July 2021
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Prospect Heights Park District and PHNRC Receive a 2021 ComEd Green Regions Grant

It is with a great deal of pleasure that PHNRC is announcing that the Prospect Heights Park District and the PHNRC have been awarded an unprecedented fourth, ComEd/Openlands Green Regions Grant for assistance in creating a raised boardwalk at the Prospect Heights Slough. 

The matching grant totals $12,000.00 and is made up of $6,000.00 from ComEd, administered by Openlands, matched by $500.00 each from the City of Prospect Heights and the Park District, two anonymous donations of $3,000.00 and $750.00 and the PHNRC Commissioner's fund of $1,250.00 for a total of $6,000.00. 
The grant will eliminate trail conditions like this and greatly improve passage
"The Park District is excited to partner with the City of Prospect Heights on the ComEd Green Regions grant to increase public access to the Slough with this raised boardwalk," said Park District Executive Director Christina Ferraro. " We are overwhelmed by the amount of monetary donations that have been received and the amount of volunteer hours that have been committed to provide an additional outdoor educational and recreational opportunity for the community. We thank the PHNRC, who will manage the project, for providing volunteer labor, native plant plugs and native seed. We thank Felix Weirich, the Eagle Scout, the high school, middle school and elementary students for their time and efforts as well.  A true community effort!"
The funds will establish 450 feet of boardwalk in the areas of the Prospect Heights Slough that are prone to high water levels, extending the number of days the trail is accessible. It will also create new pollinator habitat, increase carbon sequestration and restore wetland by reclaiming roughly one acre of invasive cattails. They will be replaced by thousands of native plugs in the form of rushes, sedges and conditionally appropriate forbs from the PHNRC greenhouse program. It will transform the site into a premium pollinator and bird habitat. The density of the native species will increase carbon sequestration, absorb and filter pollution from accumulated runoff and out-compete invasives.

The plan includes informative signage to increase the recreational and educational value to residents and students alike. The project is a complete community effort and would include participation from the City of Prospect Heights, the Park District, PHNRC, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, MacArthur Middle School, Anne Sullivan Elementary School, and students from Wheeling, John Hersey, Buffalo Grove and Prospect High Schools.

" We are looking forward to supporting Felix Weirich in his Eagle Scout project and accomplishing the long term goal of a boardwalk at the slough," said PHNRC Chairperson Agnes Wojnarski. "That we are awarded a fourth grant is a testimony to the ability of PHNRC, the Park District and the City to get things done."
Cattails will be removed and replaced

Got Pollinators?

Watch a day in the life of a Culvers Root stand! You will be amazed.

Seth Explains the Name

Common Name: Leaf
Scientific Name: Phyllum

Stylophorum diphyllum
A past ‘Explains the Name’ column focused on the word ‘foli’ which is Latin for leaf.  Today’s column focuses on the Greek word for leaf: ‘phyll’ (or phyl or phyllum).

(Perhaps you’re familiar with filo or phyllo dough - thin leaves of dough)

Below please notice that in the first word of the plant name (the genus) or in the second word of the plant name (the specific epithet) there is the word phyl, phylla, or phyllum, meaning leaf or leaves.  

Baptisia alba macrophylla (White Wild Indigo)  ‘macro’ in Greek means ‘large’: large leaves

Dasistoma macrophylla (Mullein Foxglove)

Eurybia macrophylla (Big-leaved Aster)

Physalis heterophylla (Clammy Ground Cherry)   ‘hetero’ is Greek for different: the shape and edges of the leaves are irregular or different

Chaerophyllum procumbens (Wild Chervil)  chairo is Greek for ‘to please’ therefore meaning the plant has pleasant foliage. 

Mitella diphylla (Bishop's Cap)  ‘di’ comes from Greek meaning two: A single pair of two leaves is on the stem below the flower

Stylophorum diphyllum (Celandine Poppy)

Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-Pulpit)  ‘tri’ comes from the Greek meaning three: this plant has three leaves

Symphyotrichum urophyllum (White Arrowleaf Aster also known as Tail-leaved aster) ‘uro’ comes from Greek meaning ‘tail’

Caulophyllum thalictroides (Blue Cohosh)  ‘caulo’ is Greek for stalk or stem

Hydrophyllum virginianum (Virginia Waterleaf)   ‘hydro’ is Greek for water

Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)    ‘podo’ comes from Greek meaning foot.  The shape of the leaf resembles a foot or perhaps a duck’s foot.


Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple) - Photo courtesy of Dr John Hilty at

Nature Speaks - Dr. Allison Sacerdote-Valet

"Direct Effects of an Invasive buckthorn on Amphibian Embryo Survival and Development"

September 23rd 2021 - Allison Sacerdote-Valet
7:00-8:30 PM - "Direct Effects of an Invasive buckthorn Metabolite on Amphibian Embryo Survival and Development"
 a Zoom presentation.

Please join us as we zoom in and welcome back Allison Sacerdote-Valet, Curator of Herpetology at Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum as she gives her presentation, "Direct Effects of an Invasive buckthorn Metabolite on Amphibian Embryo Survival and Development"

Most  people know Dr. Sacerdote-Velat as one of the leading authorities on Green Snakes but did you know she is one of the foremost authorities on buckthorn? Please join us for this most informative talk on Prospect Height's public enemy # 1, buckthorn! Dr. Sacerdote-Velat will tell you just how bad this guy is and why we all want to remove it! 

European buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), exhibits aggressive growth in amphibian breeding sites and releases the secondary metabolite, emodin, into soil and water. Emodin is known to have several deleterious, bioactive properties in mammals and birds, but its effects on amphibians had not been previously assessed. 

Click here to learn more                                                       Click here to register

Nature Speaks - Dr. Alice Bell

"Our Biggest Experiment
An Epic History of the Climate Crisis"

January 20th 2022 – Dr. Alice Bell
1:00 - 3:00 PM - "Our Biggest Experiment – An Epic History of the Climate Crisis” A Zoom presentation.

PHNRC is very pleased to announce Dr. Alice Bell from England will be joining us for her very important presentation, "Our Biggest Experiment -  An Epic History of the Climate Crisis". 

Traversing science, politics, and technology, Our Biggest Experiment shines a spotlight on the little-known scientists who sounded the alarm to reveal the history behind the defining story of our age: the climate crisis.

The celebrated author will tease out the stories of scientists that took us from Eunice Foote’s simple experiment on her windowsill to Revelle's testimony in DC, joining the dots to tell the story of how we discovered the climate crisis.

Click here to learn more                                          Registration coming soon
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