THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT
NEEDS YOUR HELP!
2017 ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS BANQUET
& ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING WILL BE HELD ON
SATURDAY, MARCH 25, 2017
AT THE SILVER STALLION RESTAURANT IN DES PLAINES
Chicago Audubon's biennial Awards Program honors those who have made contributions to conservation, the protection of migratory birds and other wildlife, and have helped to conserve, preserve, and enhance the varied habitats and open spaces of the greater Chicago region. Both the Banquet and the Membership Meeting will be held at the Silver Stallion Restaurant, 1275 Lee/Manheim Avenues (between Algonquin and Oakton) in Des Plaines.
If you would like to register for the Awards dinner online, click here.
Cocktails (cash bar) will be available from 5:15 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Dinner begins promptly at 6:00 p.m. The Awards Dinner will be followed by the Annual Membership Meeting and then a presentation by Board Member John Elliott of the evening's program, "The Ghosts of Conservation" -- take a virtual trip to the iconic places that some of our heroes and heroines of conservation have lived and worked over the decades.
The charge for dinner is $33 per person. The Awards will be presented around dessert time. Immediately following the Awards presentation, the Annual Membership Meeting will begin around 7:30. If you plan on attending the Annual Membership Meeting only, please plan on arriving around 7:30 p.m. If you wish, you may attend both the Awards Banquet and the Annual Membership Meeting.
For further details and to see a list of the 2017 Awardees, here is a link directly to
the January-February issue of our newsletter:
If you have any questions, please contact Alan Anderson at [email protected].
We hope to see you on March 25! Everyone is welcome!
Chicago Audubon Program
WHY JACKSON PARK MATTERS
Tuesday, April 11 - 7:00 p.m.
Presented by Dr. Douglas Stotz
At the North Park Village Nature Center
5801 N Pulaski Road (Building D)
In a recent informal poll of birders taken through the listserv called IBET (Illinois Birders Exchanging Thoughts), Jackson Park was ranked as the sixth best birding spot in the entire state of Illinois. Field Museum Conservation Ecologist and local birding guru, Dr. Doug Stotz, will give an illustrated, data-filled talk demonstrating the extremely high value for migratory birds of the habitats in Jackson Park.
Beloved for decades as a beautiful year-round refuge by birders and Hyde Park neighbors alike, Wooded Island and the adjacent landscape in Jackson Park has been the subject of controversy and some confusion recently because of several proposed new developments. These include a sculpture by Yoko Ono, the redevelopment and combining of the South Shore and Jackson Park golf courses into a championship course designed by Tiger Woods, the Obama Presidential Library, and a glass-walled pavilion for a possible concert venue. Large amounts of both private and public funds will be sought to implement these ambitious projects.
Though the public input process has been criticized as inadequate, the civically-engaged Hyde Park community has responded by attending meetings, writing letters, and asking questions. A grassroots group called Jackson Park Watch (JPW), coordinated by local leaders Brenda Nelms and Margaret Schmid, has emerged. JPW has given voice to concerns about noise, parking, loss of trees and open space, and disruption of the tranquility of the park and Wooded Island. JPW members attend Park District board meetings, providing information, and talking to the media. (http://jacksonparkwatch.org and www.facebook.com/jacksonparkwatch)
After Doug’s talk there will be a discussion of these issues with a panel that includes Dr. Stotz as well as JPW’s Margaret Schmid and others to be decided. We would like to explore how these projects could affect birds at Jackson Park and talk about compromise solutions as well as communication pathways.
Light refreshments at 7:00 p.m., program begins at 7:15 p.m. If you have questions or need directions, call the Chicago Audubon office at 773-539-6793. You do not need to be a member of Chicago Audubon to attend. Everyone is welcome!
Laurel Ross, Chicago Audubon Conservation Committee
Margaret Schmidt, Jackson Park Watch Coordinator
CHICAGO AUDUBON IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE
EAGLE OPTICS DAY
SATURDAY, APRIL 22
AT THE TRADITIONAL LOCATION
THE NORTH PARK VILLAGE NATURE CENTER
5801 N PULASKI ROAD (BUILDING D)
10:00 A.M. TO 3:00 P.M.
Chicago Audubon is delighted to welcome back our popular Eagle Optics Day! Eagle Optics is the largest independent dealer of high quality binocular, scopes, and all types of optical equipment and accessories. A variety of their equipment will be on display between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., and experts will be available during those hours to answer questions and give guidance. Eagle Optics donates a portion of sales from the day to support the programs of Chicago Audubon. For those who have never attended one of our Eagle Optics Days and have never been to the Nature Center, please call our office for information and directions (773-539-6793). Parking is free and there will be light refreshments. This event is open to the public. Your do not need to be a member of Chicago Audubon to attend. Bring family and friends!
~ BECOME A MENTOR FOR THE FUTURE OF BIRDS ~
Arguably the most important thing we can do for bird conservation is mentor the next generation to love and value the natural world. Children are the future birders, scientists, artists and voters. Please take a look at the information in the link below about a program that has a great track record of working with children in Chicago to get them out of their classrooms into their neighborhoods to study and appreciate common city birds like cardinals, robins and goldfinches. The program relies on volunteers who are trained to be classroom and neighborhood guides. Consider whether this is something you might want to do and sign up now for the next training session. If you do decide to participate in this program let us know. We would like to write a story for the this website and for our newsletter, the Compass, about Chicago Audubon's educational efforts. Thank you for considering it. Everyone is very very busy, but busy people make time for important things.
~~ ANNUAL APPEAL 2016 ~~
Your donation to our 2016 Annual Appeal will help us to achieve our on-going goals of protecting migratory birds, the restoration and protection of bird habitat and habitat for all wildlife, and educating the public about the importance of these goals. Please click here if you would like to donate using you credit card. If you prefer, you may call our office to speak to the Administrator and make a charge over the phone (773-539-6793). If you reach voice mail, please leave a message with your name and phone number (only), and the Administrator will return your call. Another option would be to donate by mailing a check made out to Chicago Audubon Society to our address at: Chicago Audubon Society, 5801-C North Pulaski Road, Chicago, IL 60646. If you have any questions, please call ourr office at the number just above.
We thank you for your timely support and for your support in the past!
~ CHICAGO AUDUBON ANNUAL BIRD SEED SALE 2016 ~
We wish to extend many, many thanks to
Good Earth Greenhouse in River Forest and to Nature House in Chicago
for hosting our pickup day for our bird seed sale in 2016.
Without your help and the help of all of our wonderful Volunteers,
this sale would not be possible!
We look forward to seeing you all again this coming Autumn.
Keep an eye on our website in early September
for publication of deadlines and pickup date.
Good Birding to all!
Congratulations to the winners of Chicago Audubon's First Annual Photo Contest. We would like to thank all of you who entered for sharing your beautiful images with us. We also thank our judges for their valuable time and support. And many thanks to the Field Museum and the Chicago Botanic Garden for donating prizes.
1st Place: Steven Jner Palm Warbler
3rd Place: Jennifer Marshall Black-crowned Night Heron
We look forward to seeing even more entries for Chicago Audubon's
Second Annual Photo Contest in 2017.
"This network of pools, channels and islands winds between Winnetka, Northfield and Glencoe. With public boat access (boasting some of Cook County’s best fishing), biking and hiking trails and picnic areas, this well loved, wooded preserve offers peaceful retreats and activities around every bend. The Skokie Lagoons Forest Preserve covers 894 acres." Cook County Forest Preserve District fpdcc.com.
THE SKOKIE LAGOONS -- By John Elliott, Chicago Audubon Society Conservation Committee
Long before there was a forest preserve, before a settlement called Chicago was founded on the prairie, before Jean Baptiste DuSable built a trading post on the Chicago River, when explorers Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet made the first recorded passage by Europeans over the Chicago Portage, a grand old bur oak much like the one pictured here would have already been a maturing tree. Known to relatively few, the original still stands today surrounded by a tangle of buckthorn on the western edge of Erickson Woods preserve of the Skokie Lagoons.
When the Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the Skokie Lagoons during the great depression of the 1930’s, the region gained a fishing, boating, hiking and biking recreation area—at the cost of losing a diverse marshland home to many wild creatures. From Willow Road to Lake-Cook Road in Winnetka the only remnants of those original communities is a sedge meadow and the neighboring grand old oak that lie between the levee and drainage channel of the lagoons. Over the years much of the land was overrun by buckthorn and other invasive species of marginal value to wildlife. After the lakes of the lagoon system were dredged and rehabilitated in the 1990’s, some hardy volunteers took on the challenge of remedying at least a small portion of past neglect. Chicago Audubon’s Jerry Garden was the first volunteer steward to work on removing invasive species at a lagoon site along Tower Road in Winnetka, beginning at the shore just east of the parking area along Tower Road. After Jerry left us for Alaska, Dave Kosnik and Daniel Kielson took over as stewards. A few years later, Gary Morrissey also joined the stewardship team. In the past few years, work has been concentrated north of Tower, working east towards Forestway Drive. Buckthorn has been removed from much of the target area. While buckthorn removal remains a regular workday activity—and a favorite of many volunteers—there is a renewed emphasis on follow-up work. Even though “it’s not as much fun,” Dave says, follow up maintenance is defense against recolonization and is now a very important task. In spring, control of garlic mustard is also needed.
Quite a few years ago I put in my small bit of effort working with Mighty Acorns school groups removing buckthorn around that historic oak. In the past few years, responsibility for restoration there has fallen to Adam Kessel of the Cook County Forest Preserves. Unfortunately, he reports, the last school working there left the program two years ago, and the re-sprouting of buckthorn threatens to overwhelm what had been accomplished. Meanwhile, volunteers worked with district contractors to remove teasel from the sedge meadow. Dave Kosnik reports success. If all goes well the meadow will only need prescribed fire for maintenance. Teasel removal was spearheaded by the site’s bird monitors who then documented the return of shrubland birds like Willow Flycatchers. Daniel Kielsen is also president of an organization called the Backyard Nature Center (BYNC) which works with schools, turning the lagoons into something of an outdoor classroom. Their main focus of late has been on aquatics. The BYNC is a community organization in New Trier Township spanning Glencoe and Winnetka that works to connect children, youth, and adults with local natural areas. It is particularly active in bringing school groups to the Lagoons (and other preserves) for science lessons and service learning.
Prothonotary Warblers and Red-headed Woodpeckers that have nested here testify to the importance of restoration for habitat. Migrant birds are finding critical resting stops here now. Lake restoration greatly improved resources for wintering waterfowl, including a Barrow’s Goldeneye that was a winter visitor several years ago. Dave says, “The Skokie Lagoons is a special place, a big area with a lot of diverse habitat in the middle of suburbia. Many people use the lagoons for recreation, and the many native and migrant birds and other animals that live there make it a really important place.” Thanks Dave, Daniel, and Gary! Thanks volunteers! The reward is knowing you have contributed in a perhaps small but no doubt valuable way to the revival of habitat for birds and other creatures.
Workdays every second Saturday of the month welcome any and all volunteers. Contact Dave Kosnik at [email protected] for information.