McHenry County Conservation District to host three free Spring Wildflower Walks
The woodlands spring to life with colorful wildflowers in April and May, before the trees leaf out and shade the forest floor.
Join the McHenry County Conservation District at one or more free drop-in Spring Wildflower Walks at Coral Woods Conservation Area, 7400 Somerset, Marengo.
Join a 1.5 mile hike through the woods to take in the beauty of the ever-changing palette of wildflowers and enjoy stories and folklore about your favorite native flowers.
The first walk will be 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 28. The second wildflower walk will be 1:30 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 4, followed one the final walk from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 15.
No registration is required for these free drop-in program, however, check before you go, as cancellations may occur due to weather or staff emergencies.
Check under Site Advisories at www.mccdistrict.org/rccms/site-advisories/ or in the online registration system.
For more information, call Prairieview Education Center at (815) 479-5779.
Dominated by a core of century-old red and white oaks, the environmental significance of Coral Woods is the protection of these diminishing oak woodlands. Coral Woods represents one of only eight oak groves which remain in McHenry County that contains 100 acres or more of continuous oak woodland. This conservation area also boasts the county's largest sugar maple grove where trees have stood for 80-100 years.
In the spring, the woodlands are noted for their spectacular show of spring wildflowers. Sharp-lobed hepatica, jack-in-the-pulpit, wood anemone, spring beauty, toothwort, and bloodroot give way to wild geranium, blue phlox, and red trillium.
Throughout the year, the trees at Coral Woods are an attractive respite for numerous songbirds, owls and woodpeckers. Scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, numerous warblers, flickers, bluebirds, meadowlarks, great horned owls and screech owls, as well as downy and hairy woodpeckers claim these woods as their home. Nesting boxes are also strategically placed along the edge where prairie and woodland meet to encourage the re-population of bluebirds. Chorus frogs, tiger salamanders, leopard frogs, and painted turtles can often be seen enjoying the springtime vernal ponds along the trail.
To learn more about Coral Woods Conservation Area, visit www.mccdistrict.org/rccms/coral-woods/