Saturday was a Chicago River Day, sponsored by Friends of the Chicago River, working since 1979 to improve the health of the Chicago River system for the benefit of people and wildlife. Some of the 70+ events of the day were litter cleanups; ours was habitat restoration, focused on removal of garlic mustard.
In addition to regular volunteers we hosted a group of students from Westinghouse High School, led by instructor Nina Hike. They worked near Mill Creek and scored a large haul of the little invaders - job well done!
Sunday May 14, Hidden Pond Woods
Our Mother's Day special was another garlic mustard search, with a great group including first-time Palos volunteers Edith and Bogie. With a couple exceptions, the weed was growing sporadically, in small bunches, allowing us to cover a good-sized chunk of the south woods.
As is always the case when weed-hunting, the real delight is all the plants encountered along the way. We saw native flowers and shrubs, and a goodly number of small oak saplings growing near the trail. Oaks, a keystone species in our woodlands, don't propagate well in brushed-over areas, so the presence of saplings is a sign that restoration efforts are having a positive impact.