The next Nature Speaks show looks at Lake in the Hills Fen

The Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission and the Prospect Heights Public Library are co-sponsoring a Nature Speaks program titled “Lake in the Hills Fen” by David Schwaegler from 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21.

Schwaegler has volunteered at Lake in the Hills Fen since the late 1980s, before the natural area achieved Illinois Nature Reserve status. His roles include bird watching, butterfly monitoring, conducting plant inventories, phenology studies, tour guide and nature steward, among others.

His presentation will unveil and expose the unparalleled beauty and complexity of Illinois’ best-kept secret.

Like many native grasslands in Illinois, the 500-acre site has had a hectic road to becoming a natural preserve, despite the rare and irreplaceable flora and fauna that exist.

A staggering total of nine unique and distinct native communities make up this dynamic ecosystem – limestone floating mat, graminoid bog, shrubby fen, hanging bog, limestone seep, sedge meadows and marshes, perennial stream, prairie dry gravel and mesic grassland gravel.

As a master photographer and compelling storyteller, Schwaegler will take you on a picture-guided tour through this unique landscape. You will learn first hand about the history and the people who fought so hard to preserve it.

More than 400 species of plants, 80 species of birds, and 40 species of butterflies inhabit the Lake in the Hills Fen, and Schwaegler’s photographs will speak for themselves.


Sign up for this free program by visiting, as it will take place virtually via the library’s Zoom platform. Instructions for logging into the program will be emailed to registrants on the day of the program. It will also be taped and encore presentations will air on future dates and times.

Nature Speaks is a partnership between the Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission and the Prospect Heights Public Library.

Additional information about the Natural Resources Commission’s native grassland restorations and other activities can be found at

Ryan H. Bowman