Advanced Search

Evanston RoundTable | Evanston, IL
animal shelter, thank you


home : art & life : art & life May 24, 2016

11/6/2013 2:18:00 PM
A Walk Through Perkins Woods
Young volunteers Benji (middle) Jonah Weckstein(left) Dean Lomax(right). Background (left) Libby Hill, Perkins Woods official steward) Karen Taira, volunteer.
Young volunteers Benji (middle) Jonah Weckstein(left) Dean Lomax(right). Background (left) Libby Hill, Perkins Woods official steward) Karen Taira, volunteer.
Calvin (left) and Dean Lomax hard at work on the newly installed paths in Perkins Woods. Photos by Mary Mumbrue
Calvin (left) and Dean Lomax hard at work on the newly installed paths in Perkins Woods. Photos by Mary Mumbrue
BY MARY MUMBRUE


Only a sign – “Habitat Management ~ Best Practices in Action” – gave any indication of all the activity that was taking place in Cook County Forest Preserve District’s Perkins Woods on Oct. 13. Located between and Colfax and Grant streets and Ewing and Bennett avenues, this 7.5-acre woodland is what is left of what was once an extensive forest.

This bright, sunny Saturday found a number of volunteers and members of the Perkins Woods steering committee working on the sides of the 5-foot, crushed granite network of paths recently installed to replace the dilapidated asphalt paths. The new material is permeable and attractive and looks as if it belongs in the woods. In the coming seasons, the Perkins Woods steering committee will be able to observe the paths’ durability and see how well the crushed granite resists erosion.

The team of volunteers raked the soil, planted grass seed and then covered it over with many bales of hay. Covering the grass seed can lock in moisture to keep it from drying out so it can sprout more successfully.

Site volunteer Libby Hill says she notices a real sense of ownership of the Woods among the residents of Evanston. She has been the official steward of Perkins Woods since 1991.

Ms. Hill points out some of the features of this postage-stamp-size wilderness. There is the ephemeral vernal pond, which, fed by snowmelt and rain, appears in spring. Though for a time it attracts wood ducks and mallards and thirsty birds, the pond usually dries up by sometime in June. This year it lasted much longer. The Woods is a stopover for many species of migrating birds, and in spring it is not unusual for a visitor to come upon a group of birdwatchers trying to spot them.

Over a period of years, various groups of volunteers have met to help rid the woods of invasive non-native plants. May 5, 2013, was the 21st annual Garlic Mustard Pull, a workday to help rid the woods of this harmful intruder. As chief competitor to the Woods’ native grasses and wildflowers, garlic mustard threatens to rob them of space, water, light and nutrients.

Volunteers have also worked tirelessly on removing buckthorn and other invasive species. Their efforts mean visitors can count on seeing many wildflowers as they are walking the paths in April and May.

Among the volunteers who transformed the path as they worked from the morning into the early afternoon on Oct. 13 were Nancy Weeks Singham, Barb Mitchell, Jamie Tuttle, Paul Williams, Sarah Flax, Karen Taira and her sons Calvin and Dean Lomax, Jason Weckstein, Stacey Weckstein and sons Benji and Jonah  Weckstein, Tom Klitzkie, Libby Hill and Evan McGinley.

Calvin and Dean Lomax and Benji and Jonah Weckstein worked at a variety of jobs, from raking to spreading grass seed and maneuvering a wheelbarrow loaded with straw bundles. Ms. Hill emphasized the importance of children’s playing and volunteering in Perkins Woods, as they will become the advocates of the Woods for the next generation.

On Nov. 4 the Cook County Forest Preserve built a split rail fencing – not around the perimeter of the woods – but at the entrances, to discourage vehicle traffic.

On Nov. 5 a kiosk was installed at the corner of Grant Street and Bennett Avenue, intended to be informative and educational for the children, families and others who walk, jog or run through and around Perkins Woods.

Anyone wishing to join the stewards for the next workday at Perkins Woods, may contact Libby Hill at libbyhill@comcast.net.





Article Comment Submission Form

The RoundTable welcomes your comments. We will try to post comments within a few hours, but there may be a longer delay at times. Comments containing mean-spirited, libelous or ad hominem attacks will not be posted.

Note: Your full name is required. Your telephone number and e-mail will not be posted. You may type your comments in the space below, or you may type them in a word document and cut and paste them in the space below.

Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   



Click to View Upcoming Events
<May>
SMTWTFS
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28
29 30 31        
Submit Event







HomeVideosCommunity PostsObituariesClassifiedsAdvertiseAbout UsContact UsHow To
animal shelter, thank you

Copyright 2008-15 - Evanston RoundTable LLC, Evanston, IL 60202, 847-864-7741, All Rights Reserved
Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved


: