Even though neighborhoods like Logan Square and Humboldt Park are miles away from Lake Michigan, plants in the area still see an impact from the great lake.
A group of 10 students took to The 606’s Bloomingdale Trail last week to explore the impact the lake is having on flowering plants along the trail. The day was part of a larger project led by The Trust for Public Land that will be formally announced in early winter.
The student outing, which was also part of “The 606 Day,” was organized by The Trust for Public Land, the Exelon Foundation and the Student Conservation Association.
The students spent the afternoon mapping trees like lilac and serviceberry trees, which are prevalent in the area. Their identification work will help the next group of “citizen scientists” tag the trees and eventually record when they start to bloom, which will lead to a greater understanding of how climate change is impacting the area.
“It’s not just a tree. It’s a specific tree. You can learn more about it and participate more in how it’s evolving,” said Christina Carrero, co-leader of the conservation association’s fall group.
“I think it’s a really important way to get the community involved in their green spaces,” she added.
Carrero said mapping trees along the trail was an eye-opening experience for the students, many of whom had never used it before.
“All of the students I was working with were taking pictures,” she said. “They just loved the access they had. They were so relieved to find a place like that. It was nice to see them connecting that way.”