Archive | Planting RSS feed for this section

Follow up: October 29 workday

30 Oct

Our last workday of 2016 was awesome – we planted 1000 marram grass stolons!* Our goal was to encourage native plants to colonize the area around the new water filtration system on the north side of the nature area.

 

We had tons of volunteers, but I didn’t get many photos– too busy digging holes and planting stolons.

p1050256

Just a fraction of the volunteers who planted marram grass.

 

*What’s a stolon anyway?

Stolons are specialized stems that run horizontally just under the soil surface. We can cut them apart and plant them separately.

stolons

 

Late autumn is beautiful across the dunes!

 

 

p1040961p1050272

 

 

Advertisements

October 29: Marram grass planting and volunteer appreciation

16 Oct

p1040962

Marram grass (Ammophila breviligulata) is the resident dune-builder at RBD. Its roots reach deep into the sand, anchoring it in heavy winds, building up small hills and leaving behind swales.

On the last workday of 2016, we will plant marram grass to anchor sand around the new water filtration system. Afterwards we’ll have hot cider and donuts to celebrate our planting and a successful year of stewardship. Bring neighbors, friends, and family.

Join us on Saturday October 29nd from 10am-12pm for the last workday of the season and stay until 1pm to celebrate the year’s accomplishments with your fellow volunteers!

Meet in the first parking lot, close to the Fieldhouse and look for the banner. 

p1040961

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.

RSVP 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 Fieldhouse.
  • Go to the end of the parking lot closest to the Fieldhouse. Meet at the banner!

Find directions and a map here.

*Mark your calendar*
See you in March 2017

December seed dispersal

3 Jan

John Drake from Indiana TNC is a great friend to Rainbow Beach Dunes. He brings rare treats (seeds from healthy native dune populations in Indiana) and always tells RBD how good it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October workdays

17 Nov

We had a great time at our last workdays of the year in October!

First, Ms. Hess from Gary Comer College Prep brought her advisory group to clean up trash:

Then some of our dedicated regulars, service learning students, and a Chicago Cares group did an amazing job of installing nearly 500 native plants in the upper triangle. This spot will be a vision next summer!
We planted:
Anemone cylindrica, THIMBLEWEED
Asclepias verticillata, WHORLED MILKWEED
Aster sericeus, SILKY ASTER
Bouteloua curtipendula, SIDE-OATS GRAMA
Coreopsis lanceolata, SAND COREOPSIS
Coreopsis palmata, PRAIRIE COREOPSIS
Dalea candida, WHITE PRAIRIE CLOVER
Kuhnia eupatorioides, FALSE BONESET
Liatris aspera, ROUGH BLAZING STAR
Monarda punctata, HORSE MINT
Phlox pilosa, SAND PRAIRIE PHLOX
Sporobolus cryptandrus, SAND DROPSEED

Saturday October 27: Last workday of the year!

23 Oct

Rainbow Beach Dunes is quiet through the winter– we’re lucky that we don’t have buckthorn or other woody species to contend with. So use the winter months to spend your time at places the do, like your local Forest Preserve.

At the last workday of the season, we’ll be planting several native species throughout the nature area. Our hard work will be rewarded with veggie chili. Bring a snack to share if you like!  Join us this Saturday October 27 from 10am-12pm.

Rainbow Beach 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 filtration plant, and park in the first parking lot. Please meet at the entrance to the nature area, which is located at the southern end of the beach. Tools and equipment will be provided, but please bring water, wear closed-toed shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and prepare to get dirty. Contact Alison Anastasio at alison.anastasio@gmail.com for questions and to RSVP.

Upcoming events of interest:

Saturday, November 3, 2012
Restoration Workday, Beaubien Woods

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Chicago Wilderness Congress, University of Illinois at Chicago

Saturday February 3, 2013
Wild Things Conference, Chicago IL

Saturday September 22: Planting and seed collection

20 Sep

The showy goldenrod is brilliant and little bluestem is turning crimson. Autumn days are a great time to collect and disperse seeds. We’ll also plant young native plants in preparation for winter. Join us this Saturday September 22 from 10am-12pm.

Rainbow Beach 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 filtration plant, and park in the first parking lot. Please meet at the entrance to the nature area, which is located at the southern end of the beach. Tools and equipment will be provided, but please bring water, wear closed-toed shoes, dress appropriately for the weather, and prepare to get dirty. Contact Alison Anastasio at alison.anastasio@gmail.com for questions and to RSVP.

**Mark your calendar**

Saturday October 27, Stewardship workday

Earth Day Events, April 21

17 Apr

Though I know some of you celebrate Earth Day every day, the nationally recognized time to do it is in April. So instead of our regularly scheduled 4th Saturday workday, April’s stewardship opportunity will be on Saturday April 21, 9am-12pm. There are actually two events going on in Rainbow Beach Park during this time.

1. TREE PLANTING
Openlands is donating and planting 10 Black Oaks in the Dunes Nature area (just south of the Field House) and need your help! If you haven’t walked through the Dunes area lately, now’s the time. Meet at the entrance to the Nature Area at 9am. If you have questions about this project or to RSVP, get in touch with Glenda Daniel (gdaniel@openlands.org).

2. TRASH CLEANUP
We will have our annual Friends of the Parks beach cleanup at both Rainbow Beach and Rocky Ledge (79th & the Lake. This is our proposed site for a dog beach). RSVP to marion.brown@gmail.com.

For both events, you can RSVP or just show up! Equipment will be provided, but please dress appropriately for the weather and bring water to drink.

Saturday September 24: Native plant installation

18 Sep

Autumn is the perfect time to plant native perennials — after the strong heat of the summer, but before winter creeps in. Join us to plant one of my favorites, Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed) generously donated by Alliance for the Great Lakes, as well as other native dune plants generously donated by Indiana Nature Conservancy. A great opportunity for gardeners of all ages!

Followup: Saturday January 29 Workday

1 Feb

Thanks to everyone for coming out to Rainbow Beach Dunes on Saturday. It was a beautiful day, a great turnout, and we had lots of fun! We dispersed milkweed, ironweed, lupine, little bluestem, sunflower, and many other types of native plant seed. When you come back to RBD this spring and summer, you’ll see the fruits of your labor all around!

There are many interesting things to pass on, so please take a minute to continue reading…

Jerry asked about a good book for dune ecosystems. I HIGHLY recommend the book “Dune Country”, by Glenda Daniel.  It is geared towards the amateur naturalist and gives a great overview of the forces that shaped southern Lake Michigan and the flora and fauna that thrive there. Its primary focus is the Indiana Dunes, but you’ll find almost all the beach and foredune plants we have at RBD.

Attached are a few photos from the most recent workday (all taken by Robbie Shymanski), but soon more will be online and I’d love to have your contributions. Stay tuned!

Finally, I currently send a blind cc so your email address remains private. But as I saw last week, there are sometimes connections made without the subsequent contact information exchange. Are there objections to making it so that everyone on the list can see your email address? Or should I try something else like sending out a list of contact information for the list?

Hope you are enjoying the snow,
Alison

**Mark your calendar!**
Upcoming events at Rainbow Beach:

Saturday March 26, 9-11 – Nature Walk and Trash Pickup
Saturday April 16, 10-4 – Health Fair

Saturday January 29: Seed dispersal

22 Jan

Happy New Year!

Come out to RBD on Saturday January 29 from 9-11 am to spread the seeds that will germinate once spring arrives. We’ll have bagfulls of seed from native grasses, herbs, perennials to distribute around the dunes and need your help! This is a great opportunity for kids to join in the fun.

Also, for real this time, I have parking passes if you choose to bring your car and park in the southeast parking lot (closest to the nature area).

Rainbow Beach 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.  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 alison.anastasio[at]gmail.com for questions and to RSVP.

Autumn Update

29 Nov

Happy fall!

I’m glad to be back in Chicago after a long field season for my research (adaptation and genetics in plants) in Sweden. I’d be happy to talk about it if you are ever interested.

Lots has happened in my absence. I missed most of the summer, including a few workdays! Thanks to all who came out to pull weeds on July 31 or to look for birds on September 25. Special thanks to John Drake from the Nature Conservancy who has planted seedlings and distributed seeds even when there aren’t workdays.

You may have noticed that there has been a controlled burn in the nature area. (If you haven’t, go out and take a look!) This was performed by contractors of the Park District to maintain and promote the health of the dune habitat. The CPD had several goals for this burn:  1) to reduce the woody and herbaceous invasives, 2) to encourage more forb flowering, and 3) to prepare areas for seeding to add diversity. Please let me know if you have any questions.
Best,
Alison

Followup: Saturday May 22 Workday

23 May

Thank you to everyone who came out on Saturday to add native plants to Rainbow Beach Dunes!  We planted nearly 300 seedlings and distributed about two pounds of native grass seed (thanks Walt!).  The seedlings were planted in the sparsely populated strip of sand just beyond the concrete wall adjacent to the southeast parking lot.  Keep an eye on them, because most will be blooming at the end of summer.

For your information, the plants we added are typical of the Illinois tallgrass prairie and include the following:
Asclepias tuberosa (butterfly milkweed)
Aster azureus (sky blue aster)
Coreopsis lanceolata (sand coreopsis)
Euphorbia corollata (flowering spurge)
Liatris aspera (rough blazing star)
Monarda punctata (horsemint)
Petalostemum purpureum (pale purple prairie clover)

Also, as part of the Ford Environmental Summit on May 14, kids who are part of the Mighty Acorns environmental education program planted in the same location:
Baptisia alba (wild white indigo)
Eryngium yuccifolium (rattlesnake master)

If you don’t have a field guide, a great place to find out about the identification, habitat and growing characteristics of plants that live in Illinois (both native and exotic), please visit the very thorough Illinois Wildflower website.

Next up is the workday in June (9am-noon, 6/26), where we will try to identify and record ALL the plant species residing at Rainbow Beach Dunes. Please join us!

Saturday May 22: Spring planting

15 May

Please come out to Rainbow Beach Dune on Saturday May 22 from 12-4pm for a big planting day and help increase biodiversity at the Dune.  We will add native flowering plants and grass seed to several locations at this nature area. Gardeners of all ages and experience are welcome!

Rainbow Beach 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.  The nature area is 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 alison.anastasio[at]gmail.com for questions and to RSVP.

*Mark your calendar!*
Other upcoming workdays at Rainbow Beach:
Saturday June 26 –  Plant inventory
Saturday July 24 – Weed/Invasive plant management

%d bloggers like this: