Don't Just Hug a Tree, Plant an Oak Sept. 26 in LeRoy Oakes

Don’t Just Hug a Tree, Plant an Oak Sept. 26 in LeRoy Oakes

For the record, LeRoy Oakes refers to a person, not a tree. But if you really care about trees and want to do something right on good on National Public Lands Day, you can plant an Oak —and other types of trees — on Sept. 26 at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve in St. Charles.

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County is calling for volunteers of all ages to help plant trees at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve as part of National Public Lands Day.  This event is one of many that will take place across the country on Sept. 26.  National Public Lands Day is America’s largest single-day volunteer event for public lands.

Tree planting begins at 10 a.m. sharp, and will last until all 150 oaks are planted (or 1 p.m. — whichever comes first). Please bring work gloves if you prefer. Holes are pre-dug and will have a tree in them. We’ll need volunteers to tamp down dirt, water and mulch.  It’s easy!  There are also opportunities to help with brush cutting and seed harvesting. This is a great event for families, scouts, groups or individuals.

Nationwide, more than 175,000 volunteers are expected to participate in National Public Lands Day. This is a great opportunity to be a part of something important, to plant trees that will last for hundreds of years, and that future generations will enjoy.

Groups of 10 or more, please contact the Forest Preserve District’s volunteer coordinator at 630-762-2741 or e-mail to register. Groups of less than 10 do not need to register in advance.

LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve is located at 37W700 Dean St., St. Charles.

For more information, visit or

LeRoy Oakes barn

About LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve

LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve a popular destination for both passive and active recreation, with high-quality prairie, woodland, and Ferson Creek meandering through the preserve.

Contained in the preserve is a true prairie relic (the Murray prairie), prairie restorations (including the Bob Horlock area), meandering Ferson Creek, flood plain forests, seeps, oak woodlands and grassy fields. Also, the only native colony of Speckled Alder is growing here along Ferson Creek. Seeds of prairie plants have been sown across approximately 40 acres of old fields, both north and south of Dean Street.

The site itself is varied and beautiful, with over 130 feet of elevation difference from the crest in the center of the property to Ferson Creek.

LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve also serves as home to Creek Bend Nature Center – the hub of the Forest Preserve District’s Environmental Education program. Cultural gems such as the Durant House Museum and Pioneer Sholes School are also located at LeRoy Oakes. The Durant House Museum, as well as the Pioneer Sholes School, are listed on State and National Registers and are available for tours by reservation.

Further, LeRoy Oakes serves as the trail head for the Great Western Trail. The Great Western Trail connects to the Mid-County trail that winds through LeRoy Oakes before heading north along Randall Road.

This preserve includes a horseback riding area.  Most horse trails are natural surface, mowed grass paths. Limestone screenings trails and asphalt bike trails are available in some of the preserves. These are multi-use trails shared with runners, bicyclists, dog walkers etc. Horse riders are required to stay on designated, forest preserve-maintained trails. Trail riding is not allowed in restricted natural areas, Illinois Nature Preserves, picnic areas or in farmed areas. To prevent trail damage during wet weather, trails may be temporarily closed. Individual forest preserves will post a sign at the entrance when horse trails are closed. Trails are currently OPEN for equestrian use at this preserve.

SOURCE: Kane County Forest Preserve District

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