Nature Preserve Area:
Location and Access:
In Carpentersville from the jct. of Rts. 68 and 25, north on Rt. 25 for 2 miles. Right (east) on Helm Rd. for 0.75 mile. The entrance is on the south side of Helm Rd. If you pass the ComEd ROW you've gone too far.
Special Note: Unofficial foot trails provide access to the preserve.
Helm Woods Nature Preserve is 75 acres of woodland with 80 acres of buffer incorporated in the larger Helm Woods Forest Preserve. The most unusual component of the preserve is the locally rare, high quality flatwoods community. Flatwoods occur on level or nearly level topography with an impermeable or slowly permeable soil layer which causes a shallow or perched water table. This condition results in the depressional area holding water during the spring rain but often drying out in the summer months. Several large old swamp white oaks contribute to the canopy cover along the white, red and green ash and American and slippery elms. Swamp sedge, hop sedge, bur sedge and the very uncommon crowfoot fox sedge can be found growing in the wet woodland depressions with buttonbush and pagoda dogwood bordering some of the wet pockets. The high quality dry-mesic upland forest contains bur, white, black and red oaks and features an understory with a wide assortment of forbs including the locally rare long-leaved shinleaf, shooting star, wild geranium and red trillium. Several woodland shrubs can also be found here such as Iowa crab, hazelnut, black current and wild gooseberry. Helm woods has an active volunteer stewardship group which has been assisting with management of the preserve for five years. This nature preserve is represented on two topos, Streamwood and Barrington 7.5.
Kane County Forest Preserve District
75 acres with an additional 80 acres buffer
For further information:
Contact: The Forest Preserve District of Kane County, 719 Batavia Ave., Geneva, IL 60134 (708/232-5980)