Become A Prairie Companion At The Morton Arboretum
Schulenberg Prairie Featured in Series of Special Programs and Tours
LISLE, IL (July 26, 2007) – Experience the beauty and splendor of a real Illinois prairie with a new collection of tours, classes and events at The Morton Arboretum from August through October.
The Arboretum’s 100-acre Schulenberg Prairie offers the rare chance to be surrounded by interesting, tall native grasses, beautiful prairie wildflowers, savanna shrubs and trees, and native birds – in short, a true prairie!
Hear history echo in the special guided walk “Voices of the Schulenberg Prairie” at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 1.
“While windswept grasses and stampeding bison are prairie icons, human voices also were heard across the Arboretum’s lands. The Potawatomi, French trappers, 1840s surveyors, settlement-era farmers such as Brunson and Dumoulin, and prairie restorer Ray Schulenberg left their marks,” says Craig Johnson, program leader who worked for more than 25 years on restoring and maintaining the Schulenberg Prairie.
Visitors can learn how to create and maintain a prairie with the “New Directions in Natural Area Management” course. Held over three Saturday mornings, September 8 through 22, you’ll learn the Arboretum’s holistic managing techniques. These include removing field “tiles” – an artificial structure that allows excess water to be drained off, thinning overstocked trees, and large scale replanting of native shrubs.
Discover some of the most colorful native plants that flower in fall in “Local Flora III: Fall.” Over the course of four Saturday afternoons beginning September 22, learn how to identify these plants through leaves, fruit, and flower in the Arboretum prairie, savanna, and wetlands areas.
A stop at the Schulenberg Prairie highlights the “Commuting With Nature” guided tram tour from 6 to 8 p.m. on October 5 and 12. Enjoy the Arboretum’s exquisite fall color explosion as you hear stories of the people who have interacted with or lived on what is now the 1,700 acres of The Morton Arboretum. The tour ends with wine and cheese at the Visitor Center.
For all activities above, call 630/719-2468 for fees or other information, or to register.
Turn your Schulenberg Prairie experiences into words with “A Day of Backpacking and Nature Journaling” on August 5 and 19, from 1 – 3 p.m. Learn the best ways to prepare your backpack and to capture your experiences. Then, start chronicling your nature experience on a venture into the prairie to discover its wonders. Docents will point out the unique plants, animals, and characteristics. This free activity is suitable for anyone age 8 and older.
Kids can get started in learning about prairies with three great, free, drop-in activities during August in the Children’s Garden. Weekdays from 1 – 4 p.m., it’s “The Tall, Tall Grass” where kids can learn all about the little but loud creatures that live in the grasses. Children can use natural grasses as brushes to paint nature scenes in “Nature’s Artists” on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Bring your budding artist to create crafts the natural way in “Arts and Grass” from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on August 18 and 19. Make your own sun catcher, sun print, and more using grasses, flowers, seeds, and tiny leaves.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of 4,057 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission - the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or sunset, whichever is earlier, Central Time. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630/968-0074 to learn more.
Media Contacts: Gina Tedesco, 630-725-2103