Nature Preserve Area:
Location and Access:
From the jct of Rt. 64 and Rt. 31 in the center of downtown St. Charles, head north on Rt. 31 for 0.75 mile. The preserve is on the east side of Rt. 31 on the banks of the Fox River.
Special Note: Parking provided at the entrance to the preserve. A board walk/trail provides access through the center of the preserve and loops back to the parking lot. Two observation decks are provided.
Ferson's Creek Fen is a wetland ecosystem situated along the west bank of the Fox River. The preserve lies on a glacial outwash terrace and alluvial stream bed. Two natural communities featured here are sedge meadows and wet floodplain forests. Occupying the core of the natural area, sedge meadows are the prevalent community and range from undisturbed, very high quality portions to segments of moderate quality. Scattered in small "cameo-like" areas of the sedge meadows are the characteristic calciophilic species such as fringed gentian, grass-of-parnassus, Kalm's lobelia, turtlehead and marsh wild timothy. Small bedstraw, great St. John's wort and northern fringed orchid are found in the sedge meadows. Wild rice is located on the edge of the marshy sedge meadow and the floodplain forest. The preserve provides nesting habitat for prothonotary warblers, blue-gray gnatcatchers, common yellowthroats and swamp sparrows. Excellent bird watching opportunities occur during spring migration. Purple loosestrife, glossy buckthorn and native brushy species are serious problems here. A volunteer stewardship group, active for the past six years, is working closely with the Park District to address the management concerns.
St. Charles Park District and City of St. Charles
30.7 acres with an additional 15.5 acres buffer
For further information:
Contact: The St. Charles Park District, 101 South Second Street, St. Charles, IL 60174 (708/513-3338)
1/2009 - R. Heidorn