Herb gardening at the VCCD has been taking place since the early 1980s. The living history programming utilizes herbs in the demonstrations and programs at Forest Glen and Kennekuk. Visitors will find an herb garden at the Bunker Hill Historic Area at Kennekuk County Park and at the Pioneer Homestead at Forest Glen Preserve.
In 1994, the Kennekuk herb garden was redesigned and greatly enlarged with ten geometrically shaped raised beds and brick walkways. It has become a showcase of color at the Bunker Hill Historic Area. Additional improvements were made in 2012 with the change from railroad tie beds to landscape block.
The garden features themed beds, such as Native American, Biblical, and Culinary. A guide of the current year layout is provided in the handout box located at the garden.
In 2015, a new walkway made of historic pavers was added by the Master Gardeners who plant and maintain the garden. The new walkway and information handout helped qualify the garden for recognition as a Certified Illinois Herb Garden. The Vermilion County Conservation District thanks the Vermilion County Master Gardeners for their continued work at the Bunker Hill Historic Area.
Forest Glen Preserve is also home to an herb garden located at the Pioneer Homestead. The small raised garden is encircled by a picket fence and is considered a kitchen garden for the log cabin. Pioneer women would grow herbs and vegetables which they would use in their everyday cooking.
Programs are offered at the gardens or at group and organizations meetings. For more information on programs or other herb related topics, contact Susan Biggs Warner, Historical Interpreter, at 217-662-2142 or firstname.lastname@example.org