Tour 40 Team Phone: 1-208-608-6321 Email: email@example.com Twitter: @Tour40Team Address: Coming to a city near you! Project Dates: 6/17/2011 - 9/28/2011
We couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful day for our Chicago service project at Theodore Stone Forest Preserve. The sun shone through the clouds and blasted us with some good ol’ vitamin D. We had another great turnout with 33 volunteers, 5 of them SCA crewmembers of the Indiana Dunes team we trained with in Washington. It was great to show them exactly what the Tour 40 Team has been accomplishing all summer long and talking about the successes of the Dunes Team and what the future holds for them.
After acquainting ourselves with old and new friends, it was time to get to work. Theodore Stone Forest Preserve provided us with two projects: clearing out a trail for visitors of the park to hike through, and removing two nasty invasive plants, European buckthorn and bush honeysuckle. These two plants possess no natural predators, thus nothing can kill them off. Since nothing can contain them, they thrive and out-compete native plants that support the ecosystem of the park. Removal of these plants is necessary not only for the health of the park, but also the health of Chicago. European Buckthorn and bush honeysuckle block sunlight for understory plants, which causes these organisms to die. With no understory plants, bare soil is exposed and then washed away by rain, draining into the water supply of Chicago. The additional soil decreases the water quality, and can add pollutants to the water supply as well, thus the removal of these plants is also key to a healthy water supply for the inhabitants of Chicago.
With the hard work and dedication of Southwest volunteers alongside SCA leaders, the two groups ended up removing five 6 foot by 8 foot piles of European buckthorn and bush honeysuckle which equates to about one acre of invasive plant removal. The trails crew also paved out over 450 feet of new trail for visitors to enjoy a nice day walk after a picnic. Overall, the day was a success and everyone went home with a big ol’ smile on their face
and the Tour 40 Team