Byron Forest Preserve District
The Byron Forest Preserve District offers visitors both natural and recreational areas that include walking and equestrian trails, picnic shelters, playgrounds and a golf course. Situated along the banks of the Rock River, it has grown and developed over the past 15 years to include more than 700 acres and four facilities.
Open daily, the Jarrett Prairie Center features habitat exhibits, dioramas, audio interpretation and, located on the third-highest point in Ogle County, a spectacular view of 450 acres of restored prairie.
Other facilities include the Weiskopf Observatory, housing an 11-inch Celestron telescope and offering free public viewing every Saturday throughout the year. The Heritage Farm Museum, a farm established in 1843 and worked by five generations of the same family, is now a museum with exhibits of 19th century farm life and restored farm buildings, equipment and live chickens. The Keller Education Center, a LEED-certified platinum building, houses the District’s preschool education classes and summer children’s education programs. PrairieView Golf Course is a public 18-hole championship course.
Programs and classes are offered year-round, along with seasonal events such as a lecture series, children’s entertainment and outdoor concerts.
Byron Forest Preserve staff and administrators are committed to the preservation, conservation and restoration of natural lands, by offering education on the natural environment and its heritage, and providing recreational opportunities and programs that allow area residents to experience and appreciate nature and its resources.