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Shannon Bayou Environmental Education Center

3301 Waldron Road, Aroma Park

41˚ 04' 47.61" N

87˚ 48' 44.31" W

This 46 acre preserve is located at 3301 Waldron Road in Aroma Park along the Kankakee River. The center provides space for programs about natural history, ecology, and preservation of open space in the Kankakee River Valley. The walking trail area features plantings of many native trees and plants, including native tallgrass prairie species and a butterfly garden of native plants. The site includes a 3/4 mile asphalt and fine gravel walking trail, a picnic shelter, and picnic tables.

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Shannon Bayou
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Aroma Land and Water Reserve

1578 South Hieland Road

St. Anne, Il. 60964

41˚ 06' 02.90" N

87˚ 45' 24.08" W

One of the best sites in the area for woodland wildflowers, this 140 acre site is located on Heiland Road, 1.4 miles south of Highway 17 East. A 1.2 mile walking trail winds through several different types of natural areas, including high quality forest, prairie and wetland ecosystems. It also has nearly 1/4 mile of Kankakee River frontage and the associated floodplain forest.

The Forest Preserve mows a loop trail that branches off the existing 1 1/4 mile trail that meanders through the main body of the Aroma LWR. In the summer of 2011, 49.5 acres of mixed pine and hardwood forest were added.

Approximately 40 percent of the Aroma Preserve is a wetland and lies within the floodplain of the Kankakee River. In the spring, the wet oak forest gives a spectacular wildflower display while the wetland and sand prairie are the most colorful in the summer. There is ample parking in the parking lot on Hieland Road next to the playground.



Aroma Preserves
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Hieland Lakes Nature Preserve

6692 Route 17 East
St. Anne, Illinois 60964
41˚ 7' 02.23"N
87˚ 44' 24.82"W



The Forest Preserve has a new site located about three miles east of Kanakee on Route 17. The new site is 64 acres, including two connected lakes. An aquatic survey will be conducted to determine the fish population; meanwhile, limited fishing is allowed. Bluegill may be kept by anglers - all other fish are catch-and-release.

Plans for the site include planting native wildflowers, prairie restoration and creation of a walking path. At this time there is a mowed walking path, a parking lot, and a bridge at the point where the two lakes connect.

The site is a former and and gravel quarry. At this time, before restoration gets underway, there is not much in the way of native ecosystem remaining. The site offers a sparse population of native plant life, and the area is abundant with wildlife such as deer, fox, coyote, and waterfowl including great blue heron and egret.

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Gar Creek Trail and Prairie Restoration

501 River Road

Kankakee, Il. 60901

41˚ 05' 30.84" N

87˚ 51' 32.78" W

Approximately 85 acres, this site is located about one-half mile east of Route 45 on River Road adjacent to Kankakee Community College. The 16 acre restored tall grass prairie was planted in 1992. A 3/4 mile trail begins a the prairie and winds along Gar Creek through oak woodland and down to the banks of the Kankakee River.

At river's edge, the trail connects with the Kanakee Riverfront Trail Project, which starts at the River Road Ball Diamonds. It then continues through Kankakee Community College, Kankakee River Valley Forest Preserve, and Shapiro Devolopment Center. The trail connects through the City of Kankakee and runs through the Perry Farm, which is a part of the Bourbonnais Township Park District.

Gar Creek
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Waldron Arboretum

2755 Waldron Road

Aroma Park, Il. 60910

41˚ 05' 36.28" N

87˚ 49' 26.51" W

Located 1.1 miles south of Interstate 57, this site was once a landscape nursery. On this 90 acre site, there is a fine gravel hiking trail sitable for bicycling and cross country skiing. The trail winds through 30 acres of woods, including a small prairie restoration area. In the winter of 2008, the District acquired the other 60 acre parcel which had been primarily in agriculture. Future development plans are pending based on the District's needs and funds available through federal and state grants.

Waldron Arboretum
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Strasma Grove

Duane Boulevard

Kankakee, Illinois 60901

41˚ 06' 28.33" N

87˚ 59' 43.56" W

Nestled adjacent to Sunnyside neighborhood in Kankakee, this site is 2 acres of mature native trees with a mowed trail.

Strasma Grove
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Limestone Reforestation Site

County Road 3750 West

Kankakee, Illinois 60901

41˚ 08' 38.96" N

87˚ 56' 51.08" W

This site is a 30 - acre preserve and restoration site, with mixed trees and grasses. The site is presently being managed by the Limestone Park District as part of an intergovernmental agreement.

Limestone Reforestation Site
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Zeedyk Meadows

Warren Street

St. Anne, Illinois 60964

41˚ 06' 24.92" N

87˚ 44' 35.77" W


This site is a four acre sanctuary containing many young trees and grasses that provide habitat and food resources for songbirds and migrant species in the spring and fall. The Forest Preserve is still working on a long range development plan for this property. It is located across the street from Station 2 of the Aroma Fire Protection District.



Snake Creek Preserve

5800 Darline Dr.
St Anne, IL 60964
41 ˚10’ 97.52” N
87 ˚ 75’ 63.08” W

This four acre finger of property runs parallel to Snake Creek where it meets the Kankakee River. The creek and small woods are full of songbirds, owls, ducks and heron. There are also beaver, muskrat, frogs. It is a great place to fish or just relax.



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Forest Preserves of the Kankakee River Valley
3301 Waldron Road
P.O. Box 13
Aroma Park, Illinois 60910

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last updated on February 2, 2019