In 2009 a Forest Preserve District of DuPage County volunteer steward found the invasive species flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus) — a species on the New Invaders Watch List — along Spring Brook Creek, an approximate 4-mile-long tributary of the West Branch of the DuPage River that flows through the 1,849-acre Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve in Naperville. This was the only known population in DuPage County and one of only two populations in Illinois. District staff determined the invasive species’ population originated at a shopping center upstream from Springbrook Prairie. Flowering rush has also been found upstream of the forest preserve near a Naperville Park District property and downstream in Will County.
The District implemented a control program at Springbrook Prairie and worked with the Naperville Park District on a program to remove the invasive species. To support the existing program, the Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership has granted funding that has enabled the District to implement a multisite program to achieve control of the entire population on both private and public lands. Partnering with NIIPP, Naperville Park District and the shopping center has allowed the District to successfully implement the invasive species control project.
In June 2012, the District’s contractors will selectively herbicide flowering rush populations at Springbrook Square Shopping Center and Naperville Park District properties and Springbrook Prairie Forest Preserve. Most applications will be limited to aquatic and shoreline areas.