St. James Farm Forest Preserve in DuPage County, Illinois

Happy Fence Friday!
In the 1800s, the St. James Farm Forest Preserve was owned by farmers and many of the same buildings from that era are still standing on the preserve lands. One large barn, built around the year 1890, still exists on the land. In the decades following the latter 1800s, the McCormick's farm became more successful and the farm was passed down through their family. Brooks McCormick inherited the farm in the 1950s and, under his ownership, multiple phases of development occurred over the decades.

In 2000, Brooks McCormick sold the land the Forest Preserve District of the county of DuPage. He had a deal with the Forest Preserve to live on the land until his death, which occurred in 2006. In 2007, the Forest Preserve took over ownership of the property. In 2015, Spring Brook underwent a restoration to reduce erosion and to improve the habitat in the area of Spring Brook. The restorations will increase wetlands and wildlife habitats for local wildlife.

The forest preserve is comprised of 612 acres of land, 100 acres of which are wooded, wetlands, and prairies. Over 300 plant species, native to the area can be found on the preserve. Wildlife on the preserve is comprised of many bird species, including red-bellied woodpeckers, white-breasted nuthatches, great blue herons, and other birds. Other wildlife found on the preserve mainly includes, foxes, squirrels, coyotes, and white-tailed deer.

Activities-wise, there's a 1.6 mile trail for hikers, bikes and horseback riding, providing a scenic tour through parts of the preserve. In the winter months, the trail is open to skiers. Around the preserve there are picnic tables for your picnic outings. A shelter is also available for reserving by contacting the St. James Farm Forest Preserve. At the front pond visitors will be able to fish, catch and release, for numerous species of fish that includes catfish, largemouth bass, and bluegills. Anyone over the age of 16 must have a fishing license for the state of Illinois and follow all regulations.

Visit the official site for the preserve here

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