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Crystal Lake in McHenry County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

A Showcase of Diversity

Veteran Acres Park

 
 
A Showcase of Diversity Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 11, 2016
1. A Showcase of Diversity Marker
Inscription.

Veteran Acres is a 156 acre community park with steeply rolling terrain and three diverse ecosystems; woodland, wetland and prairie.

Our Woodland
The rolling hills of Veteran Acres Park are an example of an Oak Savannah. Oaks are the dominant species and other native trees include Maple, Hickory, Cherry, Hackberry, Black Walnut, Butternut, Redbud, Bitternut, and Ash. Non-native trees found in our woodland include Buckthorn, Honeysuckle, Tree of Heaven, Norway Maple, Siberian Elm, White Mulberry, Autumn Olive, and were probably introduced by the early settlers to the area. The Crystal Lake Park District has joined with Project Quercus to begin restoring the woodlands through the planting of new oak trees and the removal of invasive species.

Our Wetland
The pond and wetlands at the bottom of the kettle are a result of both natural and man-made influences. In the three decades between 1940 and 1970, five inlets were built to drain storm water from surrounding roadways into the pond. The pollution from this water deteriorated the water quality and therefore the wildlife in and around the pond. A massive restoration took place in 1999 to restore pond life by the introduction of high quality wetlands. Today, wetland plants surround the pond to cleanse the water. Settlement basins on the west side of the

A Showcase of Diversity Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 11, 2016
2. A Showcase of Diversity Marker
pond catch roadway pollutants before they enter the pond.

Our Prairie
Wingate Prairie is a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve located on the eastern side of Veteran Acres Park. The parcel represents 33.5 acres of the remaining 59 acres of gravel hill prairie in Illinois. This unique prairie, with rolling terrain and an expansive view, is home to several rare and endangered plant and animal species. The prairie is named for Bill Wingate, educator and volunteer steward for 27 years. Thanks to his early efforts, the prairie has been preserved and restored into a precious community resource.

Why is Diversity Important?
A healthy ecosystem depends on a large variety of plants and animals that work together and depend on each other for survival. All species, no matter how large or how small, have an important role to play. Some of the benefits of diversity are:

Protection of water resources
Soils formation and protection
Nutrient storage and recycling
Contribution to climate stability
Pollution breakdown and absorption

Image[s] provided by Weg Thomas
 
Erected 2011 by Crystal Lake Park District.
 
Location. 42° 15.072′ N, 88° 19.201′ W. Marker is in Crystal Lake, Illinois, in McHenry County

A Showcase of Diversity Marker Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., April 11, 2016
3. A Showcase of Diversity Marker Detail
. Click for map. Marker is near the playground in Veteran Acres Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 431 Walkup Road, Crystal Lake IL 60012, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Unique Park with a Unique History (within shouting distance of this marker); Downtown Crystal Lake (approx. 0.6 miles away); Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.6 miles away); El Tovar Theatre (approx. 0.7 miles away); World War II Memorial (approx. 5.1 miles away); Cary Cemetery - 1839 (approx. 5.1 miles away); Algonquin Village Hall and Public Square (approx. 6 miles away); Goodrich Homestead (approx. 7 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Crystal Lake.
 
Also see . . .
1. Veteran Acres Park, Crystal Lake IL. (Submitted on May 11, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. Oak Savannahs. (Submitted on May 11, 2016, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Environment
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 113 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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