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2009 marks the 10th consecutive year that NOW Foods has hosted Forest Preserve volunteer events that involve natural resource and habitat restoration projects, as well as delittering efforts at the East Branch Forest Preserve. In recognition of this milestone, NOW has been honored by the Illinois DuPage Forest Preserve District at their annual volunteer appreciation banquet with the “Hawk Award”, commemorating 10 years of volunteer service and overall commitment to the environment. According to literature distributed at this special award ceremony, the District Rangers’ had this to say of NOW Foods:
“Being a caretaker of the natural world is part of NOW Foods’ mission. NOW makes a huge difference reducing their carbon footprint with solar panels atop their manufacturing facility, their efforts to keep the East Branch forest preserve clean and safe for native creatures, plants, and visitors. We honor NOW Foods for their commitment…and their participation in “Make a Difference Day”. Twice a year for the past 10 years, they have been making a tremendous difference at the East Branch forest preserve through restoration, conservation, water-quality improvement, and delittering projects. These projects have been inspired by the exceptional Dan Scoles and Jim Emme….NOW has committed over 1,164 volunteer hours, and we anticipate many more in the future. Thank you, NOW Foods!”
Anyone who questions the importance of taking responsibility for the environment need only look due south and/or west from NOW’s main entrance. There, you will see just a small portion of the East Branch Forest Preserve. This 502 acre territory has been an ideal neighbor for NOW, and is teeming with botanical life, grazing deer, grassland birds, shorebirds, and waterfowl, including a bevy of spring and fall migrants. Collectively, the East Branch Forest Preserve supports over 700 species of plants and animals, nine of which are on the Illinois endangered or threatened species lists.
The East Branch is home to two natural bodies of water. The first, Sunfish Pond, is a five acre lagoon that is home to bass, sunfish, channel catfish, crappie, and bluegill. The larger of the two is Rush Lake, a nine-acre body of water with a maximum depth of 22 feet. Defined by its steep gravel shores, limited vegetation, and breathtaking views, Rush Lake is home to Carp and Bullheads, as well as those found in Sunfish Pond. For those more partial to hiking and stream fishing, a 1.6 mile stream borders the east branch of the DuPage River. Regardless of the nature of one’s visit, the East Branch is a place of refuge and tranquility; a welcoming location for all those who appreciate the beauty, wonder, and eco-diversity that characterizes our planet.
Since 1915, the Forest Preserve District has served the people of DuPage County through its mission to acquire and hold lands for the purpose of preserving the flora, fauna and scenic beauty for the education, pleasure and recreation of its citizens. Today the District owns or manages over 25,000 acres of land. For more information, call 630-933-7200, or visit www.dupageforest.com. To learn more about what NOW is doing to protect and beautify this land, feel free to contact Dan Scoles at 630.545.9098, extension 253.