This open space site was formeraly owned by Chicago Elmhurst Stone and the Schuetz family. The property was purchased as two seperate parcels in 2000 and 2001 with grants from IDNRs Open Lands Trust program at a cost of $4,128,709. The sites 244 acres are partially protected by an IDNR easement.
Your adventure begins as you exit the new parking lot located off Boncosky Road in Sleepy Hollow onto one of the gravel trails. Notice the stone council ring to your right. The new pavilion is visible and can be easily accesed from the parking area.
Public trails were designed for shared use so that persons on foot, bike or horseback will be able to travel side by side. As you travel along the paths you may encounter wildlife or see many different birds flying above, perched in a tree or swimming in the ponds. Some of the water features were designed as part of the water quality improvement grant. These water features capture the rain water and hold it until it can slowly infiltrate through the gravel beds and native plant roots into the ground. This type of absorption cleans the water as it percolates through. Groundwater is the source of the drinking water that comes out of our taps at home.
Fishing is allowed in the two deepest ponds. Shallower ponds will also be marked "No fishing". They are not deep enough for fish to survive but provide habitat for frogs and turtles. Some areas around the shallower ponds will also be marked with signs and temporary fencing and we ask that you do not walk in them until the new plantings are able to take root.
You may bring your dog into the sanctuary, but it cannot be off its leash at anytime
Over one-hundred acres were seeded with natives plants in both the dry and wet areas. Wetter areas received plant plugs as well. These native prairie and wetland plants will enrich the bird and wildlife habitat.
Parts of the sanctuary remained untouched by the restoration and are populated with trees and shrubs. The most notable of these is an enourmous cottonwood tree.
This sanctuary is home to a variety of birds and provides a needed resting place for others that are migrating. The Kane County Audubon Society spotted the following birds in the Sanctuary in 2010: Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Turkey Vulture, Red Tailed Hawk, Killdeer, Sandpipers, Short-billed Dowitcher, Mourning Dove, Downey Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Eastern Kingbird, Swallows, Black-capped Chickadee, House Wren, Robins, Cedar Waxwing, Common Yellowthroat, Song Sparrows, Northern Cardinal, Indigo buntings, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Brown-headed Cowbird, American Goldfinch and House Sparrows.
The 50 acres directly off Sleepy Hollow Road are a restored wetland complex finished in 2000. Dundee Township completed this restoration without the use of public funds through a lease arrangement with a private contractor who received wetland mitigation credits in exchange for the restoration and trail construction. The quality of the restoration met Army Corps standards for this type of project. The lease has ended and the site is now under Township Management.
A bridge over the creek connects the wetland to a brand new trail system created in 2009 during restoration of the gravel pit area. Using grants from IDNR (Illinois Department of Natural Resources) and Illinois EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), the township was able to completly restore the mined out areas in the old pit and improve the water quality and flow here at the Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary.
This wildlife Sanctuary was purchased with public funds provided by Dundee Township Taxpayers and restored with additioanl tax supported funds. It is open to the public from sunrise to sunset.
Please stay on the designated paths. From the trails you will still be able to enjoy the beauty and quiet of these natural surroundings without disturbing nesting and other wildlife areas.
Nollman addition to Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary
These 23 acres are located across Boncosky Road contiguous to the existing Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary and east of Sleepy Hollow Road. This parcel contains a mature oak/hickory woodland, five acres of wetlands, a field suitable for restoration as well as a small portion of the Jelke floodplain, creek and headwaters. The Township acquired this parcel using a 50% matching grant awarded through IDNRs OLT program. The submitted and approved grant development plan includes restoration of native species and hiking trails. This addition ensures excellent habitat for birds, amphibians and mammals here and in the Jelke Creek Bird Sanctuary.