There are many non-native plants invading our preserves and there is nothing to control them except volunteers such as “ The Friends“. Throughout the year we schedule work days to remove invasive plants such as the tree called European buckthorn. Also in the spring and early summer we spend many hours hand pulling garlic mustard plants. This menace takes over the forest floor and crowd out our native flora. If the native flora is not protected then we also loose the native insects that are dependant on these plants and also the birds and other creatures that are depending on these insects. Nature is a very interwoven web of life.
When the native plants go to seed, we collect the seeds and process them. The seed is then taken back to the woodlands or prairie and dispersed in degraded areas where the invasive species have been removed. We invite the public to join us on any of our work days. There are five sites under management in the Morton Grove area so there is at least one work day per month, sometimes as many as three or four. Check the calendar of events for schedules, dates, times and locations. Tools and work gloves are always provided.
School Program Now Touches 440 Children per Year
The future of our world is totally dependent upon the values and choices made by our children when they reach adulthood. “Friends” is dedicated to helping young people make the right choices for a thriving and healthy environment. Working under the leadership of the Cook County Forest Preserve District, the school program has become a wonderful success.
In 1999 Friends of the Morton Grove Forest Preserves teamed up with Park View School – District 70 in Morton Grove to begin an environmental program. In those early years only fourth grade students were involved. Now the program encompasses grades 3 thru 7 and reaches about 440 children!
The hands-on programs (led by trained volunteers) work with children in the classroom and in the field, where they learn about prairie, woodland and wetland ecosystems. Much like the adults, kids pull garlic mustard, cut buckthorn and collect seeds from native species.
They learn the value of stewardship of nature because they have been given a connection to the natural world.