County: We’ll dig the holes if you plant the trees

COUNTY—The Forest Preserve District of Kane County seeks volunteers to help plant 400 oak trees on Saturday, Sept. 26, as part of National Public Lands Day (NPLD).

National Public Lands Day is America’s largest hands-on, volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands. Last year, an estimated 120,000 Americans took part by building trails and bridges, removing trash and invasive plants, and planting more than 1.6 million trees. 2009 marks the event’s 16th year.

Locally, the Forest Preserve District of Kane County is looking for volunteers to help plant oak trees at Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve in Elburn between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

This will be the third year that trees have been planted at Johnson’s Mound Forest Preserve as part of NPLD. Director of Natural Resources Drew Ullberg said the goal is to recreate an oak savanna that once stood at that preserve. Each year, plantings are adjacent to what was planted the prior year. Ullberg said he hopes to get between five and 10 trees planted per acre, with 2,000 total trees planted over five years.

“This is a terrific event because it brings the community together, anyone can take part, and it improves the forest preserves for generations to come,” said Laurie Metanchuk, director of community affairs.

“We had just about 100 volunteers come out last year, and we hope to have even more take part this year,” she said.

For more information on the Forest Preserve event or to RSVP, please contact the District’s Volunteer Coordinator Julia Bourque at (630) 762-2741.

Information on National Public Lands Day is also available at www.kaneforest.com.