Proof that Mother Nature Reclaims Her Space
When we moved to the Southwest suburbs, we found a lot of hidden gems. One of our favorites is the Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens in Palos Heights. I have to admit that part of the appeal is the back story. Lake Katherine was a dump at one time. It was literally a place were people dumped everything from daily trash to unwanted cars. The city of Palos Heights bought it, reclaimed the land and turned it into a hidden gem. Now there is a 20-acre man-made lake, waterfall cascades, a children's garden, an arboretum and one-mile trail.
It's free to walk the trails and enjoy the scenery. Every day you see people exercising on the trails or practicing yoga on the lake shore. In the summer, children squeal when butterflies flit around them. When the weather is good, you often see artists painting. These artists are more than willing to talk to anyone walking by. They have been very patient with our girls, who of course have dozens of questions for the artists.
We just received the summer brochure and already signed up for a couple of children's programs and family activities. The programs are really affordable, so they are a good way to have fun and sneak in a few learning opportunities. Of course, the girls' favorite program will be the Fancy Nancy Tea Party, since they are currently obsessed with that series. It isn't really nature-based like the other programs, but we won't complain.
If you've ever wondered what Mother Nature would do if we left her alone, Lake Katherine is proof that she would work quickly to reclaim her space. A former dump is now a beautiful nature preserve. While it's true that volunteers helped Mother Nature by removing the junk and starting the process, it's clear that she really took over when the birds, animals and insects started coming back on their own. Now we make sure to enjoy it as often as possible. It's the best way we can think to thank her for all her hard work.
Photo courtesy of Stock.Xchang. Shari and her family often visit Lake Katherine to find ideas for their own backyard butterfly garden. You can find Shari blogging at Two Times the Fun. This is an original Chicago Moms Blog post.