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Conservancy, MCC offer oak woodlands tour

Published: Sunday, May 11, 2014 12:04 a.m. CDT

The Land Conservancy of McHenry County and McHenry County College are offering a tour of some of the county’s oldest living residents from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

The Oaks of McHenry County: Up Close and Personal is a guided bus tour of three oak woodlands that are not open to the public.

Highlights of the tour include a visit with a 400-year-old white oak that Potawatomi Indians likely sat beneath 200 years ago, a chance to explore one of the largest remaining oak woodlands in the county, and displays of spring woodland wildflowers.

The second stop will be at the Community Research Forest, a public-private partnership established in 2013 that will become a center of study, training and educational opportunities about oak woodland ecology, health and care.

About 150 years ago, forty percent of the landscape in McHenry County was covered with oak woodlands. Nearly 90 percent of those woods were cleared for farming and development by early and recent residents, leaving oaks on just 4 percent of the landscape today. Most of the remaining oak woods are found on private property, so tour participants will have the chance to explore places that few people have ever seen. The tour fee is $79 and includes lunch and snacks throughout the day.

The tour will take place rain or shine and will require hiking on unpaved trails over gently rolling terrain. Contact Claudia Terrones, MCC’s Personal Development program coordinator, to register, at 815-455-8782 or cterrones@mchenry.edu (mailto:cterrones@mchenry.edu). Contact TLC at 815-337-9502 or through the website www.conservemc.org.

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