By Viva Yeboah, Outdoor Afro Leader, Chicago
Outdoor Afro Chicago joined the local community of Calumet, Wild Indigo Exploration, Faith in Place, Eden Place and several other organizations at Eggers Wood Forest Preserve for the Millennium Reserve Urban Biodiversity week. This celebration was part of the National Urban Biodiversity Week that focuses on connecting more people with nature in their cities and surrounding areas.
Eggers Wood Forest Preserve! Ain’t it beautiful?!
To highlight the many opportunities, the Calumet region was selected as part of the week long celebration. In recent years with federal, state and local support there has been a focus to restore the Calumet region. Included in this transformation is restoring and enhancing Calumet ecosystem. For more information visit, Millennium Reserve:Calumet Core Initiative.
Our day at Egger Woods included a bird hike, tree id hike and a restoration project. Additionally, nature theme games and art projects were available for children. Our bird hike was lead by Paul Gitau, Director of Birding Syke Holidays. Since we are in the height of migration, were able to spot plenty of birds including: Scarlet Tanager, Cerulean Warbler, Goldfinch, Red-headed and Red-bellied Woodpeckers, and White crowned Sparrow. The Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America book definitely came in handy for this hike. Our Tree id hike was lead by John Pastirik. We were able to identify plenty of plants and trees including: Purple Violets (Illinois state flower), White Oak trees (Illinois state tree), Wild Columbines, Mayapples and Jack in the pulpit! During our hikes a restoration project was completed, in which invasive plant Garlic Mustard were pulled. A ceremony in celebration of the Millennium Reserve Week was held and speech given by Arnold Randall, superintendent of Cook County Forest Preserve.
Spotted birds even before getting on the trail!
Click here for more photos of a wonderful day!