Fens: Elgin’s Natural Treasures

What is a Fen? They are unique wetlands communities, formed out of deposits left by glaciers. Alkaline springs with year-round temperatures of fifty degrees running though the ice age deposits produce a special plant population. Elgin is home to two types of fens: a river bluff fen at Trout Park and Bluff Spring’s prairie fen.

Trout Park became a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve in 1972 with 26 acres of forested fen with seep springs. In 1987, Bluff Spring Fen because a dedicated Illinois Nature Preserve. It boasts 91 acers of grass fen, prairie, sedge meadow and savanna communities, with well over 400 plant species.

The Illinois Nature Preserves Commission’s mission is to protect high quality natural areas and habitats of endangered and threatened species. Every person can help by respecting these rare treasures and following guidelines that help preserve them for future generations.

Fens: Elgin’s Natural Treasures will be on display to the end of May.