The 17-acre Baker’s Lake Savanna is a preserve owned by the Village of Barrington. For thirty-four years, CFC has been restoring this lovely spot in cooperation with the Village. Some native plants survived its century-long use as a church camp, but during its years of stewardship CFC has reintroduced large populations of native savanna and prairie species. CFC has conducted prescribed burns and removed weeds and brush resulting in one of Illinois’ finest savanna preserves.
The Baker’s Lake floral display begins with bloodroot, toothwort and rue anemone in April, becomes shooting star, wild hyacinth and wild geranium in May, smooth penstemon and yellow pimpernel in June and continues through October with rare wildflowers like violet bush clover, cream gentian and Short’s aster. This lush preserve provides much of the savanna and woodland seed we collect to restore other Barrington area preserves.
Native shrubs sprouting in the open oak-hickory woods present a management challenge. CFC must find the right balance of allowing some shrub understory without letting the woods become so shady that the rich herbaceous layer is impacted.
Baker’s Lake has a well-marked trail. If you visit, keep your eye out for wildlife like the Eastern red bat, Southern flying squirrel and American mink. The preserve provides an excellent view of the water bird rookery in the lake and of migrating ducks, pelicans, herons, terns, bald eagles and osprey. The area was designated an Important Bird Area by Audubon in 2011 because of the water birds that nest in the rookery.