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Lisle Park District received the Jane Foulser Habitat Award for The Oak Regeneration Project

The Oak Regeneration Project

Images (left): Naturalized area along Yackley Path; Image (right): Oak Seedlings; Photos By: Ryan Jensen, Lisle Park District, Certified Arborist, Naturalist

Lisle Park District is Planting Trees for Bees and Butterflies

Young oak trees will soon be popping up in Lisle parks thanks to the Lisle Park District’s Oak Tree Regenerative Project. Oaks support hundreds of beneficial insects and including more trees is part of Lisle Park District’s pollinator recovery plan. The DuPage Monarch Project is pleased to announce Lisle Park District has received the 2022 Jane Foulser Habitat Award for undertaking an innovative, multi-year project of germinating hundreds of acorns and planting young oak trees throughout their parks in the next several years.

The overall number of bees and butterflies is declining due in part to changing land use patterns. Developed areas and farm fields now dominate the Illinois landscape, leaving fewer patches of prairie, wetlands and woodlands for pollinators. In DuPage, parks, preserves and backyards offer places where habitat can be restored. The question is, what makes the best habitat for the greatest number of bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects? Oaks are part of the answer. As a keystone plant providing benefits for many beneficial insects, each oak tree is the foundation for an entire community of plants and animals.

Lisle Park District’s Oak Regeneration project began last year with a bumper crop of acorns. “Like any good squirrel we decided to stock up and grow our own trees,” said Ryan Jensen, the park district’s naturalist. Acorns were collected from the district’s white, burr, swamp white, chinkapin, and dwarf chinkapin trees. The acorns were refrigerated over the winter then planted into pots in March. Hundreds of seedlings germinated this year. In spring 2023, some will be transferred to larger pots and about 100 of the white and burr oak seedlings will be planted in the parks.

“It’s exciting to see our DuPage Monarch Project partners at the Lisle Park District advance our collective commitment to pollinators by planting more oaks, which are so vital to the wildlife in our area,” said DuPage County Forest Preserve president Daniel Hebreard. “Congratulations to the Lisle Park District for this well-deserved recognition.”

Lisle Park District’s commitment to providing healthy biodiverse pollinator habitat will be recognized by the DuPage Monarch Project at Native Bees: Why are they important and how can we help them? a virtual program hosted by The Conservation Foundation on October 5, 7:00-8:00pm.

Register for October 5 Native Bees Virtual Program

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The Lisle Park District provides a variety of leisure activities for people of all ages throughout the year. Park district facilities include Lisle Community Park, home to the all-inclusive Discovery Playground, Community Park Public Boat Launch, and Community Park Fitness Trail; the Recreation Center, which houses Gentle Learning Preschool, SEASPAR, the Senior Center, and multipurpose rooms; the Community Center, which contains Community Park Fitness and studios for dance and group fitness classes; Sea Lion Aquatic Park; The Museums at Lisle Station Park; River Bend Golf Course and numerous neighborhood playgrounds and park amenities, such as tennis courts, pickleball courts, ball fields, soccer fields, walking paths and picnic areas totaling close to 400 acres. It is the mission of the Lisle Park District to enrich the quality of life for people of all ages by providing constructive and creative leisure opportunities. For more information about the Lisle Park District, visit lisleparkdistrict.org. or call 630-964-3410.

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