Another exciting week for the Indiana Dunes All-Stars! The week began with a lovely rainy morning which we spent weeding out the plant beds and tidying them up. This was followed by a rousing session of transplanting Carex lurida. The gang spent the afternoon sprucing up the chainsaws and giving them a lot of much needed love (and parts). The day ended by gathering at the local park to brush up on our GPS and botanizing skills.
Tuesday started off slow as the team came together to battle the overgrown brush along Beverly Road near Farmer’s Prairie. What was meant to be a quick job was met with obstacles including vines and the lack of proper equipment. But never fear! After regrouping and developing a new game plan, our brave tribe returned to conquer the brush and had made a strong headway by the end of the afternoon.
Wednesday, perhaps the greatest day ever in boardwalk construction history, was the first day we got to plant. To avoid the inevitable confrontation with swamp monsters (and sinking) a path of wooden pallets were placed through the forest of cattails to lead out to our restoration site. The afternoon gave way to the troop’s first planting experience, and for some their first experience of falling into the bog. Cowles Bog was happy to have us there. Planting continued throughout Thursday and though Rose is a seasoned pro the other members of the unit were in awe of this cathartic process of breathing life back into to the Earth (and all that other sappy stuff).
The majority of the crew volunteered their time on Saturday (National Public Lands Day) to help the National Park Crew lead a group of school children; however Mason was last seen driving toward Ann Arbor screaming “FOOTBALL!!!” with all his might. Though the morning started out slightly dysfunctional the kids from CIMBY (Calumet is my Backyard) finally arrived and planting was underway. We didn’t get to interact with the students very much but that day was as much a learning experience for us as it was for them. That day, the crew got introduced to planting in much wetter conditions and started to smash the exotic cattatils that invaded the bog. Vengeance was ours!!! Overall it was a very successful day and we would like to thank the kids of CIMBY for their interest in helping to save our world.