Some of our youth interns wanted to let you know what they’ve been working on this summer. Check out their projects and accomplishments!
This year our Conservation Crew is comprised of 36 youth — 18 work on Monday and Thursday and the other 18 work Wednesday and Friday.
Bike Crew: Each day about half of the youth interns are in the new conservation bike crew and the other half are in the van crew. Interns on the bike crew ride their bikes to Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, the Mounds Boulevard rain garden and the Gateway rain garden. All interns in the conservation crew were taught how to ride a bike safely, such as using gear safely and hand signals when riding on the busy city streets.
DNR: This year we have expanded our work with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) partnering to help restore the land at the Willowbrook Fish Hatchery site. The Conservation Crew interns remove invasive plants and plant new native plants. Some of the invasive plants we have been removing are garlic mustard, mother wart, buckthorn, and burdock. We also help maintain the butterfly garden, which contains many native plants, such as prairie blazing star, cardinal flower, butterfly weed, purple cone-flower and more. We are also working on an interpretive tour around the DNR site and have developed a geocaching tour as well.
Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary: New this year, we began biking to Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary to remove invasive plants, including Garlic Mustard, Crown Vetch, Burdock, Spotted Knapweed, and many more. By removing these invasives we create more ground space for the native plants to grow and support the ecosystem. We have also been giving interpretive tours to the community to educate them about Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary.
Indian Mounds Park Tours: This year we also partnered with the National Park Services to give tours at Indian Mounds Park for community organizations. We had training on how to create an interpretive tour with the help of a park ranger. In our tour we inform people about Mounds Park from its history, sacred Indian Mounds, and the present prairies that are there, along with educating visitors about restoration. Not only that, but during the tour we also have them help remove burdock.
Pollinator Garden: The Harvest Star Crew Leaders, who are youth interns who have been at Urban Roots multiple years, helped design a pollinator garden. By creating the pollinator garden, this helps to attract a variety of pollinators, which helps with plant growth. The crew leader picked out appropriate pollinator plants, designed an area in the garden to place the plants, and helped research diseases that can affect the pollinator plants. The crew leader will helps with maintaining the pollinator garden.
We have had a very busy summer so far! Maybe you’ll see us at one of our sites or our bike crew riding in the East Side.