Schurmeier Teaching Forest

Jerry and Jon Schurmeier donated the original 52 acres of Schurmeier Teaching Forest to JDCF in 1994 in memory of their parents. With the help of the Northwest Illinois Forestry Association and a grant from the Illinois Council on Forestry Development, a teaching forest was created on the eleven westernmost acres of the donated properties. To our knowledge, this is the only teaching forest in Illinois.  A self-guided tour booklet is available at the kiosk and corresponds to signage along the trail.

This rugged, hillside property is entirely wooded. Although the site was generally logged many years ago, the deeper ravines include some awe-inspiring old growth timber. A picnic shelter surrounded by native prairie plants is available for family gatherings, and is the meeting point for our spring and fall forest walks.

Upcoming Events

Creatures of the Night: Owls & Bats

October 21 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Learn about some of our nocturnal friends, owls and bats. This program, geared towards a middle school grade level, introduces the life cycle of the owl and its food and habitat. It also identifies the characteristics that make the owl a perfect predator and member of the raptor family. Participants will get to dissect an […] Read More

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The Return of Large Predators to the Midwest

November 11 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

JDCF, the Illinois DNR, and the Jo Daviess County Farm Bureau invite the public to a seminar to provide research-based information about basic biology, identification, status in the Midwest and expectations for the future of wolves, cougars, and black bears – carnivores that in yet small but increasing numbers are appearing on our landscape. Keynote […] Read More

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Owl Prowl

December 2 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Join us for an evening owl-prowl hike at Casper Bluff.  This year, we will be joined by the Northern Illinois Raptor Rehab and Education Center who will bring along a few of their feathered friends for an educational program and meet and greet with live owls before we head out on the trails. There will be […] Read More

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