October has become known as OAKtober in the conservation community throughout the state of Illinois since 2015.
The purpose of OAKtober is to bring attention to the importance of oak trees, which clean our air and water, reduce air temperature and energy usage, and provide habitat for wildlife. Oak trees are strong and majestic and create a sense of place wherever they are. The White Oak is the Illinois State Tree.
The Natural Land Institute (NLI) will celebrate Oak Awareness Month with an OAKtober Hike on Saturday, Oct. 30 at 1:30 p.m. at Burr Oak Valley Nature Preserve, located across the street from Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 7404 Elevator Road, Roscoe, Ill.
Hikers will be led on a guided tour throughout the rolling hills of the preserve by NLI staff, who will talk about the ongoing restoration work in the wooded areas and prairies, the importance of oak habitat, and the recent designation of the preserve as an Illinois State Nature Preserve and Buffer. The hike will last about 90 minutes.
Limited parking is available on site with additional parking at the church. The level of hiking is moderate to difficult.
Admission is free for NLI members, $5 for non-member individuals, and $10 for families. This includes a one-time 6-month introductory membership. Registration is required by Friday, Oct. 29 at: naturalland.org/event/oaktober-hike-2021/ or call: (815) 964-6666.
As one of the oldest private conservation groups in the Midwest, the NLI has managed, protected and restored 18.000 acres of prairie, woodland, forest, wetland and river corridor since 1958. The organization’s mission is to create an enduring legacy of natural land in northern Illinois for people, plants, and animals. ❚