County park district holds nature hike


GEORGETOWN, Ill. (WCIA) — Park districts have canceled most programming because of COVID-19.

However, one district is still doing what they can to bring people outside.

The Vermilion County Conservation District held a Pioneer and Native American Hike on Sunday at Forest Glen Preserve. Masks and temperature checks were required.

Environmental Educator Susan Biggs Warner presented various plants and animals you can find along the Willow Creek Trail, and how they were used by settlers and Native Americans.

Some plants like hedge trees and their large, bright green apples, she said are not native to the area. Others, like pawpaws, are native.

The educator also brought the group to a spot in the creek whether settlers could dig for coal just a few feet into the ground. Underneath the coal was a layer of clay.

“The clay is soft and pliable and Native Americans and pioneers would have used this to make pots and pottery,” Biggs Warner said. “When school kids come out, they always want to collect some of this and put it in their pocket to take home. I always think when mom washed their blue jeans she probably had a big pocket of gluey clay.”

Although there are no future walks officially planned at this time, the district is looking at hosting more in the spring.

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