Archive | May, 2011

Follow-up: Saturday, May 21 workday

24 May

Thanks to all who came out on this balmy Saturday. We scoured the patch closet to the beach for sweet clover and were pretty successful in eradicating it!  Due to its root structure, management through hand-pulling is very effective for sweet clover. In contrast, willow saplings, for instance, are connected underground making herbicide management more appropriate.

The grasses are greening up and perennials are starting to leaf out. Arabidopsis lyrata (beach cress) is flowering. We also found clumps of Heuchera richardsonii (prairie alumroot) bolting.

Heuchera richardsonii

Heuchera richardsonii

Several people mentioned the links from the last email didn’t work. For the course on dune habitats, try this.
This course meets only twice: once in the evening on Thursday July 7, and one during the day on Saturday July 9. The cost for members of the arboretum is $69 and for non-members is $81.

If you are interested in making an all day commitment on June 25, please see the attached flyer and send me your RSVP ASAP. This event is limited to the first 10 people who respond. If you want to join us for the regular workday on June 25, please note the time has changed to the afternoon, from 2-4 pm.


Saturday May 21: Invasive plant mangement

18 May

Spring has sprung in fits and starts, but that hasn’t stopped some invasive species from beginning this year’s growth. Please join us this Saturday May 21 from 9-11 am to control some of the invasive species that frequent Rainbow Beach Dunes. We will specifically focus on while and yellow sweetclover, to prevent these plants from contributing seeds to next year’s crop.

Rainbow Beach Dunes is located at 3111 E. 77th St.  By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.  By car, enter from 79th St., go past the water treatment plant, and park in the first parking lot. Parking passes are available. Please meet at the nature area, which is located at the southern end of the beach.  Tools and equipment will be provided, but please bring water and dress appropriately for the weather. Contact Alison Anastasio at for questions and to RSVP.

Other announcements:
Alliance for the Great Lakes is featuring Rainbow Beach Park in their Monitoring and Habitat Restoration Field Training and Workday. This is a great opportunity and will be available to 10 volunteers who can make an all day (9am-4pm) commitment on Saturday June 25. For everyone else, we’ll have a regular workday that afternoon from 2-4pm. More details to come!

– I’m teaching a class with Morton Arboretum this summer called “Exploring Dune Habitats” which includes an evening lecture and a field day (July 7 & July 9). You’ll learn about natural history, geology, and botany as we discuss the past and future of dune habitats in the area. Register here.

*Mark your calendar!*
Other upcoming workdays at RBD:
Saturday June 25, 2-4 pm: native plant installation

Chicago Sustainable Backyard Program

3 May

If you are doing any gardening this summer, you should definitely check out Chicago’s “Sustainable Backyard” program. You can get a rebate for things you are going to buy already (trees, native plants, rain barrel, compost bin) to compensate you for the ecosystem services you are providing with their purchase and installation. There is also a ton of information about what plants to use, why sustainability is important and all the benefits it will bring to you and your community. It’s a great resource; you should read it and then pass it on to your neighbors!

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