Greg Kelly, Site Superintendent's update to Habitat Restoration Project
February 20th, 2018
There was a considerable amount of additional clearing work completed on the following areas of the site;
Deer Path Trail – Opened vista to expose Brandenburg Bog and cleared undesirable woody vegetation along entire trail corridor,
Tamarack View Trail – Cleared undesirable woody vegetation along trail corridor from the Deer Path spur to the plastic boardwalk adjacent to Sullivan Lake Rd. ( This represents over half of the entire Tamarack trail corridor that was cleared!)
The entire clearing project was completed in three working days. We received a substantial discount from the contractor, for couple of reasons; He was already in the area, so he discounted the transportation and travel expenditures, and he was aware his work was being funded by our Friends Group.
The total cost for the clearing work is $9000.00.
We will use the remaining $3000.00 FOVB funds and $6000.00 to $8000.00 of site restoration funds for the follow-up herbicide treatment work and to purchase native seed.
After clearing, herbicide treatment will be applied to disturbed areas by IDNR staff or its contractors to prevent further germination of invasive species. The herbicide is a type that is approved by the Illinois EPA for use in wetland areas.
During the summer, any exotics that grow will be removed by the IDNR staff and volunteers. After maintenance of the exotics during the summer, the area will be seeded next winter. Seeding in winter helps to control the growth of undesirable weeds in sown prairie grass seed.
Once the next growing season commences, the prairie grass will grow and develop and IDNR staff will periodically mow the grass during this season to further control weeds and to selectively allow the prairie grass to thicken.
During the second and third growing seasons, IDNR staff will use control burns to further develop the prairie grass, which requires fire to help cause new seed germination. Control burns will be conducted using drip torches (fuel is a diesel/gasoline mixture that burns slowly and non-explosively) while riding on ATV’s equipped with water for further fire control as necessary. The IDNR already has established fire burn plans for this purpose.