Spring Valley Nature Center in Schaumburg, IL 45 minutes from downtown Chicago and 5 minutes south of Woodfield Mall, is located on 135 acres of former farmland. The center has been able to return the land to its former condition as a prairie. Unless you look at the roads and subdivisions that surround the center you would never know you are in an urban environment. There is a lake, creek and a farm with animals. I particularly enjoy watching the Blue Herons at the lake.  http://parkfun.com/spring-valley


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