New public trails have been added and existing trails improved. Rare and lovely native prairie remnants were discovered on the western portion after the initial purchase. "The Dixie Briggs Fromm Nature Preserve's 66 acres" were dedicated in 2003. On the Nature Preserve site you will find fens, sedge meadows and dry prairies. This rare ecosystem is populated by an Illinois State endangered Hills Thistle in addition to many native flowers and grasses. Regular prairie burns and invasive brush clearing are conducted throughout the year. This routine work keeps nature in balance.
The Township contracted with The Fox Valley Land Foundation to prepare a management plan which is being followed during restoration of this site.
In 2005, a prairie restoration began on the eastern portion of the property containing a 70 acre "old field". Thanks to an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) C-2000 grant, additional seeding, brush clearing and tree planting have been accomplished over three years (2006-2008). This will be the largest prairie restoration in DundeeTownship. Boy Scout troops have joined in the volunteer efforts clearing invasive non-native brush. Volunteers from the Illinois Nature Preserve and Fox Valley Land Foundation hold regular workdays.
With each storm the stream bisecting this site has cut deeper into the land carrying increasing amounts of silt into neighboring Lake Braewood and the Fox River. Channels enlarged by storm water runoff drained water from the fens and sedge meadows. C-Map, the EPA and Kane County Forest Preserve partnered with the Twp and will restore hydrology by stabilizing the stream with a series of rock structures. The Twp received grants from C-MAP and the Forest Preserve totaling $305,000. Twp staffers Kirby Dowiat and Andy DeLorenzo worked with volunteers to clear brush from the stream bank area. Clearing means increased sunlight will reach the soil allowing the growth of deep rooted grasses to keep the banks in place.
Follow this link to see the before and after pictures of Dixie Creek 319 Restoration completed in 2008 (See Pictures).
Hikers were routed around the construction area through July. Repairing this stream system will enhance ground water infiltration and improve water quality flowing into Lake Braewood and the Fox River. This project reduced non-point source pollution into the stream which benefits everyone upstream and down. New signs explaining elements of the project and how all of us can prevent "non-point" source pollution will be posted shortly along the newly restructured stream corridor.
Students from Dundee Crown High School enrolled in Gary Swick's environmental study program began stream monitoring this year.
Rare plant monitoring continues at DBF and more volunteers are needed as well as a site steward. Contact Sue Harney if you are interested. (847) 428-8092