This month the Best of the Midwest is taking you to Gardens to enjoy the natural beauties in the Midwest. One of our favorite places to go all year round but especially in Spring and Summer is The Grove. The Grove is tucked away right off of busy Milwaukee Avenue in Glenview. The site is actually a National Historic Landmark and is comprised of land once owned by a noted horticulturalist, Dr. John Kennicott, and his son Robert, an explorer and naturalist. The preserve is home to Dr. John Kennicott's home as well as the Redfield Estate. Additionally, the preserve includes replicas of a school house, a long house and a teepee as well as a real log cabin moved to the site from Michigan.
While having a distinctly historic component, The Grove also is a stunning natural space. We often visit when we know we need a change of pace but do not have time in our schedule to go too far. Amazingly, The Grove is entirely surrounded by the busy suburbs of Chicago. When walking the grounds, though, you barely notice! Equally surprisingly is that the grounds never seem totally swarmed with people--making walks very pleasant!
A couple of our favorite locations in The Grove include ephemeral ponds. Since the ponds vary in depth and sometimes completely disappear, you never know what flora and fauna you may see. The pond nearest to the Nature Center often has frogs, turtles, insects and waterfowl. We usually spend quite some time observing the pond just absorbing the experience and seeing what we each can spot.
While walking through the preserve, you really need take some time to pause and take it in. If you stop, look and listen, you never know what you may see.
The Grove also has a greenhouse not too far from the Nature Center. The greenhouse focuses on wetland flora and fauna and is definitely worth a peek. The greenhouse is a bit off of the main path--just be on the lookout for it if you visit!
No visit to The Grove can be complete without a stop in the Nature Center. The Nature Center has a collection of animal inhabitants year-round. Immediately upon entering, you will notice the turtle habitat. The turtles are quite entertaining and we love to watch how one will brazenly step right on top of another. Hakuna matata, right? A trip around the Nature Center will introduce you to many of the species that would be typical of area. There also are some nature specimens--very fitting as Robert Kennicott was a naturalist. There is usually some type of children's activity as well.
We love to visit The Grove throughout the year to unwind while seeing the changes of the seasons. The Grove also has some fun events throughout the year but a trip just to stretch your legs and be part of nature is worth a trip any time of the year!
**Note: The Nature Center is open when the grounds are open. However, the other buildings are only open at certain times. Please check website for details.
This post is part of the Best of the Midwest blog hop. Have a post that fits this month's Flowers and Gardens in the Midwest theme? Join in the fun below!
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