Make a difference that lasts for generations at the Nygren Wetland Preserve!

Your help as a volunteer land steward at the Nygren Wetland Preserve can make a real difference at a time when concerns about global warming and climate change are claiming national headlines. This is an opportunity to help the environment while enjoying fresh air and sunshine in the company of other special volunteers.

The Natural Land Institute is looking for help at the Nygren Wetland Preserve west of Rockton, Saturday, June 9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event is free and open to families, groups and individuals who want to be good stewards of the beautiful 720-acre wildlife sanctuary along the Pecatonica and Rock rivers.

You can help plant native seedlings like liatris, senna and rattlesnake master and repair protective tubes around newly-planted trees such as oaks, maples and hickories. These plants reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that contributes to global warming by capturing carbon dioxide gas from the air and pumping it into the soil. Once in the soil, the carbon is converted into rich organic matter, and no longer contributes to the global warming process.

Volunteers have helped restore thousands of plants to the wetlands, prairies and forests at the Nygren Wetland Preserve during the past six years. Efforts are paying off with the return of sandhill cranes, river otters and Blandings turtles.

The preserve is at 2810 W. Rockton Road. From Rockton, travel west on Union Street (Rockton Road) for about 1-1/2 miles. A sign marks the entrance to the preserve on the south side of the road. Parking is available by the red shed. Spend an hour or two, or go for the entire day.

The Natural Land Institute is a private, not-for-profit conservation organization that since 1958 has preserved and restored some of the best prairies, forests and wetlands in northern Illinois. For information, call 815/964-6666.

from the May 30-June 5, 2007, issue

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