Volunteer Work Day Scheduled for September 24 at Sterne’s Woods & Fen

Mon September 18, 2017


Spend some time outdoors and help make a great park even better.  Volunteer at Sterne’s Woods & Fen on Sunday, September 24th from 9-11AM. We will be clearing invasive species from beside the main trail near some of the springs that supply the fen. Invasive understory brush crowds out native species like oak saplings, shading them to death before they have chance to mature.  Even the tallest oaks in Sterne’s Woods are losing their lower limbs to competition with invasives.  We’ll cut out buckthorn and honeysuckle bushes giving the native understory plants and oaks a chance to grow.


We meet monthly at the Sterne's outdoor pavilion, 5617 Hillside Dr.  Volunteers will have a chance to learn about restoration ecology and what makes Sterne’s special.  Bring a waterbottle and a pair of work gloves.  The park district will supply the tools, and I will bring treats.  Email Brice Alt, volunteer site steward, to receive updates: bricemaieralt@hotmail.com  


Sterne’s Woods & Fen became an Illinois State Nature Preserve in 1994 to preserve and protect its unique ecology.  A fen is a rare type of wetland in which cold groundwater that is high in calcium and magnesium seeps to the surface.  The unique water chemistry supports plants that grow nowhere else.  Sterne’s Fen is home to at least 10 rare or endangered plant species.  The surrounding parkland acts as a buffer to the fen and includes prairie, oak savanna, and flatwood ecosystems.  Every one of those ecosystems can benefit from the efforts of volunteers.  Join us once a month and learn about them!


Much thanks to the groups who have volunteered with us at Sterne's: MUDD, the Silver and Sleepy Hollow Creeks Watershed Coalition, the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County, the BREAK, Jacobs High School Interact, and Girl Scout Troop 888.


By volunteering at a Sterne's workday you're helping with the ecologic restoration of an exceedingly rare type of habitat. 

To learn more about restoration ecology, here's a quick video: