Conservation matters to Wild Ones

Wild Ones of Rock River Valley know that the quality of the air we breathe and water we drink depends on conserving natural landscapes, so the group is giving a gift to one of the largest wetland restoration projects in northern Illinois, the 720-acre Nygren Wetland Preserve. The contribution will be used by the owner of the preserve, the Natural Land Institute, to purchase equipment, including a new chipper shredder for seed cleaning, a pole saw for brush trimming and an earth auger for digging holes to plant trees.

Andy Bacon, stewardship director for the Natural Land Institute, said the gifts come just in time for the fall harvest of native seeds and will help him and dozens of volunteers complete their work before winter sets in. “The chipper shredder helps break seeds loose from the seed heads, saving hours of work that otherwise must be done by hand,” Bacon said, “and the tools will help increase the efficiency of our stewardship work.”

Fran Lowman, founder and board member of the Rock River Valley Chapter of Wild Ones, said many supporters of their organization are regular volunteers at the Nygren Preserve and helped plant native species along Raccoon Creek this past spring. Lowman said the plants in the wetlands along the restored creek and along the two rivers at the preserve–the Pecatonica and the Rock–filter pollution before it reaches our food and water.

“Wild Ones understands the importance of wetland conservation to healthy, prosperous communities. If we don’t remove the pollutants that our society puts into the air and water, we consume them ourselves,” Lowman said.

Wild Ones is a not-for-profit environmental education and advocacy organization. It promotes environmentally sound landscaping practices to preserve biodiversity through the preservation, restoration and establishment of native plant communities. For information, contact or call (815) 389-9757.

The Natural Land Institute is a not-for-profit conservation organization that preserves and restores forests, prairies and wetlands for native plants and animals. For information, contact and e-mail or call (815) 964-6666.

from the Oct. 3, 2007, issue

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