Tag Archives: cheatgrass

May 27: Tis the season for cheatgrass

14 May


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

Follow up: May 28 workday

2 Jun


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.

Followup: June 22 workday

30 Jun


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.

Cheatgrass as fodder for beer brewing

5 Oct

We should have been saving all our harvested cheatgrass! See the article below and listen to an interview with Idaho home brewer Tye Morgan on NPR’s Science Friday.

How Cheatgrass Could Soon Be In Your Pint Glass

Much of the acreage lost to wildfires in Idaho and the West this year means miles and miles of land opened up to cheatgrass.

For ranchers, this invasive species spreads quickly and requires time and resources to remove.

So what can ranchers do? How about making beer?  Home brewer Tye Morgan explains why cheatgrass is the perfect ingredient for beer.

“People used to gather local flora to ferment out their water so their water could be drinkable,” says Morgan. “And it would be a very low alcohol but it would make it so that it would kill off all the bacteria. And then all of a sudden I was like, ‘Cheatgrass is a grass.’ So I ran a quick nutritional value and found out that the carbohydrate to protein ratio is very similar to barley.”

Reno, Nev. couple Tye and Joe Morgan have been experimenting with making small batches of cheatgrass beer for three years. They formed a company and hope to start producing on a commercial scale soon. They shared their most recent batch with a group this summer, and it was a big hit.

“As a home brewer you know that one beer style is never going to please everybody,” Morgan says. “And so I had also brought some light American lagers because that’s the majority of what people drink. I had the people that liked the light American lager drinking the cheatgrass beer. And they were like, ‘No, this is great, I’m actually preferring this now.’ “

Morgan says she hopes that harvesting cheatgrass could be a profitable management tool for ranchers. Her company, Bromus Tech, would like to partner with breweries around the West to produce the beer.

Tye Morgan is going to be featured on Science Friday this afternoon, broadcasting live from Boise State University at noon.

Copyright 2012 Boise State Public Radio

Follow up: May 26 stewardship work day

3 Jun

It was great to see all the new faces at last Saturday’s workday. New volunteers and a large group of enthusiastic Gary Comer College Prep Middle School students contributed to collecting a monstrous 18 trash bags full of cheatgrass and plant debris.

Some of our favorite brilliant summer flowers are thinking about starting to bloom, so next month’s workday is sure to be a beautiful one!

*Mark your calendar*
Saturday June 23 – Stewardship workday
Saturday July 14 – Calumet Outdoor Series
Saturday July 28 – Stewardship workday

Saturday May 26: Invasive species management

22 May

This month we will focus on decreasing the size of the cheatgrass and sweetclover populations on the dunes. They are pernicious, but with the help of volunteers, these species can pulled by hand, avoiding the need for herbicides. Join us this Saturday from 10am-noon. Also, be sure to check out the website to see photos from recent workdays and events at 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 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 and dress appropriately for the weather. Contact Alison Anastasio at alison.anastasio@gmail.com for questions and to RSVP.

*Mark your calendar*
Saturday June 23 – Stewardship workday
Saturday July 14 – Calumet Outdoor Series
Saturday July 28 – Stewardship workday

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