Does LaBagh Woods Matter? Restoration and Why LaBagh is Critical for the Plants and Animals of the Chicago area
The Priory, Room 259, Dominican University, 7200 W. Division, River Forest, IL, 31245 Map
Does LaBagh Woods Matter? Restoration and Why LaBagh is Critical for thePlants and Animals of the Chicago Area.
Presented by Jeff Skrentny
Does a place as small as LaBagh Woods matter?
Should a small 80 acre floodplain and upland woods deserve the restoration attention it has been getting the last 21 months? Especially one that is so heavily used by humans in such a dense urban environment?
LaBagh Woods has surprised us. It helps us understand just how critical every small natural patch is to nature in an overdeveloped world where many small patches are sometimes all our native plants and animals have. If we look carefully, it is almost shocking what is surviving at LaBagh. With restoration efforts, maybe we can help those organisms thrive, and not just survive.
So what calls LaBagh home? Lets explore LaBagh together, through photos, just what birds, plants, animals, and what other creatures and organisms we have discovered at LaBagh the last few years, as well as investigate the invasive plants, and other factors, that threaten them. Once you see what LaBagh is home to, you can answer the question yourself: Does a place like LaBagh matter?
About Jeff Skrentny:
Meet Jeff Skrentny, an accidental naturalist in training. Jeff began his trip down the self educated naturalist training path when he decided he was going to be a birder starting on January 1st, 2006. Yes, he picked an exact date to start as a birder. He IDed six species his first day as a birder. As he gained experience as a birder, it became apparent to him how quality habitat equaled quality birds.
When his eldest daughter began 3rd grade in the fall of 2011, she was enrolled in an Ecology program at Waters Elementary, in Chicago, called Mighty Acorns. As a parent volunteer, and birder, Jeff was as much a student as any of them. It was through this parent volunteering under the guidance of program teacher Pete Leki, that Jeff began to understand and appreciate the ecological importance of LaBagh Woods, where the students of Waters went for their Mighty Acorns field trips..
LaBagh has long been known to be a critical bit of bird migration habitat. Because of this, Jeff was interested in a plan the Chicago Ornithological Society was making in the fall of 2014 to fund raise in 2015 to participate with the Forest Preserves LaBagh Woods restoration project. Jeff then met project leader and LaBagh Steward, Josh Coles of The Centennial Volunteers, and has been integrally involved in the restoration work at LaBagh Woods since. He is especially excited to be involved with this restoration because it is being done with a deliberate focus to keep avian intrests at the forefront of the their efforts at LaBagh.
Jeff has now invested about 2000 volunteer hours at LaBagh Woods birding and bird monitoring, photo documenting the wildlife there, as well as planning, leading and conducting restoration efforts there, for the birds. Much of which he has documented on his Facebook Group My Years Birding at LaBagh Woods. The work has been hard and sometimes difficult, but the human and natural rewards have made him committed to the restoration effort at LaBagh, and in EVERY small bit of habitat that people chose to become involved restoring, maintaining and preserving. These small places matter.
Free and open to the public. Park on the east side of The Priory and enter through the door on the east. Follow the hallway to the end, turn left, and follow that hallway. Turn right up the stairs (or go straight to the elevator), and head up to the second floor.
For the accessibility entrance, enter through the south doors. There is an elevator, which goes to the second floor. Exit the elevator and turn left for Room 259.