Our only session of the weekend was a slushy one, not optimal for fire-starting but still manageable. We had multiple brush piles burning in a really pretty area of Paddock. Our thanks to all who came to haul and pitch, including first-time Palos volunteer Drew.
Characteristic of our winter dates, we all got an excellent workout and headed home with the feeling of a job well done.
MLK Day of Service Monday January 20
This year's Martin Luther King Jr. holiday marked the 25th anniversary of the day of service that celebrates the Civil Rights leader's life and legacy. Forest Preserves of Cook County hosted several restoration days around the county; the nearest to Palos was at Dan Ryan Woods.
With busloads of students coming throughout the afternoon, Volunteer Resources and Little Red Schoolhouse staffers did a terrific job helping them cut and burn buckthorn and other invasive brush. It was a privilege to be a part of that day AND it got me to a preserve I don't visit often.
Lake Katherine, Palos Heights
Though it's not part of the forest preserves, this is one of my go-to places. It's only half a mile's walk from home, has a one-mile chipped path around the lake, and connects to the Cal-Sag paved trail at both ends.
On most days it's well-trafficked, so people who don't feel safe walking alone tend to come here. You don't get the solitude of a long walk on a preserves trail but that's a trade-off many are willing to make.
Staff and volunteers are doing a prairie restoration on one end and invasives removal throughout. Other features include a pollinator garden (by Palos Heights Garden Club), vegetable garden, and much more. Lake Katherine is part of the Palos Heights park system and definitely something my current hometown is doing right.