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My Field Experience at Herrick Lake

By Trevor Daigel, Forest Preserve Visitor

Editor’s Note: Seventh-grade students at Hadley Junior High School were given an assignment to explore a community resource to learn about the environment, climate and geography as part of a scientific-based experience. Student Daigel shared his experience with us as part of our “Nature Stories” series.

For hundreds of years, the land that is now Herrick Lake Forest Preserve was scattered into prairies and woodlands. Native Americans discovered and settled at Herrick Lake in the 1600s. The trails they traveled on were so dense; the trails are still here! In 1925, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County purchased 90 acres of the original Herrick Lake. The land was expanded occasionally and today at 885 acres, Herrick Lake is beautiful.

Herrick Lake is home to many plants and animals. With over 254 resident and migrant animals and 470 plants, Herrick Lake has lots of biodiversity. European grasses are a good living place for savannah sparrows, bobolinks, and eastern meadowlarks. There are also maples, oaks, and hickories in these fields. In the marsh, there are many ducks, salamanders, frogs, reeds and cattails.

This site is a great place to learn about plants, animals and ecosystems. Herrick Lake is near where I live and very convenient for me. It’s also good because you can go to it at anytime of the year. It has lots of biotic organisms. The animals at Herrick Lake are also not that afraid of going near humans, so you can easily snap photos and watch them at a close range. My favorite part of Herrick Lake is that it is serene and the trails are scenic.
Student Daigel's display board features a brief report about Herrick Lake and its features.
Herrick Lake is abiotic. It has a large amount of biodiversity.
These mallard ducks are ready for spring. They will migrate to reproducing grounds to lay their eggs. The male has a green head, and the female has a brown head.
This snail shell used to be the house for a snail. When it died, it decomposed inside of the shell. The water brought the shell to shore.
Moss is a producer and can grow on rocks, trees, and marshy places. It can prevent erosion by absorbing water.
This small Stinkpot Turtle is lurking in the shallow water for a meal.These turtles are omnivores and can eat plants like algae and animals like insects and worms.
In the upland woods, there are red, white and bur oak trees. The upland woods also are habitat for animals like coyote and woodpeckers.
This sycamore pod is a cluster of many seeds. It comes from American Sycamores which are classified as angiosperms.
This spot of moss and lichen is growing on a tree. The moss is dark green and lichen is light green. 
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