Take a Walk in the Forest
About Our Forest Walk
Woodlands are diverse, complicated habitats – filled with native flora and fauna. The majority of Illinois native wildlife requires the forest habitat for at least a portion of its life. Prior to colonialization – 40 percent of Illinois was forested compared to about 12 percent today. Illinois has 20 native oak species and about 97 percent of our forests are classified as hardwood.
The Watershed is home to both upland forests, with soil that drains easily, and lowland forests, where soil stays wet for long periods of time. Soil–its nutrients and whether its often wet or dry– plays an important role in which plants and animals live inside a forest habitat.
All forests are made up of many layers. Starting from the ground level and moving up, the main layers of all forest types are the forest floor, the understory and the canopy. Each layer has a different set of plants and animals depending upon the availability of sunlight, moisture and food.