Take nothing but your memories; leave nothing but your footprints. — Native American Chief Seattle
I traveled to Douglas-Hart Nature Center in central Illinois for my Walktober, a group walk organized by Robin over at Breezes at Dawn. If you’d like to join in the fun, do so and link here so she can include you.
Comprising 65 acres of native Illinois prairie, woodland, and wetland, Douglas-Hart nature preserve is the brainchild of a Mattoon woman who envisioned turning farmland into a natural setting before the arrival of humans.
Through Helen Douglas-Hart’s foundation, people across the region can learn about nature, participate in hands-on educational programs, hike approximately two miles of groomed nature trails, explore a visitor’s center and library, and more.
Let’s get started on our hike!
First, look way up at these immense trees:
Then glance down at this purple-colored undergrowth:
Next is something they call a Bog Garden:
The native grasses, sadly, are turning dormant at this time of year. They must have been splendid in the Spring and Summer, though:
And see, volunteers have been busy making sure new grasses will soon proliferate:
This is the Dragonfly Pond. I didn’t see any of them!
What might look like a mess to us is Home Sweet Home to little critters:
The gazebo offers a nice resting place, and you can see the wetlands behind it:
Oh, look — these trees are showing some fall color:
And so are these Oaks:
The outdoor stage, I believe, is used for educational programs. School kids often travel to the center on field trips:
I might be partial to this pond, which also features a floating dock that I was standing on:
Did you enjoy our walk? I’d done 30 minutes on the treadmill beforehand, but there’s nothing quite like being outdoors to make you feel healthy and peaceful. I hope you agree!