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North Branch News

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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...

Giants in the Woods

Eastern Giant Swallowtails are one of our largest butterflies. Now is a good time to check out their bizarre caterpillars. Finding them can be tricky as their mottled dark and light pattern has earned...

Thank you so much, CVS!

Somme Prairie Nature Preserve stewards are working on eradicating the last of invasive European Buckthorn that forms a barrier all around the edges of the preserve. In September, an energetic group of CVS employees...

Gentian Time

Gentian season is upon us and the prairie gentian is the star of the season! This lovely low blooming plant has deep violet-purple 5-lobed flowers, about 2" long and 1" across when fully open. The...

Milkweeds On The North Branch

Milkweed pollination is a complex multi-step affair, second only to orchid pollination for its intricacy. Milkweeds like the swamp milkweed shown below cannot self pollinate; instead they rely on insects like bees, wasps, moths,...

Wild Gardens

Years ago, NBRP volunteers recognized that seed is a critical part of restoration work. In fact, it can be the limiting factor in bringing back healthy native habitat. After weeds are pulled and brush...