Old School Road Map


  • Gross Acres (ga): 9.268
  • Net Acres (na): 9.268
  • Trails (Miles): 0
  • Wetlands (Acres): 1.57
  • Agricultural (Acres): 0


  • Nature Conservancy: 01/26/88 - 9.268 ga - (9.268 na) - $18,540.00
  • Total Cost: $18,540.00

Ecological Description (Applied Ecological Services, Inc. 1997)

This site occupies lowlands along the Des Plaines River. The soils are mapped as very poorly drained to moderately poorly drained silt loam and silt clay loam, with an area of slightly higher well drained to moderately well drained silt loam. Surface water runoff from lands to the north and east are directed onto the property through a ditch and culvert along Old School Road. The drainage channel through the parcel is 1' - 2' deep and 6" - 10" wide. Trees and banks bordering the channel are severely undercut. Branches and assorted human generated debris have clogged the channel during periods of flooding. The site is heavily wooded. The forest cover is varied depending on the soils and hydrology on the site. The low areas support a flatwoods community of large white and swamp white oaks (40'-50' high and some >36" dbh). The understory is overstocked with sugar and black maple, black ash, American elm and wild black cherry. Common buckthorn and Tartarian honeysuckle are present, but are not a significant problem at this site. A more mesic forest community on better drained soils supports a dense stand of sugar and black maple with very large, old white and bur oaks. The ground flora is heavily shade suppressed in most areas, but is locally diverse with patches of fowl mana grass (Glyceria striata) and Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) and scattered monkey flower (Mimulus ringens), dragonhead (Physostegia virginiana speciosa), and wild iris (Iris virginica shrevei). Dense patches of poison ivy, false nettle (Boehmeria cylindrica), moneywort (Lysimachia nummularia), and jumpseed (Polygonum virginianum) are common.

Of special note is a large population of the rare water pimpernel (Samolus parviflorus) found at the confluence of the drainage way with the Des Plaines River. A count of 400-500 plants in flower and thousands of basil rosettes were occupying the floodplain along with rice cut grass (Leersia oryzoides), monkey flower, water pepper (Polygonum hydropiper), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), and wild iris. Small populations of two yet unidentified, but potentially rare, sedge species were observed.

This site represents an important holding of the Township and should be given high priority for restoration of the flatwoods and floodplain communities harboring rare species.