The possibility of showers did not deter 35 volunteers from arriving at Wolf Road Prairie on National Public Lands Day and Pump Up the Prairie #5 to tackle dense five to six foot tall buckthorn thickets.
Jack Pizzo led the workday in collaboration with Steve Byers, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC), and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) and the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC). Brushwackers and loppers were used to make short work of stands of buckthorn choking out one of the highest quality areas in the preserve.
Three brush piles were stacked on the 1920's vintage sidewalks dating back to the days when Wolf Road Prairie land was subdivided into city-size lots being sold for a housing development.
Photo by Jack Pizzo
Bill Ransom, FPDCC, started brush pile fires as volunteers hauled and stacked cut buckthorn to keep the flames burning. FPDCC staff, Barb Farnsworth, Curtis Alexander, Mary Love, Ken Evans, Kristin Pink and Gilbert Rosario, were on hand to help cut brush and herbicide stumps.
Greg Jerzyk worked alongside first-time volunteers and demonstrated herbicide application techniques.
In just about three hours, more than an acre of land was cleared of buckthorn, opening golden views of previously obscured late blooming prairie plants to the north and west.
Thanks to Whole Foods Market - Hinsdale for donating snack bars for the workday and to the enthusiastic volunteers who helped make the workday such a huge success.
Wolf Road Prairie is co-owned by the FPDCC and IDNR. Management and protection of the preserve is overseen by the INPC.
The SCGA has identified ecosystem restoration at Wolf Road Prairie as a priority project in the Greenway. Work conducted by SCGA at Wolf Road Prairie is with the approval and authorization of INPC and landowners.
Interested in volunteering at one of the finest prairie remnants in Cook County, Illinois and beyond? For more information contact:
Steve Byers, INPC at email@example.com
Maggie Cole, IDNR at Maggie.firstname.lastname@example.org
John McCabe, FPDCC at email@example.com
Jack Pizzo, Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. at firstname.lastname@example.org
Valerie Spale, SCGA at email@example.com \
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