Our sawyers can clear brush and small trees (up to their Feller I and Feller II limits, respectively), just one of their many talents. They're also pretty handy with needle and thread - this super nun's costume is all we need to back that assertion.
We had a terrific week in Palos.
Cap Sauers Moraines Saturday October 21
At Cap Sauers we had 25 scouts and leaders from BSA Troop 216, plus more than a dozen additional volunteers. We cut and burned brush above a wetland, moving farther than Margaret had hoped and breaking through the wall of brush below the trail. We look forward to working again with Troop 216, an excellent and well-led group.
Swallow Cliff South Sunday October 22
We spent Sunday morning whacking honeysuckle and buckthorn near the parking lot and yellow trail. Five new volunteers, including four from Lewis U (three fraternity members from Phi Iota Alpha among them), were among the 12 who helped.
Our thanks to everyone who came out for their energy and commitment!
Palos Park Woods South Wednesday October 25
The regular Paddock Wednesday moved to Palos Woods South where we hosted 42 freshmen from Noble Street College Prep in Chicago. They were a cool group and did a lot of brush cutting and burning with us. Thanks also to Laura, Fran, Diane, and Jake for their help with the students.
Our Willow Springs Walking Tour of October 14 was canceled due to many buckets of rain, as was the following morning at Swallow Cliff due to wet ground and high winds in the woodland. So the only weekend event that happened was the following:
Black Partridge Woods Sunday October 15
John had seven volunteers, plus Stewardship Aide Michelle, at his workday. He reports they finished clearing a section of brush, near the old farmhouse site, that was worked on a month ago. They did not attempt to burn due to high, shifting winds. Margaret sent some photos from the site; I was unable to attend as I was out of town. Thanks to John and Margaret for their input.
Swallow Cliff Woods, Thursday October 19
This was our fifth in a series of six walks with Jessica Rock from Palos Park Public Library. We walked out as far as Horsetail Lake, then took the loop trail back to the lot. Some good colors showing, especially the hickories. Much thanks to Doug Chien for information and insights on tree growth and propagation.
So the Julie and I were in Cleveland celebrating an anniversary and missed the weekend activities (and non-activities) in Palos. First trip to Cleveland, first impressions: they have some very long red lights (me) and a lot of churches (Julie). We went for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and stayed for the zoo, Cleveland Botanic Garden, a vintage toy store, an enormous candy store, and much much more. Well worth a visit.
After checkout on Monday we went to Rocky River Reservation, part of the Metro Park system in Cleveland and a recognized Important Bird Area (a designation recently granted to Orland Grassland). Rocky River runs north to Lake Erie, cutting canyons through shale rock along its course. We stepped off the bike path so I could slide down to water level and take some pictures; I slipped in the mud, jammed and twisted my right knee, and have been on ice packs and crutches until today.
The "money shot" is the river pic below, at Rocky River, and it was not worth the consequences of getting it. dang
Deshawn Johnson memorial tree planting Saturday October 7
Several members of our group went to Theodore Stone Forest for a tree planting in memory of Deshawn Johnson, a long-time crew member with Friends of the Forest Preserves who was tragically lost earlier this year. Deshawn was a truly bright light and emerging leader in the environmental community, and will be sorely missed.
Spears Woods Saturday October 7
We cleared brush near the south edge of Boomerang Slough, fortunate to have several new volunteers (with parents), from Whitney Young freshman Biology class again. Our thanks to Ms. Smith and Ms. Garcia from Whitney Young for the assignment that turns out so many helpful volunteers.
Oh yeah, we also got chased by the impending rainstorm, had to quick-step our way out. Thanks to Carrie for checking radar and giving the alert, and to Halee who led the group across the prairie and through the woodland to the trail. Halee, if you ever apply for a position as a guide, I'll happily provide a reference.
Hidden Pond Sunday October 8
We went back-to-back Sunday with two successful efforts. Twenty-six students from Kennedy High School joined us at Hidden Pond and did a great job. Some were in the prairie collecting native seed with Mary Busch and Joe Neumann; the rest were in the woodland cutting and dragging brush to the fire. Good leadership from the three teachers helped ensure a good day.
Cap Sauers Holding Sunday October 8
I didn't get to Cap 'til the end, as volunteers were getting ready to leave, and was impressed by the area they cleared of honeysuckle. We again were blessed with numerous students, from Hoffman Estates, Walter Payton, and, again, Whitney Young High Schools. Thanks to all for the efforts. It was also good to see Patrick, who got out both Saturday and Sunday this weekend.
New friends are silver, old friends are gold, and we have an abundance of riches.
Paddock Woods Wednesday October 11
Solorio Academy HS from Chicago came on a damp, cool morning to cut and burn brush with us. The overnight rain diminished to a drizzle about the time they arrived, and we had a good time removing honeysuckle just north of the lot at Palos Park Woods South.
Hearing of the scratches barberry thorns inflict on volunteers, student Gisselle dubbed it 'barbaric'. Barbaric barberry, I like it!
Willow Springs Woods September 30
Super enthusiastic, super large group of volunteers today, so many of them first-timers. We had a group from REI Oakbrook Terrace, several Whitney Young HS students with parents, and a good number of other volunteers both new and regulars.
All chose to come to Willow on a cool and lovely fall morning to cut honeysuckle and wrestle with that nasty nemesis, multiflora rose. Thanks to everyone for a great day!
McClaughrey Springs October 1
This was another excellent group, due in large part to Amy Reeter and geo-cachers who accompanied her. They also worked with us a year ago at Willow Springs Woods and are welcome to return any time.
Paddock Woods October 4
We got wet on this one! A soaked-to-the-bone, cowering beneath trees for shelter, so glad it's not cold today, kind of wet. We were fortunate to already have big fires burning and able to survive 10-20 minutes of steady rain. We got a lot burned off and by quittin' time were starting to dry out.
I'm Jan Pietrzak with the Palos Restoration Project. This blog and website were created for your information and enjoyment.