Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Chicago Ag Students Brave Frigid Weather to Help the Environment

Twenty Chicago High School for Agricultural Science students and two teachers turned out in single digit weather on Saturday, January 22, to provide stewardship at Dolton Prairie. Chicago Ag students have been tending to this resilient 25-acre site on Chicago's southeast site for the past seven years. The results of their work are starting to manifest themselves. Long dormant wet prairie grasses, flowers, and shrubs are beginning to reappear thanks to the students who have removed invasive dogwood, phragmyte, buckthorn, and purple loosestrife at the site.

On the 22nd, students spent the morning hours cutting dogwood and buckthorn trees and saplings to make way for native prairie vegetation this spring. A special treat during the day was the brush fire that consumed several years worth of cut invasives and warmed the students. As Dolton Prairie continues its path to recovery, students will continue to conduct water and soil tests, gather native seeds in the fall, remove invasives, plant native vegetation, and monitor the emering and precious biodiversity of the sites. Students were able to identify tracks and scat from various animal species including voles, coyotes, and deer. When the health of a degraded site is restored, it creates new habitat opportunities for species native to Illinois.

Thanks to the students for rousing themselves out of bed on Saturday morning and braving the arctic temperatures.

No comments:

Post a Comment