How does Lincoln Marsh benefit the community? Recreation Thousands of people visit Lincoln Marsh Natural Area each year to hike, picnic, and enjoy the outdoors. Nature enthusiasts find great bird-watching opportunities. Lincoln Marsh is an ideal place to jog, bike, or cross-country ski because the trails connect with the Illinois Prairie Path. Programs The Lincoln Marsh offers a wide variety of programming opportunities to over 13,000 participants every year. We provide Nature and Adventure Programs to schools, groups, scouts, individuals, and families. Our Challenge Course includes team building, high ropes, a climbing tower, and more. Flood Control The marsh stores stormwater during heavy rains and floods. It would cost more than $10 million to construct the stormwater retention facilities that the marsh provides naturally. Water Quality Improvement The marsh improves the surface and groundwater quality for surrounding communities. Wetland plants, soil, and hydrology cleanse silt and chemical pollutants from [...]
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What is the history of Lincoln Marsh? A Timeline Summary Based on an archaeological survey performed in 1987 it was determined that the Lincoln Marsh area was a hunting ground during the Late Woodland Period with likely the same topography as today. Mid to late 1800s: The land is owned and subdivided by Elias Jewell & Erastus Gary. 1943: The land is purchased by Mr. Rogers and reported as farmland. It was most likely used for agricultural crops and pastureland. 1950s: The land is subdivided into multiple parcels. 1973: A group of concerned citizens fought to preserve the open space. 1979: The Wheaton Park District and several other local and state agencies began purchasing the more than 100 parcels that form the core of the park. Funding for land purchases was provided by the Wheaton Park District, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, DuPage County Department of Transportation, [...]
What is Lincoln Marsh doing to restore the natural landscape? What's all this 'smoke' about restoration? At the Wheaton Park District's Lincoln Marsh Natural Area, we are not only here to help you enjoy and appreciate the many wonders of nature, we're also working to preserve and restore the habitats that our native plants and animals need to thrive and survive. Why is it important to restore native habitat and wildlife? People often ask us, “Why can't nature just take its course?” Human beings have always played a part in shaping the natural environment. Native Americans used to start prairie fires in order to obtain food or travel. The first settlers sliced through the prairie with steel plows and discovered the soil to be perfect for growing crops. On that same land today, we build houses, highways, shopping malls, and subdivisions, and our natural world has suffered a lot [...]
Prescribed Burns: A Prescription for Habitat Health Fire and Habitat Health In the Chicago region, fire is a natural and essential ingredient of healthy native ecosystems. Throughout history, lightning sparked natural fires, performing a "house cleaning" function for nature. Oak woodlands and prairies are adapted to fire and depend on it to maintain their unique character. Fire helps local habitats thrive by: Releasing nutrients from burned plant materials. Helping seeds to grow. Opening the woodland floor to sunlight so that native wildflowers and plants can flourish. Restoring a Natural Cycle In an effort to restore the natural fire cycle, forest preserve districts and other agencies use controlled burns that are carefully watched and tended. Trained ecologists burn parts of the woods, wetlands, and prairies every few years to clear out weedy plants that choke out burr oaks and other native trees and wildflowers. The work is helping to bring [...]
What can I do? Explore the Outdoors! By learning to love the natural world, you will be well-primed for taking care of it. Beyond this, you can become a “citizen scientist” by reading about and observing these natural areas, plants, and animals. The more you see, the better you can assist your local scientists and land managers. Transform your backyard into a haven for local butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. Visit the Conservation Foundation for information on how to transform your yard through their Conservation@Home Program. You'll be amazed at how your own property can be transformed into a rich display of wildlife! Go Green Below are some simple, everyday ways to contribute to a greener planet and save money while doing it! Save Energy Set your thermostat a few degrees lower in the winter and a few degrees higher in the summer. Install compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs). [...]
Additional Online Resources Where can I learn more about conservation and going green? Forest Preserve District of DuPage County The Conservation Foundation Chicago Wilderness Illinois Department of Natural Resources Illinois Environmental Protection Agency Illinois Audubon Society US Fish and Wildlife Service National Wetlands Inventory National Public Lands Day Earth911 Making Everyday Earth Day SCARCE: School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education The Green Guide Earth Hour
Birthday Party Packages Click on any topic for specific information: What's Included? Party Options Fees Make a Birthday Reservation What's Included: 45 min. – 1 hr. program 1 hr. use of reserved space with a Lincoln Marsh host to help serve food and list presents Goody bag item for each child T-shirt and string bag for the birthday child Party Options Bugs, bugs, bugs… where are the bugs? Using nets or rolling logs, we’ll search high and low to find out how bugs live. Available April-October. Ages 4 and up Discover the magic of bubbles and see how big of a bubble you can make. Available April-October. Ages 4 and up Journey back in time and discover the world of fossils and dinosaurs! Available year round. Ages 4 and up Go on a fairy adventure as we build fairy houses and play fairy games! Available April-October. Ages [...]
The Knowable Mystery What is Landscape the Knowable Mystery? Landscape the Knowable Mystery was a year-long painting project undertaken in 2014 by artist Joel Sheesley. It culminated in 2015 with an extensive community exhibition organized as a collaborative cultural art partnership and presentation by Sheesley, between Wheaton College and the Wheaton Park District. The exhibition emphasized the immeasurable beauty of Lincoln Marsh, and included scientific, as well as artistic responses to the Marsh. Drawing attention to Lincoln Marsh, Landscape the Knowable Mystery heralds Wheaton’s remarkable 150 acre natural area.Visit Joel Sheesley’s website to view all fifty paintings included in the exhibition.Sheesley’s current project, Art of the Fox, is a collaborative effort with The Conservation Foundation’s Fox River Initiative to bring more awareness and appreciation of the Fox River to surrounding communities. For more information about Art of the Fox, please visit artofthefox.org.How can I purchase a painting?To purchase a landscape painting, please contact Joel Sheesley through [...]
Challenge Course Nestled in the wooded areas of Lincoln Marsh, the Challenge Course provides opportunities for group, partner, and personal development where participants stretch beyond perceived limits in an atmosphere of support and respect. Facilitators design fun and enriching experiences that target the goals identified by each group. Click on any program type or topic for specific information: Determine Your Group Type Teams Course Details & Tour Travel Teams Course High Ropes Course Details & Tour Climbing Tower Power Pole Crate Climbing Custom Programs Add a Meeting Room and/or Specialty Menu from Arrowhead Golf Club Make Your Challenge Course Reservation Video clip of Wheaton Park District staff participating in the Teams Course What Type Of Group Are We? Youth/Family Groups that are high school aged or younger or groups of friends/families that are not associated with an organization. Examples are elementary through high school classes, [...]