Looking for free wood chips for landscaping?
The Forest Preserve District of Kane County has plenty to offer during back-to-back days this weekend.
Wood chips will be available for pick-up from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 27, and Sunday, April 28, at Big Rock Forest Preserve.
Forest Preserve District staff will be on hand to help load with a machine from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. On Sunday, the public may pick them up on their own.
Non-district machinery to load/unload is not permitted. Residents should bring their own shovels and containers.
The public is welcome to take as many wood chips as they can haul away. Big Rock Forest Preserve is located at 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 www.kaneforest.com.
About 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.