By Dr. Sonia Vogl
OREGON, Ill. — Saturday, May 10, was glorious at Sand Ridge. Nosegays of bright rose oxalis dotted the cedar knob; the entire hillside was covered with a wash of pink shooting stars, and several patches of deep rose prairie smoke appeared. A lone golden fringed puccoon stood out among the pinks. The air was mild and fresh; a gentle wind was blowing. It was a moment of tranquility.
Elsewhere, action was buzzing. Downed overgrown Scotch pines were being hauled from where they were felled to the collection site. Jon Chapman, working to become an Eagle Scout before he turned 18, had organized a crew to do the work. Fellow scouts, friends and family all pitched in. He felt they could meet their goal of removing several hundred of the 500 trees that previous Eagle Scout candidate Michael Stevens had felled with his crew earlier this spring.
When asked why he chose Sand Ridge for his public service project, he replied that his troop leader, Ray Gruber, had suggested it. His mother, having worked for the Byron Forest Preserve and planning to pursue a degree in conservation, was also influential. The Prairie Preservation Society of Ogle County is grateful to the scouts and to Gruber for the fine work they have done to help restore the ecology of Sand Ridge.
From the May 28-June 3, 2014, issue