Release The Fish!

April 26, 2024

Over the next two weeks, high school environmental science students will assist our natural areas department in releasing fish into our ravine streams.  The annual release is part of our partnership with the Trout in the Classroom project, allowing students to raise rainbow trout in their classroom and then release the fish into Lake Michigan. We hope that these fish will return in a few years to spawn in our ravines. If they do, that will indicate that the ravines are a healthy habitat for local wildlife. 

The fish release is just one of the many responsibilities of the Park District Natural Areas Department. They manage more than 350 acres of prairie, woodlands, ravines, and wetlands, providing residents with more than just open space.  They are places for wonder, learning and emerging science. Few towns host ten distinct natural habitats, ranging from the cool-water ravines of the Lake Michigan shore to rare Northern Flatwood communities to the Sedge Meadows of Skokie Valley, each with its distinct community of wildflowers, wildlife, trees and shrubs.  In community parks such as Fink and Cunniff, we use native plants in rain gardens, on shorelines, and in ponds to provide beauty, help manage flooding, and control erosion.  The Natural Areas team is also an active participant in Great Lakes research projects with scientists from the Shedd Aquarium and work with Highland Park High School and District 112. Students visit our ravine streams to learn about watershed ecology, water monitoring practices, macroinvertebrates, and fish studies. Our outreach programs foster a sense of stewardship for our natural areas, ravines, and lake in our community.  

Learn more about our Natural Areas Department.