Romeoville, IL

Island Showcase this Friday

Adrian Holman

The Forest Preserve District of Will County will be holding an Island Showcase on Friday, July 30 from 4 PM CST to 8 PM CST at the Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville, IL. The showcase is a celebration of all of the improvements that have been made at this forest preserve. All of the renovations were paid for via a Public Museum Capital Grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Although the Isle a la Cache Museum has been opened since 1984, there was no place for visitors to relax while exploring the trails and creeks at this preserve. That issue has finally been resolved with a brand new Island picnic shelter. The shelter area will allow for visitors to take a break while visiting the museum.

This picnic shelter is absolutely necessary because of the brand new exhibit that was added along with the Island picnic shelter. The new exhibit is called the Native American Lifeways Exhibit.

The Native American Lifeways Exhibit includes a Native American longhouse and a Traders Cabin. The longhouse was a permanent structure usually made of wood that was shelter for the Potawatomi tribe that lived in the area.

The longhouse has stood the test of time because this type of structure is still utilized by indigenous people throughout the world. As you can tell by the name, the longhouse is a long, single-room building that allowed for tribes to withstand the hot summers and the brutal winters of the Midwest. The English settlers would not have been able to survive in America without implementing the concept of the longhouse. The longhouse format was the blueprint that led to log cabins being made by the settlers. Looking back at history, the Native Americans should not have shown the settlers their ways of survival because the European settlers pushed the Native Americans off of the land and now keep them on reservations loaded with alcohol and casinos.

You will also be able to see how the settlers lived during colonial times at the Traders Cabin. During the 1700's in the Midwest, the main way settlers made money was via fur trading. Plenty of critters were turned into fur hats and fur coats that generated wealth for the settlers. The Traders Cabin was where a settler would sell his wares to visitors.

Besides checking out these two new exhibits, there are so many activities that will keep you occupied at the Isle a la Cache. Along the trails, visitors are allowed to bike, hike, and roller blade. During the winter, visitors can indulge in cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the trails. The creeks allow for visitors to either fish or to kayak downstream.

Another activity that is catching on at forest preserves around the USA is geocoaching. Geocoaching is like a treasure hunt where people hide containers based upon GPS coordinates. Then, others can use their GPS on their fun in order to find these containers.

Food will also be served for this Island Showcase event. Four different food trucks will be selling their products at the new picnic shelter along the Des Plaines River. The four food trucks will be Rogue Farm to Curbside Kitchen, Grumpy Gaucho, Nothing Bundt Cakes, and Metal Monkey Brewing. After taking a tour of the different exhibits, you will be able to eat a burger or an empanada. For dessert, you will be able to partake in a mini-Bundt cake. Then, you will be able to wash it all down with some craft beer.

For more information on this showcase, you can check out the Forest Preserve District of Will County's website at

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Plainfield, IL

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