OTTAWA — The Dayton Bluffs Preserve will be dedicated as a Land and Water Reserve at the May 6 meeting of the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission in Channahon.
The new 253-acre preserve along the east side of the Fox River on the east side of Ottawa will eventually be annexed into the city and made a public preserve. It is owned and managed by The Conservation Foundation, a nonprofit land and watershed protection organization out of Naperville.
In July, The Conservation Foundation purchased the property for $2.1 million. The Conservation Foundation will own and manage the site while leasing it as a public park to the city of Ottawa, which will maintain access and facilities.
Restoration work day May 10
The property is three-fourths woodland and one-fourth open field. While it has many high-quality natural attributes, restoration work began last year to rid the site of non-native plants.
A restoration work day is scheduled from 9 a.m.-noon on Saturday, May 10 and volunteers are needed. If interested in attending, email Jennifer Hammer, email@example.com, or call (630) 428-4500 Ext. 114.
Restoration plans this spring include seeding 91 acres of open agricultural fields with prairie grass seed mix to stabilize soil and to reduce non-native weeds and erosion. Once grass is established, native trees, shrubs and flowering plants will be added. It will take several years for this habitat to become restored.
Restoration of the 160-acre woodland will continue, with removal of all non-native species (mostly buckthorn and honeysuckle), thinning out smaller native trees and removal of any garlic mustard.
Pizzo & Associates, a natural landscape restoration firm, adopted restoration of 15 acres of oak woods on the north side of the property.
For information about activities, programs and membership, call (630) 428-4500 or click the link below.