Volunteer Open House at Natural Land Institute March 2
From press release
The Natural Land Institute will host an open house for current and new volunteers from 4 to 6 p.m., Tuesday, March 2, at 320 S. Third St. in Rockford. The event is free and open to everyone who wants to learn how they can protect wildlife and the natural beauty of the northern Illinois landscape.
Greg Keilback of the Natural Land Institute will describe how volunteers are making a difference at the Nygren Wetland Preserve west of Rockton. “When the Institute purchased the land along the Rock and Pecatonica rivers in 2000, very little natural vegetation remained,” he said. “Fueled by nearly 30,000 hours of volunteer time over the past 10 years, we have largely restored 100 acres of prairie, 150 acres of woodland and 450 acres of wetlands and returned Raccoon Creek to its original, historical channel.”
Keilback said river otters, Blanding’s turtles, sandhill cranes and great blue herons have returned to the restored land, but that doesn’t mean stewardship is complete. “Stewardship never stops,” he said. “We need help year-round with brush removal, planting, weeding, seed collecting and gathering information about frogs, birds and other animals.”
Andy Bacon, stewardship director for the Natural Land Institute, will describe how volunteers make a difference at Pecatonica Ridge Prairie, Stone Bridge Nature Trail at Roscoe, and other preserves protected by the Natural Land Institute. “For example,” he said, “we have a dedicated group working at Colman Dells Preserve southwest of Rockford that needs more help to keep ahead of the non-native brush that threatens to choke out trilliums, Jack-in-the pulpits and other springtime plants.”
The Natural Land Institute has preserved forests, prairies and wetlands for native plants and animals since its founding in 1958. It is a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to conserving land, restoring habitat for wildlife, and protecting rivers and streams.
Please call (815) 964-6666 for information.
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