Cap Sauers Holdings Nature Preserve

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Foremainder Preserve Foundation board members, donors and guests pose after their hike via Cap Sauers Holding Preserve.

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Editor’s note: Earlier this year, the Foundation sustained restoration efforts in Cap Sauers Holding Preserves via funds got from a generous anonymous donor. On Oct. 5, 2 Forest Preserve staff members led a walk via the Preserves to show board members, donors and guests the outcomes of that job-related.

By Kristin Pink and also Chip O’Leary, Foremainder Preserves of Cook County


Have you been to the most remote area in Cook County?

You have actually if you’ve visited Cap Sauers Holding Nature Preserve in southwest subcity Palos Park. At 1,500 acres and spanning even more than 2 miles east to west, it’s the biggest roadmuch less tract in Cook County and also the biggest nature maintain in northeastern Illinois.

A close-up look

On a Saturday morning in mid-October, Forest Preserve Foundation board members, donors and guests went hiking these massive woods. They were tbelow to get an up-close look at restoration job-related in the Foremainder Preserves of Chef County. Reconstruction repairs ecounits that have been disrupted by humale intervention.

Led by Forest Preserve ecologists, the group walked via the cool morning air on a wooded trail. They saw expensive bur oak trees and also the elegant trip of a great-horned owl. But they additionally witnessed plants that pose an environmental danger. Invasive species favor Oriental honeysuckle and Oriental bittersweet thrive in our Preserves, threatening to displace native plants and also pets.

Invasive plants choose honeysuckle shade out native plants, leaving behind an impenetrable wevery one of 10-foot brush that deserve to quickly conquer in the keep. Wildflowers cannot prosper beneath honeysuckle, and also it doesn’t entice pollinators, either. When invasives take host, the outcome is a degraded landscape, essentially honeysuckle and bare ground. Honeysuckle additionally blocks beautiful views of the rolling landscape and also Cap Sauers’ unexplained geologic features, specifically the peaky esker that runs via the center of the maintain.

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A guard against climate change

Alarmingly, the group learned that climate readjust is meant to make problems more favorable for the development of invasive species. The need for restoration is more immediate than ever. Cap Sauers Holding need to be recovered to the healthiest problem now to make this ancient ecomechanism as sturdy as feasible.

The Foremainder Preserves, the Foremainder Preserve Foundation, partners, and also volunteers are functioning at Cap Sauers to rerelocate invasive plants. Experience tells us native plants and also animals rebound after restoration. The team got to view this recoexceptionally first-hand also as they walked the “green trail” that runs along the south end of the preserve.


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A donor’s impact

Earlier this year, restoration work-related begun by dedicated volunteers and staff acquired a huge increase. That’s once a donor made a $250,000 anonymous gift to the Foremainder Preserve Foundation, which was offered to undercreate the restoration of 120 acres of Cap Sauers Holding. The donor, motivated by the dedication of volunteer stewards, wanted to bolster their initiatives. With the linked efforts, more than one-third of Cap Sauers is currently undergoing restoration.

For those who participated in the walk, the suffer was enlightening. “I truly took pleasure in the experience,” shelp Leslie Sawyer, president and CEO of Environpsychological Deauthorize International, Inc. “My husband also, Rick Redmon, and I truly appreciated the experience. We are both nature lovers and also appreciate the vital job-related that you and also the Forest Preserve Foundation, through the critical assistance of donors and also volunteers, are doing to restore this wonderful organic asset for our existing and future neighborhood.”

Momentum is structure for these kinds of public-personal partnerships, which are restoring sites prefer Cap Sauers. Community leaders understand also the prestige of this work and desire to assist regain the entire preserve. The Forest Preserves and also its partners are working difficult to transcreate the most remote place in Chef County right into among the a lot of beautiful.

Kristin Pink is a Reresource Ecologist II for the Foremainder Preserves of Chef County. Chip O"Leary is Deputy Director, Department of Resource Management for the Foremainder Preserves of Cook County.