A Little Time and a Keyboard: Lincoln Marsh Natural Area: A Habitat Restoration Success Story in Wheaton, Illinois

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Lincoln Marsh Natural Area: A Habitat Restoration Success Story in Wheaton, Illinois

 

Lincoln Marsh Natural Area: A Habitat Restoration Success Story in Wheaton, Illinois

Lincoln Marsh Natural Area: A Habitat Restoration Success Story in Wheaton, Illinois

Lincoln Marsh Natural Area provides for a unique ecological adventure right in Wheaton, Illinois. Our first adventure at Lincoln Marsh treated us not only to the brilliant colors of the changing seasons but a wealth of wildlife viewing wetlands, woodlands and prairie. 

Fall colors emerge at Lincoln Marsh Natural Area in Wheaton, Illinois.
Fall colors emerge at Lincoln Marsh Natural Area in Wheaton, Illinois.

While visiting the marsh, the depth of woodlands that trails weaved in and out of surprised me. Our fall visit welcomed us with changing trees almost immediately. While visiting, you will notice in certain areas the proximity to the residential area. Spare no worries! Despite being so close to homes, a wealth of wildlife calls Lincoln Marsh Natural Area home. Remarkably, Lincoln Marsh was saved by a community effort. Ecological restoration began in the 1980's cleaning up the green space including removing cars!

Ducks lounging and taking naps at the shoreline of Lincoln Marsh.
Ducks lounging and taking naps at the shoreline of Lincoln Marsh.

Today, trail-goers wander through 150 acres of restored habitat. On our visit, we quickly noted the success of conservation efforts viewing a plethora of wildlife. The forest and marsh welcomed a number of birds making the preserve a nice spot for birding. As we scouted the marsh area, we noted turtles and frogs. While they may be gone now with the dip in temperature, good to remember when warm days return to the area! We also spied a graceful Great Egret snacking in the marsh. Graceful while eating........

Great Egret wading at Lincoln Marsh.
Great Egret wading and pausing between snacks.

Lincoln Marsh is owned and operated as a joint effort between the Wheaton Park District and the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. My husband discovered the trail using the AllTrails app. We were unaware that Lincoln Marsh includes an obstacle course folded in nature. Interesting find! Additionally, the marsh area incorporates moveable boardwalks and bird blinds to help with spotting wildlife. 

Walking the boardwalk through the marsh.
Walking the boardwalk through the marsh.

Our amble through Lincoln Marsh provided for a peaceful respite and opportunity to observe nature. Tree canopies delighted us. Marsh and prairie grasses waved in the wind. Birds flew overhead. Turtles sunned in the marsh. We savored taking our time wandering on paths through Lincoln Marsh appreciating the change of seasons and just being with the native wildlife. Lincoln Marsh truly provides such a fantastic testament to how the community can work together to conserve our natural spaces. We will certainly meander these trails again!

Brilliant blaze of fall colors at Lincoln Marsh in Wheaton, Illinois
Brilliant blaze of fall colors at Lincoln Marsh

To Know about Lincoln Marsh:

  • The Challenge Course cannot be used unless under supervision of park staff. Contact the park district if you are interested.
  • Lincoln Marsh has several Scavenger Hunts available on its website.
  • Snowshoe rentals are available in winter.
  • There is a rustic play area for kids.
  • Dogs are welcome -- as long as they are on a leash!
Lincoln Marsh Natural Area: A Habitat Restoration Success Story in Wheaton, Illinois


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