Much thanks to Carolyn Faber for getting things started, also for working with new volunteers Alia, Morgan, Anthony, and Alex from Benet Academy in Lisle, and Bobby from the U.S. Navy. They were a great group, started and managed one of our five fires.
We had chain sawyers from Atrium Landscape, whose services are donated for the next nine weeks by volunteer Kathy Bruch, helping thin trees, and the Palos Friends of the Forest Preserves crew bringing their usual strength and youth to the task. We also had our usual core group working hard and gettin' it done. Steward Margaret Tobin managed a mid-morning visit - I suspect by next week she'll be firing on all cylinders again.
All that effort will make a big difference come growing season, bringing more sunlight to the ground and spurring growth of native plants.
McClaughrey Springs Sunday January 7
This was something of a bonus day, since in past years we haven't worked our Sunday sites in January and February. It was another good one, with about a dozen volunteers, including first-timers Paul, Desiree, and Niaisha.
We were directly across Mill Creek from the parking lot, in a sensitive area where the burgeoning honeysuckle population could only be attacked on frozen ground. Well, we surely had that - morning temps were quite nippy though it moderated as the day went on.
We eliminated numerous honeysuckles, including some big ones, 3-4" diameter or more at the stump. At one point volunteers were dragging cut brush along the frozen surface of Mill Creek, a cool sight to behold! Steve Krupa, still battling the flu, was out for the third day in a row. Trooper!
Tuesday I ventured to the other side of I-55, to Sundown Meadow, where Dennis Kankowske has been leading Tuesday sessions to augment the monthly Saturdays. The land of buckthorn; you still find honeysuckle but the buckies are so much more numerous than in Palos. Luckily, they burn just as well.