We had a big group on Saturday morning, including at least three first-time Palos volunteers; Drayton, Adam, and Tim, as well as almost-newbie Luke and a good dozen others. Thanks to everyone who came, we worked through a tangled mess of buckthorn and other invasives just south of the prairie at McMahon.
We had a nice trek to the site, got some fires going and were off and running. Much of the buckthorn had been dropped the previous day by fellers from Atrium Landscape, so our chainsawyer and hand tool crew bucked and dragged to the fires. This area will see quite a transformation in coming years now that the invasive brush is gone.
McClaughrey Springs Sunday February 4
Another day, another site, another job well done! We burned ten big brush piles, cut the previous day by the Atrium crew and stacked into piles, facilitating our day tremendously. Almost everyone started one of our fires and by noon all were burning well.
Several years ago, most of this area was a thicket of honeysuckle, with an open patch of meadow on one side. Contract work from a grant obtained by Friends of the Chicago River, two days of tree thinning by Atrium, and lots of volunteer sweat equity has opened it up remarkably. What will gr`ow here now? We'll soon see.
Contract Work in Palos
During the cold spell in January, contractors were able to do mechanized brush-mowing in the Redgate Woods area, though stymied for two days by machines that wouldn't start due to the intense cold. They got a lot done, clearing much of the area inside the Bullfrog Lake loop. When I walked there last Friday, with clear views of the sloughs that previously were only seen through a tangle of brush.
On a smaller scale, a Stantec crew cleared a long, narrow stretch of brush that lay between the driveway at Swallow Cliff South and the Yellow Trail as it approaches the La Grange Road underpass. It was seven brush piles worth and looks a world better now!