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LIB Conservation Area


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::Getting There

The LIB entrance is located 2.5 miles west of Belvidere on Newburg Road.

::Natural Considerations

This area lies on the banks of the Kishwaukee River and host flora and fauna typical of a northern Illinois river bottom. Silver maple, sycamore, and willow trees dominate lowlands adjacent to the river. These species are adapted to withstand seasonal flooding. Low areas are dotted with wetlands which provide ideal habitat for aquatic species, including turtles, frogs, and beaver. Species of birds, including waterfowl and wading birds frequent the marsh. Warblers utilize the area in the spring to rest and refuel before continuing their journey north. Out of the floodplain are the oak savannah forests which prefer better draining. Hardwoods including red and white oak, and hickory trees dominate these ridges. These areas support a healthy population of cavity nesting song birds due in part to the efforts of a local birding enthusiast who places and monitors a variety of nest boxes.

::History

Nicknamed after the former American Liberty Farms of which “LIB” once was a part, the 200+ acres of slightly undulating river bottom is basically undeveloped.

For thousands of years, the Kishwaukee River was used by the Native Americans to transport goods for trade. The name Kishwaukee is derived from the Potowatomi word meaning “river of the sycamore”. Potowatomi Indians utilized large sycamore trees found in the valley for dugout canoes. The river also designates the northern most natural range of the sycamores.

::Opportunities for Fun

A 3 ½ mile trail system affords access to the Kishwaukee River for fishing, hiking or cross country skiing.

::Activities and Facilities

Hiking trail, cross country skiing