Pump Up the Prairie #3
Saturday, Jan. 29, 2011
Wolf Road Prairie

The group gathered along Constitution Drive to tackle the job and followed a winding deer path southward through thickets of buckthorn with stems too dense to count to the work area between the road and the wetland.
Steve Byers, Northeastern Illinois Representative, Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC), identified non-native trees in the work area blocking the view and interfering with the native ecosystem function at the site. He began the arduous task of bringing them down.
Jack Pizzo, Pizzo & Associates, Ltd and SCGA director, manned the brushwacker and forged into nearly impenetrable buckthorn stands four to five feet tall.

Volunteers collected buckthorn stems and logs and started a brush pile.
Kristin Pink, Curtis Alexander, Ken Evan and Bill Ransom of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) were on hand to assist with hauling brush, overseeing the burning brush pile and conducting follow-up herbicide applications to buckthorn and tree stumps.

Stacking logs.

Burning brush piles.
Two and a half hours of hard work later, an area larger than half an acre was completely cleared, revealing a topographic ridgeline as the land sloped downward from the prairie uplands toward the wetland.
Restored natural areas provide much needed habitat for native wildlife such as this American tree sparrow.

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 steven.byers@illinois.gov
Maggie Cole, IDNR at Maggie.cole@illinois.gov
John Mccabe,FPDCC at john.mccabe@cookcountyil.gov
Jack Pizzo, Pizzo & Associates, Ltd. at jack@pizzo.info
Valerie Spale, SCGA at stpsspale@aol.com

Photos by Dave Waycie, volunteer photographer for SCGA and Jack Pizzo, Pizzo and Associates, LTD.

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