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Des Plaines River Trail Map

612 acres

Cross-Country Skiing

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Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway

Wetlands Research Project
The Des Plaines River Wetlands Demonstration Project is a living laboratory designed to provide scientists the research opportunities necessary to study the function of wetlands. These controlled, experimental wetlands have been constructed where abandoned farm fields and gravel pits once stood.
The Wetlands Research Project is located in northeast Lake County near Wadsworth.
The entrance and parking area are located on the south side of Wadsworth Road, east of Route 41 and west of the Des Plaines River Trail.
The Wetlands Demonstration Project is part of the Des Plaines River Trail and Greenway. Wetlands Research, Inc. was formed in 1983 as a joint venture between the Lake County Forest Preserves and the Chicago-based Openlands Project to manage construction and research of the wetlands project.
The Natural Scene
Before restoration work began, the land had been drained for farmland, mined for sand and gravel and then abandoned. Most of the original wetlands had been destroyed. Today, the river, once obscured by weedy overgrowth, is visible through a rehabilitated oak grove. The prairies have been restored, and the wetlands are again functioning to provide flood control and improve water quality in the river.
© Kim Karpeles
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