Prairie Sampler and Trail Workdays at Thorn Creek Nature Center on Monday, June 20

Registration required by Saturday, June 18

Park Forest, IL—(ENEWSPF)—May 31, 2016.  Get down and dirty and help Master Gardeners from the University of Illinois Extension Service care for our Prairie Sampler.  Located in front of the Nature Center, the Prairie Sampler and a butterfly garden need your help with weeding, pulling tall goldenrod, trimming out woody plants and caring for newly acquired plants.

Prairie Sampler Workday will be Monday June 20 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Registration is required by Saturday, June 18. Bring your own gloves, hand clippers, kneelers if you like.  Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes or boots. Refreshments will be provided. The Workday is for ages 18 and older.

The Prairie Sampler was created in the 1970’s with transplanted native prairie plants and large soil plugs from local prairies before they were destroyed by development. The late Jim Marzuki nurtured the prairie in the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s.  Over the last two years, naturalist April Richards, Master Gardeners and volunteers have again been caring for the prairie, weeding, clearing out woody vegetation and planting and caring for new plants.  They have also been identifying, and labeling the native species, and are impressed with the number of native plants that are flourishing. Today the Thorn Creek Prairie Sampler is a lush, rich prairie community.

Join the Thorn Creek Trail Work crew in building and repairing boardwalks and maintaining the 3.5 miles of trails through the preserve. Trail Workday is Saturday, June 25, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and is for ages 15-adult. Other monthly workdays are planned for Sunday, July 24; Sunday, August 14; Sunday, July 24; Sunday, August 14.

Bring a lunch and gloves and dress for the weather.  Wear sturdy shoes or boots.  Refreshments will be provided. Outdoor work is on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Registration is required by Wednesday, June 22 and make sure to let us know of a group of 4 people or more. Community groups are welcome.

For more information about Workdays, contact Thorn Creek Nature Center, 247 Monee Rd, Park Forest, 708-747-6320, email [email protected]. Thorn Creek Nature Center is open Friday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Call before you plan to visit the nature center. Visit our website at

Three and a half miles of Thorn Creek trails are open daily from dawn to dusk. Trail walkers should be aware that our south bridge across Thorn Creek was badly damaged by floods and was removed.  The new north bridge across Thorn Creek is open and all the trails are open.  Walkers should plan their hikes to allow for coming back around the trails to cross at the north bridge only.  There are signs and maps at the trailhead.