By Paustian Hjeck for SUST 210 Online
Peck Farm Park of Geneva IL boasts 385 acres of land that houses gardens, nature and bike trails, a butterfly house, and a 19-acre wetland. The park’s website aptly calls it a “natural retreat.” Way back in 1844, Eli Peck purchased a few acres in Geneva and built a farm house upon them in 1869. At one point, the property housed and supported 1,800 sheep! While there are no Pecks living at Peck Farm any longer, the property belongs to the Geneva Park District, a move the Pecks made in an attempt to keep the land safe from development.
More recently, the farm was given a $95,000 capital grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to renovate the front porch of the farm house, now a visitor’s center, in hopes of encouraging more people to visit the farm grounds as well as potentially secure national and state historical designations for the building.
This park provides a delightful example of the way suburbs can use their space and availability of nature to merge the urban and natural world into a state of positive coexistence. The wetlands and prairie of Peck Farm are well maintained and vary from natural to restored. They have been thriving for three years and have begun to grow without invasive species this past season.
With its high functionality, beautiful landscape, and sustainable upkeep, Peck Farm Park is a hidden gem amongst the Chicago suburbs.
Each week during the Fall 2013 semester, students in Prof. Mike Bryson’s SUST 210 Sustainable Future online class at Roosevelt University will contribute blog posts on suburban sustainability issues to the Schaumburg’s Sustainable Future website.