Barrington Greenway Initiative Explore & Restore Series 2019

Dive deep into the wilds of NW Cook/SW Lake counties with the Explore and Restore series.

Northwest Cook and Southwest Lake counties contain over 16,000 acres of forest preserves, one of the highest concentrations of publicly owned lands in the region. These forest preserves, among the oldest and largest in the country, contain a variety of globally rare habitats including tallgrass prairies, oak savannas and woodlands, and wetlands that form the “Barrington Greenway” a connected system of preserves that animals can travel through to feed and breed successfully. These varied habitats need humans to keep them healthy and diverse through ecological restoration – “the process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed.”

Here’s how it works. Each month, a different “spotlight event” will showcase a new site or restoration activity. In the winter, volunteers will cut and burn invasive brush that chokes out our native species. In the summer, featured activities include sedge planting and pulling invasives. Starting in September, weekly seed collecting will take place at preserves throughout the region. These seeds are then strategically distributed throughout the region to ensure that prairies and woodlands continue to improve.

All ages and levels of experience are welcome. Tools and work gloves are provided. Work side-by-side with experienced volunteer stewards and staff from Citizens for Conservation, Audubon Great Lakes, Friends of the Forest Preserves, Forest Preserves of Cook County, and Lake County Forest Preserves.

All events start at 9 a.m. and end at noon. This includes a picnic at the conclusion with time for socializing, sharing and making new friends.

Saturday, July 13Is that a good or bad plant?  Learn how to identify through invasive pulling.

Beautiful Hurd Property at Grassy Lake Preserve

23998 N, Kelsey Rd., Barrington, IL 60010


Sunday, August 18Butterfly & Pollinator Discovery Hike

Naturalist Jim Vanderpoel will lead a guided hike focusing on local butterflies and pollinators on our special preserve. SPACE IS LIMITED AND RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Request a reservation at [email protected] Confirmation and additional information will be emailed to you.


Saturday, September 14Native Seed Collection, A favorite event!

Spend time in the splendid outdoors, learn about native plants, and help collect native seeds for our seed bank. We share almost 50% of the collected seeds with other area preserves and conservation groups to improve the overall diversity of habitat in the area.

Citizens for Conservation - 459 IL-22, Barrington, IL

Saturday, October 12 - Native Seed Collection