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Shannon Bayou Environmental Education Center

3301 Waldron Road, Aroma Park

41˚ 04' 47.06" N

87˚ 48' 44.31" W

This 46 acre preserve is located in Aroma Park along the Kankakee River. The office center provides space for programs on subjects such as 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 an acre of native tallgrass prairie, a 0.6 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

Aroma Land and Water Preserve is on Heiland Road, 1.4 miles south of Highway 17 East. One of the best sites in the area for woodland wildflowers, this 133.5 acre site features a 1.2 mile walking trail winding through several different types of natural areas, including sand prairie, wetland, wet oak woodlands, and river bank.

In 2008, 30 acres adjacent to the south side was added; this area will be seeded back to dry sand prairie species.  In the summer of 2011, 49.5 acres of mixed pine and hardwood woodland was added, bordering the trail from the parking lot, the upland sand prairie and extending down to the wetland area.

Over 40 percent of the Aroma Preserve is a wetland and lies within the flood plain 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.


Aroma Preserves
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Hieland Lakes Nature Preserve

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



Our newest site provides a local fishing hole for our area, Hieland Lakes is a 64 acre site which includes two lakes interconnected by a bridge. There is a parking area and mowed walking path. Limited fishing is allowed; until a survey of the fish population is completed, bluegill may be kept by anglers and all other species of fish are catch-and-release.

The site is a former and and gravel quarry, and while it offers a sparse population of native plant life, the area is abundant with wildlife such as deer, fox, coyote, and waterfowl including great blue heron and egret.

Plans for the site include planting wildflowers, prairie restoration, and walking paths.

Residents please note that no motorized vehicles are allowed on the property, and there is no campfires, swimming, boating, skating or camping allowed at the site

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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

Gar Creek Trail and Prairie Restoration is one-half mile east of Rout 45 on River Road adjacent to Kankakee Community College. This site is approximately 85 acres, with a  2.5 mile trail suitable for hiking, bicycling, and cross-country skiing.  Gar Creek Prairie is a cooperative project with the Kankakee Valley Park District. The 16 acre restored Tallgrass prairie was planted in 1992. The trail begins at the prairie, winds along Gar Creek, through oak woodland, and down to the banks of the Kankakee River.

At the river's edge, the trail connects with the Kankakee Riverfront Trail Project, which starts at the Aqua Illinois property at Hawkins and Water Streets, goes through Shapiro Developmental Center, Kankakee River Valley Forest reserve, Kankakee Community College, and connects with River Road Park and Splash Valley of the Kankakee Valley 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

This 86 acre site is located 1.1 miles south of Route I-57. Waldron Arboretum includes 30 acres that had once been a landscaping nursery, and 56 acres currently that has primarily been in agriculture for decades and is currently under a farm lease.  Conservation and restoration plans are pending based on the district needs and funds available through federal and state grants. There is a fine gravel hiking trail suitable for bicycling and cross country skiing. The trail winds through woodland and a small prairie restoration area.

Waldron Arboretum
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Strasma Grove

Duane Boulevard

Kankakee, Illinois 60901

41˚ 06' 28.33" N

87˚ 50' 43.56" W

On Duane Boulevard in Kankakee, this site is 2 acres with a mowed walking trail through mature native trees.

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 on County Road 3750 West.

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 four acres of trees and grasses.



Snake Creek Preserve
This is our newest Forest Preserve site


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

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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 November 30, 2016