After six months of restoring trails and killing invasive plants at Chicago parklands, an 11-woman group of volunteers said planting native grasses at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore was a treat.
Crew leaders for the Student Conservation Association group estimated they would plant 5,000 to 6,000 grasses this week as part of a restoration project in the central portion of the Great Marsh.
“We’ve spent a lot of time killing things,” crew leader Amanda Villacreses said. “So it feels good to be planting something new.”
Deep in the muck, the volunteers — residents of underserved inner-city areas and part of the Student Conservation Association’s first all-woman crew — made quick work of the planting. Nearly a dozen buckets, once filled with small plant “plugs,” stood empty.
Cinnamon Hoskins, of Chicago, said she joined the Student Conservation Association to explore nature.
“A lot of people don’t know nature past birds and squirrels,” she said. “We as people, first and foremost, have to take care of this Earth, because nobody else is going to do it.”