Earth Day Projects

 

Most of our Earth Day projects take place at the Volo Bog Natural Area involving students from local schools, but our first Earth Day project at Moraine Hills State Park was a big event, as it involved one hundred plus Jewel/Osco store managers from as far away as Kankakee, Illinois to volunteer their time at the Moraine Hills State Park's McHenry site on Earth Day 2008. Heading up the Volunteers was the North Area Vice President, Mark Driscoll, and the District Manager Glen Nielson of the North Area. In addition, Jewel/Osco donated a Trex bench made from recycled plastic bags, a $1,500 check, and a delicious lunch for everybody.

The morning started out stringing out a grid for the new garden plot, followed with the laying of newspaper weighed down with sand.  While that was going on, a bench for the Park was presented to Site Superintendent, Greg Kelly.   Everybody then gathered together for speeches and the presentation of the check, followed with a group photo.  Before the crew went back to work, lunch from the Chief's Kitchens was provided for all to enjoy  The majority of volunteers did clean up , such as policing the roadway adjacent to the Park, along Park's shoreline of the Fox River,  and the clearing of brush.  The garden volunteers led by Site Naturalist Stacy Iwanicki  went back to the plot laying down over the newspaper & sand a layer of manure, and then mulch.  Following a planting chart made up by Stacy, the volunteers then planted some 500 native forbs (wildflowers) and grasses.  Observing and assisting was Bob Vetter, Volunteer Garden Coordinator for both Moraine Hills and Volo Bog State Natural Area.  After all the volunteers left, the park staff led by assistant superintendent, John Laskowski, watered in the plants and removed the excess sand etc.

                        Earth Day in the parks 2014
 
April 17, 2014 was not as big event as our 2008 Earth Day, but it too took place at the McHenry Dam Area. This time it was our new turn-around plot located at the south end of the parking lot over looking the Fox River.  The day prior to the planting staff members removed the sod, then intern Molly Regan assisted Stacy Iwanicki to string out a spider web of guide lines  Stacy once again had made up a planting chart for all to follow.  Three environmental classes, two from the Cary Grove High School followed by Wauconda's Matthews Middle School assisted by FOMHSP Native Gardeners and Volunteers did the actual planting of nearly 2,000 native plants.
 
Earth Day in the Parks is an IDNR program that promotes "stewardship of our natural resources by Illinois school children. During April and May, Students and their teachers from throughout Illinois come to participating Illinois state parks to take part in natural resoureces stewartship activities". 
                                                         Photos by Bob Vetter & Judy Wooderson

©2017 by Friends of Moraine Hills State Park

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