Join the River Prairie Group for a tour of the DuPage County Forest Preserve's new Aquatic Research Center just opened in the fall of 2012. On March 11, 2013 DuPage County Forest Director of Preserve Natural Resources, John "Ole" Olenburg will conduct a tour of the facility located in Blackwell Forest Preserve in Warrenville. The 1.7 million dollar research center is one of only 14 in the nation and the only one here in Illinois. The purpose of the center is to raise native non-game fish as well as mussels and turtles and reintroduce them to the local water ways. Through education, restoration, and development of collaborative partners, they are hoping to share both the facility and findings to benefit rivers and streams. Collaborative partners such as universities will be invited to utilize the center for research projects. Ole told me, "We are very excited to host this meeting for the RPG whose members will appreciate the capability and vision of how this center will benefit aquatic life in our rivers."
This is an exciting opportunity for Sierra Club members to see our tax dollars at work and research being done to benefit our beloved rivers in DuPage. The center is not generally open to visitors so this tour is definitely a "behind the scenes view" of innovative research capacity. The entrance to Blackwell Forest Preserve is off Butterfield Road in Warrenville just west of Winfield Road (see map below). Drive in the front gate and take the first left to the center. Only 35 people may attend so RSVP is recommended to secure your spot on the list. You may e-mail Moira Dowell-Noll at email@example.com or phone her 630 469-1606. With our fresh water resources being depleted river restoration in our own boundaries will be a major contributor to improving a healthy environment for all species sharing the waterways.