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Saturday July 14: Community stewardship workday, aka summertime at the beach!

11 Jul

Midsummer is really one of the best times to see dune ecosystem shining – barn swallows nesting and swooping for insects, prickly pair cactus, 3 milkweed species, prairie clover, and bee balms all blooming to convince bugs to pollinate them with their bright colors and sweet nectar. 

Come out to Rainbow Beach Dunes from 10am-12pm this Saturday July 14, 2018 to help pull weeds (sweet clover and cheat grass), pick up trash, and take a nature walk. This is a great workday for the whole family – we always feel very accomplished after playing a game of spot-the-sweet-clover. 

Please RSVP for the workday here. Questions? Contact co-stewards Alison Anastasio (alison.anastasio@gmail.com) or Jen Raber (jennifer.raber@gmail.com).

Remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: it could be cool and wet, or sunny and warm! Sturdy shoes, long pants, bug repellent, and water are recommended. Parking permits, tools, equipment, and snacks will be provided.

 …

Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets.

  • By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
  • By car, you can only access the park at the southern end, from Hwy 41 at Farragut.
  • From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
  • From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
  • Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Fieldhouse.
  • Go to the far right corner of the parking lot farthest from the field house at the entrance to the Nature Area. Meet at the banner!
  • Find directions and a map here.

**Mark your calendar!** 

Workdays in 2018 are the second Saturday of the month, 10:00am-12:00pm:

Saturday, August 11
Saturday, September 8
Saturday, October 13

RSVP to a Community Stewardship Workday here.

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June 9: Community Stewardship Workday

5 Jun
Displaying P1040709.jpg

The dunes are really coming alive this month, with new birds for the summer, monarch butterflies, and all kinds of plants welcoming visitors with their smiling flowers.

Come out to Rainbow Beach Dunes from 10am-12pm on Saturday June 9, 2018 to help pull weeds (sweet clover and cheat grass) and take a nature walk. This is a great workday for the whole family – we always feel very accomplished after playing a game of spot-the-sweet-clover.

Please RSVP for the workday here. Questions? Contact co-stewards Alison Anastasio (alison.anastasio@gmail.com) or Jen Raber (jennifer.raber@gmail.com).

Remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: it could be cool and wet, or sunny and warm! Sturdy shoes, long pants, bug repellent, and water are recommended. Tools, equipment, and snacks will be provided.

Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets.

  • By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
  • By car, you can only access the park at the southern end, from Hwy 41 at Farragut.
  • From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
  • From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
  • Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Fieldhouse.
  • Go to the far right corner of the parking lot farthest from the field house at the entrance to the Nature Area. Meet at the banner!
  • Find directions and a map here.

**Mark your calendar!**
Workdays in 2018 are the second Saturday of the month, 10:00am-12:00pm:

Saturday, July 14
Saturday, August 11
Saturday, September 8
Saturday, October 13

RSVP to a Community Stewardship Workday here.

CANCELED May 12: Community Stewardship Workday

7 May

Spring is moving along quickly now. Migrating birds are passing through and color is starting to alight on the dunes.

The invasive sweet clover is soaking up the rays, turning green and bushy.

IMG_2295

Come out to Rainbow Beach Dunes from 10am-12pm on Saturday May 12, 2018 to help pull weeds and see what else is waking up on the dunes. 

Please RSVP for the workday here. Questions? Contact co-stewards Alison Anastasio (alison.anastasio@gmail.com) or Jen Raber (jennifer.raber@gmail.com).

Remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: it could be cool and wet, or sunny and warm! Sturdy shoes, long pants, bug repellent, and water are recommended. Tools, equipment, and snacks will be provided.


Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets.

  • By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
  • By car, you can only access the park at the southern end, from Hwy 41 at Farragut.
  • From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
  • From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
  • Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Fieldhouse.
  • Go to the far right corner of the parking lot farthest from the field house at the entrance to the Nature Area. Meet at the banner!
  • Find directions and a map here.


**Mark your calendar!**

Workdays in 2018 are the second Saturday of the month, 10:00am-12:00pm:

Saturday June 9
Saturday July 14
Saturday August 11
Saturday September 8
Saturday October 13

RSVP to a Community Stewardship Workday here.

….
Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets.

  • By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
  • By car, you can only access the park at the southern end, from Hwy 41 at Farragut.
  • From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
  • From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
  • Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Fieldhouse.
  • Go to the far right corner of the parking lot farthest from the field house at the entrance to the Nature Area. Meet at the banner!

Find directions and a map here.

Follow up: July 22 workday

1 Aug

A small but mighty group of volunteers removed five bags full of sweet clover and other weedy invaders. It was a beautiful day and we remain so pleased with our efforts – just a few years ago sweet clover was a pernicious invader throughout the entire nature area. Now it takes only a few volunteers to spot check a few times a year to maintain a relatively sweet-clover-free zone (despite nearby source populations in the millions). This is success in urban land management!

 

May 27: Tis the season for cheatgrass

14 May

CC_Bromus_tectorum

Join fellow volunteers at the next Rainbow Beach Dunes stewardship workday on Saturday, May 27, from 10am-12pm.  We will focus on managing the cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) population at RBD, an invasive plant that loves to grow in open patches between native grasses. Our efforts mean that native plants have room to grow and will be able to persist in higher density, creating healthy homes for a diverse set of plants and animals. 

RSVP here!

Remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: there is no shade in the hilly, uneven dunes area, so wear sturdy shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, and water. Tools, training, and snacks will be provided.
Contact stewards Alison Anastasio (alison.anastasio@gmail.com) or Jen Raber (jennifer.raber@gmail.com) with questions.
Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets.
  • By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
  • By car, you can only access the park at the southern end.
  • From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
  • From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
  • Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Fieldhouse.
  • Go to the end of the parking lot closest to the Nature Area. Meet at the banner!

Find directions and a map here.

*Mark your calendar*
  • June 24 2017
  • July 22 2017
  • August 26 2017
  • September 23 2017
  • October 28 2017

June 25: Community Stewardship Workday

20 Jun

P1010658

Come out to Rainbow Beach Dunes this Saturday June 25 for invasive species management and to see the dunes in bloom!

More beautiful native plants are blooming! and they will keep coming over the next few months. Native prickly pear flowers [Opuntia humifusa], New Jersey tea [Ceanothus americanus], milkweed [Asclepias spp.], and rare Pitcher’s thistle [Cirsium pitcherii] are just opening up; pale beardstongue [Penstemon pallidus], beach pea [Lathyrus japonicus], and sand coreopsis [Coreopsis lanceolata] are in full bloom! (Find out about all these species and more at Illinois wildflowers.)

But the invasive Bromus tectorum [cheatgrass or downy brome] and Melilotus officianalis [sweet clover] are also making themselves known across the site and we need volunteers to help remove it.

Join us this Saturday June 25 from 10am-12pm. 

Remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: it could be cool and wet, or sunny and warm! Sturdy shoes, long pants, bug repellant, and water are recommended. Tools, equipment, and snacks will be provided. Please RSVP here, and contact co-stewards Alison Anastasio (alison.anastasio@gmail.com) or Jen Raber (jennifer.raber@gmail.com) with questions.

**Mark your calendars!**
Upcoming community stewardship workdays at RBD:
Saturday July 23, 10am-12pm
Saturday August 27, 10am-12pm
Saturday September 24, 10am-12pm
Saturday October 22, 10am-12pm

….

Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets. Find directions and a map here.
By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
By car, you can only access the park at the southern end.
From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Field House. Go to the southeast end of this lot and park. Meet at the entrance to the Nature Area, which is located at the southern end of the beach (look for the banner!).

Follow up: May 28 workday

2 Jun

P1040702

Our May workday was a great one, including students from Gary Comer College Prep, members of the Rainbow Beach Park Advisory Council, and other volunteers. We got a lot of work done, pulling by hand the invasive cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) from throughout the site.

May 28: Community Stewardship Workday

23 May

rainbow wood betony

 

Come out to Rainbow Beach Dunes this Saturday May 28 for invasive species management!

More beautiful native plants are blooming, like Triglochin maritima [seaside arrow grass], Pedicularis canadensis [wood betony or lousewort; pictured above], Sisyrinchium angustifolium [blue eyed grass, in the iris family], and Lithospermum canescens [hoary pucoon]. (Find out about all these species and more at Illinois wildflowers.)

But the invasive Bromus tectorum [cheatgrass or downy brome] is also making itself known across the site and we need volunteers to help remove it! Join us this Saturday May 28 from10am-12pm.

Remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: it could be cool and wet, or sunny and warm! Sturdy shoes, long pants and water are recommended. Tools, equipment, and snacks will be provided. Please RSVP here, and contact co-stewards Alison Anastasio (alison.anastasio@gmail.com) or Jen Raber (jennifer.raber@gmail.com) with questions.

….

Directions and a map can be found here.

Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets. Find directions and a map here.
By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
By car, you can only access the park at the southern end.
From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Field House. Go to the southeast end of this lot and park. Meet at the entrance to the Nature Area, which is located at the southern end of the beach (look for the banner!).

 

June 27: Community Stewardship Workday

21 Jun

 

RB_Flyer15-0627

Come out to Rainbow Beach Dunes this Saturday to make a dent in the populations of some pernicious invasive plant species: sweet clover (Melilotus officinalis) and cheat grass (Bromus tectorum). Regular volunteers will confirm that these are very fulfilling workdays – it sure feels great to pull big weeds out of the sandy dune soil.

Join us this Saturday June 27 from 10am-12pm.

Please remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: there is no shade in the hilly, uneven dunes area so wear sturdy shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, and water. Tools, training, and snacks will be provided. Contact Alison Anastasio at alison.anastasio@gmail.com for questions and to RSVP.

Find directions and a map here.

Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets.
By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
By car, you can only access the park at the southern end.
From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Field House. Go to the southeast end of this lot and park. Meet at the entrance to the Nature Area, which is located at the southern end of the beach (look for the banner!).

*Mark your calendar*
Saturday July 25 – Community Stewardship and Habitat 2030 workday at RBD
Saturday August 22 – Community Stewardship Workday at RBD

 

May 23: Community Stewardship Workday

19 May

IMG_0208

P1010661

Come out to Rainbow Beach Dunes this Saturday to continue to our Opuntia monitoring project! Everyone loves the native prickly pear cactus (Opuntia humifusa) and we have a very healthy and vigorous population at RBD. By monitoring individuals over time, we’ll have evidence of how the population changes in size and in timing of important life events (making new leaves, flowering, making fruits, etc.). Our goal for this workday will be to continue to mark and tag individuals in the nature area.

We’ll also clean up trash and look for invasive plants (probably cheat grass, Bromus tectorum) to remove.

Join us this Saturday May 23 from 10am-12pm.

Please remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: there is no shade in the hilly, uneven dunes area so wear sturdy shoes and bring a hat, sunscreen, and water. Tools, training, and snacks will be provided. Contact Alison Anastasio at alison.anastasio@gmail.com for questions and to RSVP.

Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets.
By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St.
By car, you can only access the park at the southern end.
From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity, into the parking lot before the Field House. Go to the southeast end of this lot and park. Meet at the entrance to the Nature Area, which is located at the southern end of the beach (look for the banner!).

*Mark your calendar*
Saturday June 27 – Community Stewardship Workday at RBD
Saturday July 25 – Community Stewardship and Habitat 2030 workday at RBD
Saturday August 22 – Community Stewardship Workday at RBD

 

Scenes from July

15 Oct
P1030015

Lobelia spicata

For some folks, summertime means fireworks at the beach. Unfortunately, these can be damaging to plants and animals in the nature area, they leave a mess behind (that volunteers kindly clean up), and of course are illegal in Illinois.

IMG_0533

BBQing is an awesome and fun thing to do in the park as well, but coals should be dumped in the red charcoal trash bins, not on trees or the beach.

IMG_0534

Public service announcements aside, we had a great workday! Everyone felt very accomplished about the significant eradication of the white sweetclover.

Followup: June 28 workday

5 Jul

 

The flowering plants at the Dunes are exploding this time of year. It’s very orange and yellow now. If you only visit Rainbow Beach Dunes once this year, I’d suggest going in the next couple weeks!

We had a great group at the Dunes last Saturday, on June 28: park neighbors, old friends, master gardeners, Chicago Cares volunteers.

P1020987

We took a nature hike, and then went to work pulling weeds (cheatgrass) from between the cactus and little bluestem.

 

P1020988 P1020989 P1020990 P1020991 P1020992

The tree on the edge of the parking lot is gone!

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June 28: Community Stewardship Workday

23 Jun

The showy season has begun! Prickly pear cactus has started its first blooms, along with butterfly weed, and purple prairie clover. We will take a nature walk to see all the action around the site. But the window of opportunity to get rid of more cheatgrass has not closed, so we will also work on weeding.

Join us this Saturday June 28 from 10am-12pm.

Remember to prepare for the weather and terrain: it may be windy and wet, or sunny and dry! Sturdy shoes, long pants and water are recommended. Tools, training, and snacks will be provided. Contact Alison Anastasio at alison.anastasio@gmail.com for questions and to RSVP.

Rainbow Beach Park runs parallel to South Shore Drive from 75th-79th Streets. By foot, walk east from South Shore Dr. on 77th St. By car, you can only access the park at the southern end.
From the north/west, follow Hwy 41 east as it splits from South Shore Drive at 79th St. Turn left into the park at Farragut.
From the south, follow Hwy 41 north and turn right on Farragut, just before  the intersection of 79th/South Shore.
Once in the park, go past the stop sign and water filtration plant and turn right at the next opportunity. Go to the southeast end of this lot and park. Meet at the entrance to the Nature Area, the which is located at the southern end of the beach (look for the banner!).

*Mark your calendar*
Every Sunday this summer from 12-5 in Rainbow Beach Park at 79th/South Shore — come to the South Shore Farmers Market!

Saturday July 26 – Community Stewardship Workday at RBD
Saturday August 23 – Community Stewardship Workday at RBD
Saturday September 27 – Community Stewardship Workday at RBD

RB_Flyer062814

Followup: June 22 workday

30 Jun

P1010659

We had a small but mighty group attacking the leading edge of the cheatgrass! Thanks to volunteers from Chicago Cares and CPD for their hard work.

Followup: Invasive species management

17 Jun

We really attacked the cheatgrass, but the truth is we barely made a dent.

P1010555

P1010553

Nevertheless, our volunteers from Gary Comer and Chicago Cares had a blast!

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