April 21st, 2022 - Dr. David Schwaegler


An In-person and Zoom Presentation 7:00 - 8:30

"Lake in the Hills Fen"


David Schwaegler has been a volunteer at Lake in the Hills Fen since since the late eighties, before it achieved Illinois Nature Preserve status. His numerous roles include bird monitoring, butterfly monitoring, conducting plants inventories, phenology studies, tour guide and Steward, among other things. His presentation, Lake in the Hills Fen, will unravel and expose the unparalleled beauty and complexity of this most magnificent and best kept secret in Illinois.

This presentation is an In-person and Zoom presentation with a start time of 7:00 PM.


Nature Speaks is free admission but registration is necessary.


The Library will send you a Zoom link as the even approaches.

Like many of Illinois natural areas, the 500 acre site has had a tremulous path to becoming a preserved natural area in spite of the rare and irreplaceable flora and fauna that exist in this rare treasure.


Boasting 9 distinct native communities; a calcareous floating mat, a graminoid fen, a low shrub fen, a hanging fen, a calcareous seep, sedge meadows and marsh, perennial stream, a dry gravel prairie, mesic gravel prairie make up this incredible and dynamic ecosystem.


Over 400 species of plants, 80 species of birds and 40 species of butterflies call the Lake in the Hills Fen home.


As a Master photographer and story teller, David will take us on a guided pictorial tour through this unique and other worldly landscape. You will learn first hand about the history and the people who fought so hard to preserve it, just how special it is and be totally amazed that it is so close.

Sunflowers Lit by Sunset

Bottle Gentian Close Up

Common Arrowhead in Marsh

Mid-Summer Pond Shore

Dr. Schwaegler has had a lifelong interest in nature and two careers before devoting full time to nature photography and natural areas restoration.


With a bachelor's degree in music education and a master's degree in performance from Northwestern he spent twelve years as a band director in Streamwood, Illinois. He earned his  Ph.D. from the University of Iowa and became a professor of music education.


As a photographer, his world class photographs speak for themselves. His work presents an intimate and personal  portrait  into the unique landscapes, flora and fauna of Lake in the Hills Fen.

Wild Bergamot at Sunrise

Great Angelica Colony in a Marsh

Fen Flora Microcosm

Goldenrod and Sunflowers under a Beautiful Sky

Prairie Dock at Sunrise

In 1987 he was introduced to the Spring Hill Farm Fen, now Lake in the Hills Fen, by noted naturalist Wayne Schennum.  It was a revelation to him and soon after, he was recruited by the Nature Conservancy as a volunteer.  So began his over 30 years of work at the site with increasing knowledge and responsibility.


Currently he monitors rare plants for the Chicago Botanic Garden Plants of Concern organization, monitors birds for the Bird Conservation Network, and butterflies for the McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD).  As a Steward, he organizes volunteers for invasive plant removal, seed collecting and dispersal.


David also gathers bloom time data for the long-term phenology study sponsored by MCCD.


All Photos are courtesy of David Schwaegler.

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission

8 N. Elmhurst Road

Prospect Heights, IL. 60070

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