With their rich array of plants and animals and mixture of habitat types, wetland ecosystems are perfect places to connect with nature throughout the year. Hiking and biking, birdwatching and nature photography, kayaking and canoeing are among the outdoor activities often available in wetland areas open to the public.
Many nature preserves also offer volunteer opportunities for people who want to be involved in conservation efforts in a more direct and meaningful way. Volunteer activities might include clearing invasive plant species, collecting native seed for planting elsewhere, and maintaining trails.
TWI’s Dixon Waterfowl Refuge along the Illinois River has more than a dozen different habitats—ranging from a twin lake system to prairie to oak savanna—making for a rich and varied visitor experience. Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, about an hour south of Chicago, also offers a range of activities for visitors of all ages, including viewing of its bison herd, newly arrived in fall 2015.
Click here for information on visiting the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge
Click here for information on visiting Midewin
Click here for volunteering at TWI project sites