The site navigation utilizes arrow, enter, escape, and space bar key commands. Left and right arrows move across top level links and expand / close menus in sub levels. Up and Down arrows will open main level menus and toggle through sub tier links. Enter and space open menus and escape closes them as well. Tab will move on to the next part of the site rather than go through menu items.

Current Headlines

State Transfers Thorn Creek Woods Acreage to Forest Preserve



Photo for: State Transfers Thorn Creek Woods Acreage to Forest Preserve

Photo by Chad Merda

Almost half of Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve has been transferred to the Forest Preserve District by the State of Illinois.

This recent transfer of 466 acres will allow for better management of the preserve going forward, said Andrew Hawkins, the Forest Preserve's director of planning and development.

“The transfer will give the Forest Preserve more local control of the property and allow the District and/or partners within the Thorn Creek Woods Management Commission, to apply for grant funding,” he said. “In some cases, the value of the land may be considered as part of the local match required to receive a grant."

The preserve is located on Monee Road, north of Stuenkel Road, in Park Forest and University Park.

Judy Mendelson, chairwoman of the Thorn Creek Woods Management Commission, said the land that was transferred to the Forest Preserve in February is most of the northeast, north central and south central sections of the preserve combined with three smaller eastern portions.

“All told, it’s nearly half of the preserve,” she said. “With the transfer of this land to the Forest Preserve, the management situation has become more workable.”

The state’s role in helping to save the site dates to the 1970s when the then Department of Conservation helped start the Ad Hoc Committee on Thorn Creek Woods, which was the predecessor of the management commission, Mendelson explained.

“The state provided advice, planning studies, studies of the flora and fauna through the years, all with the goal of preserving Thorn Creek Woods,” she said. “IDOC purchased and dedicated large portions of the woods, provided grants for other agencies to acquire land, facilitated grants for Youth Conservation Corps work groups and more.”

RELATED READING: SAVING THORN CREEK WOODS

 

In the late 1980s, the state stepped back from direct management of the land it owned and entered into an agreement with the Forest Preserve to manage the state-owned acreage in addition to the Thorn Creek acreage the District owned, Mendelson explained. With the state's land transfer, the Forest Preserve now owns around 780 acres of the approximately 1,000-acre Thorn Creek Woods Nature Preserve.

“The Forest Preserve District, a longtime member of the management commission, now owns a large portion of the preserve, with Park Forest and University Park also owning acreage and serving on the commission,” Mendelson said. “The management of the entire nature preserve and Thorn Creek Nature Center, now continues in a much less complicated manner to the benefit of the public who use and love the preserve and its trails, plants and animals.”

____________

Stay up-to-date on the happenings in Will County's forest preserves by subscribing to The Citizen, our weekly digital newsletter that provides subscribers with updates on Forest Preserve news, upcoming events, and other fun and useful information for the whole family. If you're only interested in programs, subscribe to The Weekly Five, which outlines the five must-do programs each week. Signing up for either newsletter is easy and free of charge.

News

Bobcat Spotted for the First Time in Southern Will County Preserve

4/20/2021

Sand Ridge Savanna is now the fifth preserve in the Forest Preserve District known to have bobcats. Learn more about bobcats and the District's game camera program with 10 questions answered by Becky Blankenship, the Forest Preserve's wildlife biologist.

Read More


Wintry Weather Causes Preserve Closures, Shut-downs

4/20/2021

Monee Reservoir has stopped renting boats and water fountains have been shut off due to this week's cold weather and snow.

Read More


Monee Reservoir Weather Station Up and Running with Live Data

4/16/2021

Whether you want to know if the winds are calm enough to kayak, temperatures are hot enough to hike or the barometric pressure is conducive to reeling in fish, the new Monee Reservoir weather station and its live data should help you plan a fun and safe outing. 

Read More


Sign up for a Newsletter