EMSA’s campus is surrounded by an Illinois Nature Preserve, the Fox River Forested Fen, one of the rarest and most unique sites in Illinois. This description is from the Kane County Forest Preserve website : www.kaneforest.com
Dominated by white cedar, also known as arborvitae in the lower terraces, and oaks in the eastern uplands; the preserve contains seeps and swales with flowing water that remains unfrozen, even in the deep of winter. …[T]he characteristic seeps and fens could not persist without a constant, clean source of groundwater welling upward through glacial gravel and bedrock seams. So unique is this site that the nearest comparable habitats are found in the boreal forests of Minnesota and Canada. The plant communities here have been disturbed since settlement times, yet they present us with a glimpse of the ancient Illinois landscape shortly after glacial retreat. The District plans to focus on habitat restoration at this property. (www.kaneforest.com)
2018-2020: In addition to our expeditionary-style curriculum, EMSA will implement an exciting and innovative program on its early-release Fridays called Friday Field Studies. EMSA has assembled leading experts in environmental sciences to teach EMSA students about the world around them, specifically the rare ecosystem that surrounds the campus. EMSA will partner with nonprofits (Friends of the Fox River, Mighty Acorns, Max McGraw Wildlife, Kane County Forest Preserve, and the Elgin Public Museum) to provide 90 minutes of dedicated outdoor environmental education on campus. With this program, EMSA will be instilling in our students the value of nature and the importance of stewardship and conservation. Our students will carry the values with them throughout their lives and will become advocates for the protection of natural lands and waterways.