Free Wood Chips! Get Them April 29-30 at 2 Kane County Forest Preserves!

Free Wood Chips! Get Them April 29-30 at 2 Kane County Forest Preserves!

Looking for free wood chips for landscaping?

The Forest Preserve District of Kane County has plenty to offer during back-to-back days at the end of April.

Wood chips will be available for pick-up at two locations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 29, and Sunday, April 30, at Burnidge Forest Preserve in Elgin and at Big Rock Forest Preserve in Big Rock. The district will have staff available to help load with a tractor at both Kane County FOrest Preserve District logosites from 8 a.m. to noon on both days.

Chips are available on a first-come, first-served basis until supplies run out.

Residents need to bring their own shovels and containers in order to load chips from noon to 5 p.m. The public cannot bring in their own powered equipment for loading.

The public is welcome to take as many wood chips as they can haul away. Signs within both preserves will direct people to the pile location.

The chips are from hardwood trees removed throughout Kane County because of storm damage or clearing efforts. None of the wood chips are from ash trees.

Burnidge Forest Preserve is located at 14N035 Coombs Road, Elgin. Big Rock Forest Preserve is located 46W072 Jericho Road, Big Rock.

For more information, contact the Forest Preserve District of Kane County at 630-232-5980 or visit its website at

SOURCE: Kane County Forest Preserve District website

Burnidge Forest Preserve

Beautiful vistas and rolling terrain are the outstanding features of Burnidge Forest Preserve, one of the largest preserves in the District.  There are several different plant communities and soil types here. Oak woodlands cover the hills on the southwest portion of the preserve and mingle with the marsh at lower elevations. A restored prairie stretches to the north, and a small creek meanders toward Tyler Creek.

Visitors can walk trails throughout the preserve and observe a diversity of wildlife in these natural communities. Nearly 600 acres of rolling terrain contain a series of watersheds that filter into the Tyler Creek greenway.

You’ll enjoy nine miles of hiking trails here, including a 2.25-mile, multipurpose trail suitable for hiking, biking or equestrian use.  You’ll also be able to view plants and wildlife in their natural habitats. There are also stocked fish ponds. No swimming is allowed.

Big Rock Forest Preserve

Mature woodlands, high-quality marshes, tallgrass prairie, clear-running creeks and a 65-foot deep lake are just some of the highlights of Big Rock Forest Preserve. Visitors will find lots to enjoy in any season of the year, from summertime fishing, to hiking in the autumn woods, cross-country skiing in winter, and birdwatching during spring migration.

Siegler Lake is a premier feature of the preserve. Formerly a limestone quarry, the lake was formed when high floodwaters breached the banks of Big Rock and Welch Creeks in 1996, sending torrents of water into the quarry. The result of this flood event was a 32-acre lake, complete with fish and invertebrates that were swept in with the floodwaters.

Subsequent fish habitat projects have been undertaken, and the lake supports a diversity of fish and aquatic wildlife. It’s a popular destination for anglers. Please follow posted regulations for catch-and-release fishing.  Fishing is allowed in the Big Rock Quarry on a catch and release basis. Swimming is not allowed.

Big Rock Creek, rated one of the best quality streams in Illinois, is home to freshwater mussels — indicators of high-quality habitat.

High sandy bluffs overlook patches of woodlands and prairies in the preserve, and a specialized wetland called a fen is fed by underground seeps on the southeastern portion of the preserve.

Visitors may walk from either of the two parking lots to the woodlands, the marsh, the fen and the prairie. There is a loop trail around Seigler Lake, with beautiful views over the water. A 1.25 mile, screenings trail, established in 2013, leads north from the lake to Big Rock Campground.

Horses are allowed on designated equestrian trails.

The preserve originated in 1992 with 294 acres. In 1998, 133 acres were added, which includes the gravel quarry. In 2003, 30 acres were added to the preserve. In 2006, 118 acres were added. In 2008, 19 acres were added. The final 246 acres that make-up the preserve were purchased in 2010, with partial funding through an Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Open Space Land Acquisition & Development (OSLAD) acquisition grant.