Crooked Creek Restoration Underway

This next phase of a 396 acre restoration project to enhance habitat in the Crooked Creek watershed has kicked off in partnership with the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC). Together we will restore an additional 189 acres of land and three miles of riparian area along the headwaters of the creek.

Funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Chi-Cal Rivers Fund, this large-scale land restoration project will improve habitat through invasive species control. Target species for removal include non-native honeysuckle, barberry, and multiflora rose. With the subsequent return of native plant species, it will increase high-quality habitat and improve stormwater infiltration. By slowing rainwater into the creek it will also improve adjacent habitat for the endangered Hine's emerald dragonfly by limiting water level fluctuations during flash storm events. It is a complement to Friends’ previously funded project by the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund in partnership with FPCC in 2019 when 207 acres and 5.7 miles of headwater reaches were restored in the same area.

This phase of invasive species control is done while the ground is frozen so machinery running across the land and crews in the area don't compact or damage the soil. And during the cold months many wildlife species are less active, reducing the impact on them.

Crooked Creek is a tributary to the Chicago River system. It flows into the Saganashkee Slough which then drains into the Cal-Sag Channel. It is the home to many fish species including largemouth bass, bluegill, and pumpkinseed.