Recently FPCC reopened the Tuma Lake parking lot and cleared brush in the vicinity. Our volunteers went there on Saturday to continue the work, focusing on weed control. I'm told they found (and pulled) a lot of white sweet clover around the lake, and two members carried backpack sprayers and dealt with other invasives.
Seed Collection Workshop Sunday August 25
We started with an indoor session at Sagawau then moved to Spears Woods for the outdoor component to the class. We had a big group (ja, XXVII) coming from all around the county. Some, like me, were relative newcomers to seed collecting, while others were old pros.
A huge thank-you to Eileen Sutter from the North Branch (Watersmeet Woods) Joe Neumann from Palos (too many to list), and Becky Collings, head ecologist from Forest Preserves of Cook County for sharing from their voluminous store of knowledge, also to Cyndi Duda who helped facilitate.
There's been much contract work done in our region in the past couple years, meaning we now have large open areas in need of seed. Joe plans on holding some seed collection Tuesdays in coming weeks - if this appeals to you look at our weekly email (or calendar page on this website) for dates and locations. It's another great way to get involved.
Swallow Cliff Sunday August 25
After our seed workshop a couple of us, including one first-time Palos volunteer - Welcome, Jordan! - walked the south trail loop at Swallow Cliff looking for ripe seed. We found some bottlebrush grass, a wetland rush, and a couple others that were ready to go.
On Tuesday I went to my usual workday at Sundown and was pleasantly surprised to see past volunteer Steve Kirkilas. Steve volunteered in Palos, and all over the county, since 2017, then moved to Seward, Alaska to take a new job about a year ago.. Back in town for a visit with family, he found time to join us for buckthorn clearing at Sundown.
Interestingly, he said he can't find any volunteer habitat restoration activities like ours in his part of Alaska. Apparently natural areas there are relatively unspoiled, a problem that many of us might like but won't likely get. Unless we move to Seward AK?