Salt Creek Greenway Association
The Salt Creek Greenway
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Concordia University Chicago Students Visit Wolf Road Prairie
One of the goals of the Salt Creek Greenway Association is to schedule Nature Treks, workshops and classes at Wolf Road Prairie. The rich natural history and diversity of this primitive land offers educators, students and the general public the opportunity to learn about the native plants and species known at one of the rarest natural areas in the world.
Our philosophy is to provide indoor and outdoor experiences for visitors to Wolf Road Prairie led by renowned leaders in their conservation and environmental fields and to work with teachers and their students studying prairie in northeastern Illinois.
Wolf Road Prairie was selected as a field trip destination by Patricia Rose, Professor of Geography, Concordia University Chicago, and students from her Natural Resource Management Class. The class was studying restoration methods used in native ecosystems and were particularly interested in visiting a prairie after a prescribed burn.
They were not disappointed. Just a week or so following three prescribed burn days conducted by staff from the Forest Preserve District of Cook County in the south 40 acres of Wolf Road Prairie, prairie plants were sending up shoots through the ash. These were easily identifiable by their distinct leaves, blades and early blossoms. Students studied the remarkable regenerative properties of prescribed burns in natural areas and learned why native ecosystems and species depend upon fire for health and survival.
I really appreciate your taking my Natural Resource Management class through Wolf Road Prairie on April 18. Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge of the prairie and prairie plants with us. It was very interesting and informative. Hearing about how the prairie is managed by control burning and removal of invasive species was especially valuable for the class. They had been reading about that in their textbook and seeing a real-life example was very helpful. Thanks so much for taking the time to do this.
Professor of Geography
Concordia University Chicago
Photos by Valerie Spale
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