Volunteers needed to adopt native plants

Everyone who would like to learn more about plants that are native to northern Illinois such as asters, goldenrods and coneflowers, are invited to the Nygren Wetland Preserve Wednesday, May 17, at 5:30 p.m. At that time, volunteers will have the opportunity to adopt a row of the plants in the nursery, learn the secrets of how to care for them, and help the Natural Land Institute restore the 720-acre Nygren Wetland Preserve.

Andy Bacon, stewardship director for the Natural Land Institute, said the volunteers who help in the native plant nursery play an important role in restoration of prairies and wetlands. “The seeds produced in the nursery are spread in other parts of the preserve to create habitat for wildlife. The native plants are adapted to supply the food and create the conditions needed by the birds, mammals and other animals that we see returning to this area.”

Restoration of the Nygren Wetland Preserve began in 2000, when the Natural Land Institute was able to purchase the land along the Rock and Pecatonica rivers with funds from the estate of Carl Nygren. The Natural Land Institute is a private, not-for-profit, land conservation organization headquartered in Rockford. If you would like to learn more about the Nygren Wetland Preserve restoration project, call the Natural Land Institute at 815-964-6666 for information. The Nygren Preserve is at 3190 W. Rockton Rd. in Rockton, Ill. The meeting for volunteers on May 17 is free and open to the public.

The Natural Land Institute’s partners in the Nygren Wetland Preserve acquisition and restoration project include the Wetland Reserve Program of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources-Conservation 2000 Program, the Grand Victoria Foundation, local conservation groups, and individual and corporate donors.

From the May 11-17, 2005, issue

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