Sterne’s Woods & Fen Volunteer Work Day - 11.22.20

Time: 9:00 AM

Location: 5617 Hillside Dr, Crystal Lake


We meet once a month at Sterne's outdoor pavilion, 5617 Hillside Dr.  Volunteers have a chance to learn about restoration ecology and what makes Sterne’s Fen special.  Typically we cut and stack invasive  buckthorn and honeysuckle in the higher/drier areas around the fen.  When the low ground freezes in the winter, we will work directly on the fen.  The park district burns our brush piles seasonally after the wood dries.  Please bring a face mask, water bottle, and a pair of work gloves.  The park district will supply loppers & bow saws, and I will bring snacks to share.  Email Brice Alt, volunteer site steward, to receive updates:  Our next couple work dates are:   Dec 20 and Jan 24.  



Sterne’s Woods & Fen became an Illinois State Nature Preserve in 1994 to preserve and protect its unique ecology.  A fen is a rare type of wetland in which cold groundwater that is high in calcium and magnesium seeps to the surface.  The unique water chemistry supports plants that grow nowhere else.  Sterne’s Fen is home to at least 10 rare or endangered plant species.  The surrounding parkland acts as a buffer to the fen and includes prairie, oak savanna, and flatwood ecosystems.  Every one of those ecosystems can benefit from the efforts of volunteers.  Join us once a month and learn about them!



Much thanks to the local groups who have volunteered with us at Sterne's:  the MUDD trail running club, the Silver and Sleepy Hollow Creeks Watershed Coalition, the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, the BREAK, Jacobs High School Interact, Crystal Lake South Elementary, Girl Scout Troop 888, Cub Scout Pack 156, and Boy Scout Troops 158 and 368.  We can accommodate community groups!  Just give us a heads-up of how many volunteers to expect.



A video about Sterne's Fen:

Park district updates:

Who was Ted Sterne?  The Crystal Lake Historical Society article:



By volunteering at a Sterne's workday you're helping with the ecologic restoration of an exceedingly rare type of habitat. 

To learn more about restoration ecology, here's a quick video:

Sterne's Fen has a management plan:


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