James 'Pate' Philip State Park
2054 W. Sterns Road, Bartlett, IL 60103-1612
Price of admission: Program fees vary.
Website - 847-608-3100
Keywords: accessible, classes, Community/Cultural Center, Education, environment, exercise, historic center, local attraction, Nature, nature center, nature hikes, Other, outdoor, picnic, programs, state park, tours, tours/walks, visitor center, walks, wildlife
James 'Pate' Philip State Park's mission is to celebrate Illinois' natural history. In 1989, the Illinois General Assembly appropriated $10 million to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for the acquisition of James 'Pate' Philip State Park. The goal was to blend the forest, marshland and grasslands of DuPage County's Pratt's Wayne Woods Forest Preserve to the south with the newly purchased conservation lands to the north. Establishment of native vegetation at James 'Pate' Philip State Park would create new opportunities for wildlife corridors and greenway connections to DuPage, Kane and Cook counties.
In 1991, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources developed the Native Vegetation Restoration Plan to guide preliminary restoration activities at the site. Since most of the park's property was used for agricultural purposes, the plan called for the conversion of row crops to native vegetation where possible, the removal of cattle from pastureland, the removal of hedgerows, and the reintroduction of natural processes, such as fire, to the few remnant native plant communities that remain at the site.
In 1995, plans began for the construction of the new Region 2 Illinois Department of Natural Resources headquarters and the James 'Pate' Philip State Park Visitor Center. Construction began in the fall of 2000, and the park opened to the public in April of 2003. Today, the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County is actively involved in the operation of the visitor center and the management and restoration of the natural areas contained within the park.
Although the land and building are owned by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in trust for all Illinois citizens, the park and visitor center are managed by the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County.
Native Americans were the first humans to inhabit the area that is now James 'Pate' Philip State Park. The French were the first Europeans to explore it. Farmers, factory and office workers, along with their families, soon followed, prospering but changing the landscape dramatically.
The park was once mainly wet, tallgrass prairie, rich with flowers and grasses and home to creatures from insects to bison. The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County's goal is to restore as fully as possible portions of natural ecosystems, including prairie, woodland and wetland. It's an ongoing effort, a work in progress. Visitors are invited to come back often and watch the restoration take shape.
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