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     For thousands of years, Illinois was covered with vast expanses of richly colored prairies, savannas and woodlands. Today less than one-tenth of one percent of the native habitat is left (Think of a stadium filled with 60,000 fans. Now fast forward to today: Only 60 people left in the whole stadium.)

     The Des Plaines Valley Volunteers are doing something about the loss of natural habitat! By removing invasive plants and collecting seeds from native plants, we are restoring natural habitat for the trees, wildflowers and grasses that add beauty and diversity to our world--and for the birds, insects and other animals that call those areas home.

     The Des Plaines Valley Volunteers work on public lands in western Cook County, Illinois--the west and northwest suburbs of Chicago. We cut down non-native shrubs like buckthorn and Japanese honeysuckle, which shade out young oaks and other native trees. We remove invasive weeds like garlic mustard and Canada thistle, which crowd out native wildflowers, grasses and sedges. We collect seeds from native plants to help spread the natural beauty of our prairies and woodlands. Our trained experts have even returned fire to the environment, using prescribed burns to control non-native plants and encourage native plants to grow.

     You can join us. We hold workdays every weekend of the year--including this weekend. You don't need any experience, special skills, or equipment; just a desire to help the environment--or get more exercise--or meet new and interesting people--or learn more about the world around us--or just enjoy the great outdoors!

I want to learn more! How about a map of the sites near my home?

What about a schedule of the workdays, or a list of contact names and numbers?

What if I have more questions about saving natural habitat? Can I see some pictures?

Are there any links to other environmental organizations in the Chicago area?

  Last Updated: October 27, 2001