So much to do...so little time...
But the Scouts from Glencoe didn't let this get in their way. They were told it couldn't be done in two days, but thanks to a little extra support from Tom McDonald, Karen Keefe, Sharon Zulkie and Phyllis Cheskin...just to name a few, Matt Kennett and his troop and friends working with the Glencoe Friends of the Green Bay Trail accomplished their goal.
Amazingly, Matt and his band of Scouts and friends not only cleared the buckthorn, but also planted over a dozen 4-foot native shrubs and some grasses all this past weekend. Several species of viburnums, a dogwood and a white flowering serviceberry were purchased with money Matt raised through donations for his Eagle Scout project. He and the resident worked together to site the native shrubs on the 190 feet of village land adjacent to the lot line. This face-paced weekend demonstrates how Matt's careful planning for his Eagle project paid off.
Buckthorn is high on the list of invasive plants at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and at the United States Department of Agriculture. "The most pernicious, invasive plant in our region, buckthorn has overrun natural areas and urban areas as well," says Kurt Dreisilker, manager of natural resources at The Morton Arboretum. "When it takes hold, it grows so densely, it chokes out other plants." Within less than 100 years, this European import has become the most common tree in Cook and DuPage Counties, according to the Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project. The removal of buckthorn and installation of native plants not only will support native butterflies and other animals, but also enhances the appearance and health of the land. Passersby overwhelming expressed support for the Glencoe Friends of the Green Bay Trail and to Matt and his troop for their work to improve the community property.
The Glencoe Friends have been restoring the ½-mile section of the trial between Harbor and Scott Street in Glencoe for the past two years. They, along with local volunteers and several Scout partners, have removed buckthorn, pulled garlic mustard, collected, grown and installed native plants in and effort to improve the health of the land. Recently they certified the trail as a Monarch Waystation and a National Wildlife Habitat based on the plants they had added. They welcome volunteers and are actively working on the trail year round. Contact them at GlencoefriendsoftheGBT.org or like them on facebook at Glencoe Friends of the Green Bay Trail. Any help or donations of native plants or funds for native plants are appreciated.