake spicebush

Directions: Park at the maintenance drive to Billy Caldwell golf course on the south side of Caldwell Ave, east of Central Ave. Google lists the address as 6190 N Caldwell Ave, Chicago. Get Directions >

Contact: Jonathan Sladek (847) 858-2242 at spicebush_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

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At Indian Road Woods visitors can stroll through a grove of stately old bur oaks on a bluff above the river. In springtime, a large population of the rare wild hyacinth provides a delightful display.

Directions: Enter the Forest Preserve drive that lies just north of Indian Road, on the east side of Central Avenue. Follow the drive all the way to the end, to the parking lot. Get Directions >

Contact: Jonathan Sladek (847) 858-2242 at indianroad_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

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Forest Glen Woods is a part of the Lower North Branch Preserves, one of the newer stewardship sites. Volunteers are removing invasive plants and collecting and distributing seed as we restore health to this unique woodland, savanna, and floodplain ecosystem.

Directions: Gather at the Forest Glen parking lot, located at 5420 N. Forest Glen Ave in Chicago. Get Directions >

Contact: Bill Tucker (312) 206-5928 at forestglen_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

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Sauganash Prairie Grove is a mix of wet savanna, degraded marsh, and mature floodplain woods on both sides of the Chicago River. This uncommon woodland community is dominated by swamp white oaks.

Directions: Meet at the Forest Preserve parking lot at the Irene Hernandez Picnic Area off Foster Avenue across from Kilbourne Avenue. Get Directions >

Contact: Larry Hodak or Pete Leki at sauganash_prairiegrove@northbranchrestoration.org

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Labagh-Hernandez Woods Surrounding a large picnic area, this site is an important migratory bird stop-over along the North Branch of the Chicago River. Management includes a focus on creating a bird friendly structure.

Directions: Enter Forest Preserve at 5275 N. Cicero, then follow yellow volunteer signs. Get Directions >

Contact: Larry Hodak or Jeff Skrentny at labagh_woods@northbranchrestoration.org

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Somme Prairie Nature Preserve Somme Prairie Grove Somme Woods Air Station Prairie Watersmeet Prairie Grove Blue Star Memorial Woods Harms Woods Harms Flatwoods Miami Woods Prairie Oxbow Prairie Bunker Hill Savanna Sauganash Prairie Grove Labagh-Hernandez Woods Linne Woods & Railroad Prairie Wayside Woods Prairie Indian Road Woods Chipilly St. Paul Woods Spicebush Forest Glen Woods Clayton Smith Flatwoods