Forest Preserve Celebrates 25th Anniversary of National Public Lands Day

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 22 with the Forest Preserve District of Will County by volunteering at Isle a la Cache preserve in Romeoville. (Photo courtesy of Barb Ferry)

The Forest Preserve District will participate in the 25th anniversary of National Public Lands Day by hosting a volunteer workday on Saturday, Sept. 22, at Isle a la Cache preserve in Romeoville. To volunteer for the event, contact Renee Gauchat, the Forest Preserve’s volunteer supervisor at 815-722-7364 or rgauchat@fpdwc.org. This will be the 18th year the Forest Preserve has joined the national effort, making it one of the District’s longest-running workdays, Gauchat said. This year’s workday focuses on “resilience and restoration,” according to the National Environmental Education Foundation, which coordinates National Public Lands Day activities.

“NPLD brings together hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands,” the group explained on its website, neefusa.org. “These are the places Americans use for outdoor recreation, education, and just plain enjoyment.”

During this year’s workday at Isle a la Cache, volunteers and staff will be removing buckthorn, honeysuckle and other invasive species from the preserve. Brush removal will begin at 8 a.m. and last until noon with a break at 10 a.m. Seed will be collected from 10 a.m.-noon. The seeds will be used in Forest Preserve restoration work. Gauchat said the workday draws people of all ages as well as Scouting groups, college and high school students and other individuals who want to make a difference by helping the environment. Children must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Volunteers should wear long pants, sturdy, closed-toe shoes and work gloves. Work will take place on uneven terrain that is primarily natural surface.

For more information on Forest Preserve volunteer opportunities, visit ReconnectWithNature.org.

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