Jo Daviess County Adventure (FULL)

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Join us on an adventure to beautiful Jo Daviess County in the northwest tip of Illinois. Tom Clay, Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (JDCF) Director of Special Projects and past IAS Executive Director (2007-2015) will be our guide as we explore the region and visit several JDCF properties.

Friday, June 16

We will meet at Amboy Marsh Nature Preserve and board the van to start our journey. Our first stop will be at Wards Grove Nature Preserve, just west of Stockton, considered to be the best “mound forest” remaining in the Driftless Area. JDCF recently helped purchase an additional 70 acres bringing total protected acres to 400. The site features woodlands with populations of sensitive plant and animal species. Acadian flycatcher, ovenbird, American redstart, scarlet tanager, veery, pileated woodpecker and black and white warbler are a few of the species possible.

Next stop will be Elizabeth, Illinois, home to the JDCF headquarters. Tom will give us a brief overview of JDCF and we will enjoy dinner at Cajun Jack’s Bar & Grill. Our hotel for the trip will be Country Inn & Suites, Stockton, Illinois.

Saturday, June 17

After breakfast at the hotel, we head off for a birding hike at Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary. This 409- acre JDCF preserve is managed and protected primarily for the many bird species that call it home. It was dedicated as an Important Bird Area in 2022. Notable Illinois species of conservation concern include the Henslow’s sparrow, bobolink, red-headed woodpecker and northern harrier. We will enjoy a box lunch here before traveling to our next destination, Rutherford Nature Preserve near Apple River Canyon State Park, another JDCF project. Time permitting, we will also tour a recent land protection project at the Canyon Camp (BSA).  Dinner will be at Mud Run Beer Company in Stockton before returning to our hotel.

Sunday, June 18

Our Sunday destination will be Horseshoe Mound Preserve after breakfast at the hotel.  Comprised of nearly 200 acres, this preserve offers one of the most spectacular views of the valley. There will be plenty of trails to explore. Potential species include yellow-throated warbler, scarlet tanager, cedar waxwing, field sparrow, wood thrush and great crested flycatcher before we finally say good bye to Tom and Jo Daviess County.

Trip Leader: Tom Clay, Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation
Cost of trip includes roundtrip transportation from Amboy, Illinois, hotel Friday and Saturday night (with breakfast included), dinner Friday and Saturday night, lunch Saturday.
Maximum Field Trip Capacity: 12
Cost: $240/per person double occupancy, $370/per person single occupancy


Date: June 16 - 18, 2023 Time: Multiday



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