Monday, September 22, 2014

Diversion: Saturday in the Woods

On Saturday I participated in a habitat restoration project with the Friends of Somme Preserves at Somme Woods in Northbrook, about 20 miles northwest of Chicago.  We spent the morning clearing buckthorn, which is choking forests by crowding out native oaks.  For the uninitiated, "clearing buckthorn" means lopping branches from then sawing down slender trees, cutting the trunks into 6- to 8-foot lengths, and then (in)expertly hurling all of the resulting pieces onto a giant bonfire.  It is oddly satisfying work.  

Forest buckthorn choking out oak


(Forest preserve with buckthorn)



Prairie at Somme

(A section of preserve after 30 years of prairie restoration.)


Somme Woods contains 269 of the roughly 69,000 acres that comprise the Cook County Forest Preserve, the oldest and largest forest preserve system in the nation.   Alas, I left my phone in the car, which means no pictures of a land use professor turned lumberjack-for-a-day. 


~Celeste Pagano, DePaul University College of Law

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