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Ecological Restoration


Ecological Restoration seeks to increase biodiversity and resilience to landscapes diminished by human impact. The Chicago Wilderness bioregion contains some of the rarest natural communities on earth, as well as a strong and vibrant grassroots movement of volunteers dedicated to their survival and resurgence.  These native woodlands, wetlands, and prairies are essential life-support systems for us humans and other species as well.  The services they provide include:

  • recharging our water supply
  • flood control
  • generating oxygen
  • sequestering carbon to mitigate climate change

 The practice of restoration not only enriches the land, but also the volunteers.



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Small Waters Education directors Jack and Judy Speer are volunteer site stewards at the Alden Sedge Meadow site of the McHenry County Conservation District. Working since 2003 to restore oak savanna and wetlands, they lead year-round work parties to do such tasks as removing invasive plants, collecting and sowing native seed.  Education is always included in these work parties, through guided hikes and interactive presentations.

Contact Jack and Judy at 815-648-1372 to join a restoration day work party.  Restoration days can be planned to fit the schedules of you or your group.



Serving the Chicago Wilderness Area of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin

Reconnecting People and Nature

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