Blackwell Forest Preserve

Map of Blackwell PreserveThe Illinois Tollway is funding an extensive restoration at 2 Forest Preserve District sites in DuPage County: Blackwell Forest Preserve and St. James Farm Forest Preserve. The project is a multi-phase restoration of the Spring Brook watershed.

      • Phase I: restore meanders to Spring Brook No. 1
      • Phase II: restore 1.3 mi of stream; remove dam
      • Phase III will continue improving upstream habitat and water quality.

In 2017, we conducted biological monitoring across 4 taxonomic groups of aquatic and wetland fauna at Spring Brook No. 1 and wetlands at St. James Farm Forest Preserve and Blackwell Forest Preserve in DuPage County.

In 2020, we surveyed for the Federally Endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee.  We encountered 7 species including the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee in the recent restoration areas and 8 species total across the preserve, including the American Bumble Bee, an SGCN.

Our results indicated that the restoration site has the potential to benefit aquatic communities, but some targeted restoration efforts might be needed to support colonization by native species and mitigation of invasive species.

We will return to survey in 2021 to see if removal of the dam has allowed colonization.


Douglass, S.A., J.L. Sherwood, A.J. Stites, E.E. Bilger, S.J. Baker, J.P. Ross, and M.J. Dreslik. 2018. Biological monitoring of Spring Brook No. 1 and wetlands at St. James Farm Forest Preserve and Blackwell Forest Preserve, DuPage County, Illinois. Illinois Natural History Survey Technical Report. 2018 (01)1–21.

Mui, Jennifer M., Michael J. Dreslik, and Charles A. Warwick. 2021. Illinois Natural History Survey Urban Biotic Assessment Program 2015-2020. INHS Technical Report 2021 (02).