Laona Heights Sugar River Colored Sands Sugar River Two Rivers Ferguson Hartley Memorial Trask Bridge Four Lakes Pecatonica River Pecatonica Wetlands Crooked River Grove Creek Seward Bluffs Klehm Forest Preserve Severson Dells Fuller Memorial Cedar Cliff Indian Hill Hinchliff Memorial Kilbuck Bluffs Trailside Kishwaukee Gorge South Kishwaukee Gorge North Rockford Rotary Kishwaukee River Oak Ridge Blackhawk Springs Deer Run Espenscheid Memorial McKiski County Line Kieselburg Roland Olson Stone Bridge Clayton Andrews Ledges Hononegah J. Norman Jensen Millrace Isle Macktown Atwood Homestead Forest Preserve Headquarters

Wetland Types of Winnebago County


This community has water near or above the surface most of the year and is dominated by tall graminoids (grasses, sedges, and other grass-like plants).  Soils may be peat, muck, or mineral.  Our marshes are in river valleys and on an old lake plain.  Marshes have a wide variety of plant communities, determined greatly by water depth and also by fluctuations in water levels, fire frequency, and muskrat populations.

Representative Areas:  Headquarters, Pecatonica River, Pecatonica Wetlands, Ferguson


Graminoid Fen

This community of sloping peat either is at the edge of a moraine or, less frequently, is a raised island in a marsh or sedge meadow.  Dominants are sod-forming sedges, or mesic prairie grasses in the most elevated areas.  Diversity is quite high since both mesic prairie and wet prairie species can occur side by side.  This is one of the rarest plant communites found in Winnebago County Forest Preserves and the only example found in Winnebago County.

 Dominant Plants:   Andropogon geradii (Big bluestem), Schizachyrium scoparium (Little bluestem), Carex haydenii (Cloud sedge), Carex sterilis (Sterile sedge), Sorghastrum nutans (Indian grass), Sporobolus heterolpis (Prairie dropseed).

 Characteristic Plants:    Carex hystricina (Porcupine sedge), Liatris spicata (Marsh blazingstar), Lobelia kalmia (Kalm’s lobelia), Lysimachia quadriflora (Prairie loosestrife), Muhlenbergia glomerata (Bristly muhlenbergia), Parnassia glauca (Grass-of-Parnassus).

 Representative Areas:  Kieselburg Forest Preserve


Sedge Meadow

This community subclass is a wetland dominated by sedges on peat, muck, or wet sand.  This community is very homogeneous in composition and structure.  The soil moisture is much like that of a wet prairie, with some floristic overlap between the two communities.

 Representative Areas:  Clayton Andrews, Four Lakes, Kieselburg, Oak Ridge, Stone Bridge, Sugar
River Alder, Sugar River.