Welcome to the first Prospect Heights
Natural Resources Commission Newsletter!

The purpose of our newsletter is to raise awareness of environmental issues affecting Prospect Heights Illinois and to keep you informed and up to date about our projects and our progress. We look to share our concerns, discoveries, passion and commitment and hopefully spark you to get involved.

Our newsletter will come out at the beginning of every month and showcase information about our projects, sponsors, work events, social gatherings and progress reports from the field.

We invite you to subscribe to the newsletter so you can stay informed. Subscribe here

Introducing the Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission website.

We are pleased to announce that we have launched our new website,

The website is designed to be an informational clearing house for the organization and features information on our projects, a calendar of events, how to volunteer and a gallery section showcasing the beauty of the Prospect Heights environment. 

We invite you to browse the site and let us know what you think.

Progress is Being Made in Buckthorn Removal

If you have been by the slough within the last few weeks you have noticed that considerable progress has been made in the war on buckthorn. "Large areas of the invasive have been removed thanks to the efforts of our volunteer base", said Agnes Wojnarski, Chairperson of the PHNRC.

The commission has completed removal from the northern tip at Willow Road down to the vicinity of Olive, Maple and Hillside. Perhaps the most dramatic efforts are near 7 Hillside, pictured above. "This area shows very clearly just how invasive buckthorn is. Were we have removed buckthorn, the area is open, full of light and life. By contrast, the buckthorn infestation chokes out everything in its path creating a dark impenetrable canopy. It is very easy to see how native plant species don't stand a chance", added Wojnarski.

The ultimate goal is to replace turf grass and buckthorn with over 80 species of native and local ecotype marsh, sledge meadow, wet prairie and mesic plant species around the lower slough after the removal of the buckthorn.

Progress has increased dramatically with the introduction of power tools. "We have residents who are very skilled chainsaw operators in our volunteer base. Their knowledge and expertise permits us to drop the larger invaders and make quick work of their disposal," said Commissioner Wojnarski. "The need right now is for more volunteers as the winter approaches." 

More information on volunteering is available on our website. Our next Volunteer Day is Sunday, September 28th form 9:00 am to 12:00 pm. We meet every other Sunday. Please check the calendar of events for the latest information.

 Native Ladies' Tresses Discovered

On a recent seed collection outing, Commissioner Agnes Wojnarski discover a rare native Spiranthes Cernua or Ladies' Tress.

The narrow, grasslike leaves are 8–10 inches long, growing from the base of the plant. The flowers are white and grow along the upper part of the slender, erect stem, which is 1–2 feet tall. They grow in 2–4 spiraling rows, forming a dense spike 6 inches long. The individual flowers, about 1/2 inch long, curve downward slightly, nodding. The lip is about 1/2 inch long, with a flaring, crimped margin. This is one of the few orchids that have a fragrance.

"I am just so excited", exclaimed Wojnarski.  "I went this morning to cut some teasel heads at the remnant sedge meadow, and I came across some ladies' tresses. This is VERY good. One of our treasured native orchids".

Sunday the 28th of September is a split workday. 

This Sunday the 28th is a split volunteer workday that will be shared by buckthorn removal and seed collection. Buckthorn removal will begin at 9:00 on Hillside Avenue and go to 11:00. Seed collection will begin at 11:00 and go to 1:00. Seeders will meet at 11:00 on Hillside Avenue and caravan to the collecting site. Come when you can and stay as long as you can. A splendid time is guaranteed for all!
Copyright © 2014 Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission, All rights reserved.

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