Woods && Wetlands

Woods & Wetlands


Joining Illinois Sierra Club Members in Lake and Northeastern Cook Counties

March, 2001, Issue #32

In This Issue 

Go To Article

CALENDAR: Meetings & Outings

Go To Article

Discover Sun Lake

Go To Article

W&W Considers Local Election Endorsements

Go To Article

Outings Committee Forms

Go To Article

Hike the Rt. 53 Corridor

Go To Article

Join the Club, Get Involved !

Go To Article

Printable pdf W&W News

Contributions Welcome!


Return to Top

½n¿n½n¿n½n¿n½ C A L E N D A R  ¿n½n¿n½n¿n½n¿
{ Meetings O Outings

Outings Sign-up Policy

Thinking about doing an outing? Don't wait until the last minute to let us know. We set limits on the number of participants, and also sign-up deadlines. Unless stated, no show 'n go's. Sign up today!

Discover Sun Lake Return to Top

by John Massman
Imagine a tallgrass prairie full of big bluestem, Indian grass, pink phlox and white prairie clover. Imagine a small pristine lake surrounded by a high quality marsh with pickerelweed, royal fern and marsh fern. Imagine a cool savanna with great bur oaks punctuating porcupine grass and starry campion.

The Woods and Wetlands group recently established a partnership with the Lake County Forest Preserve District to restore the Sun Lake preserve to this presettlement splendor.

This is an opportunity for members to experience a firsthand relationship with a remnant of genuine native wilderness, while making a real difference restoring critical wildlife habitat. As was once said, "it's a big job, so we'd better get started."

Sun Lake itself accounts for only 24 acres of the preserve. It's surrounded and protected by 70 acres of calcareous floating mat and marsh, 70 acres of dry-mesic upland forest, and 25 acres of successional field. The lake is approximately 6 feet deep. In spite of its modest proportions, it's the gem of the site. It provides habitat for the state endangered aquatic pondweed (Potamogeton gramineus), and was called Lake County's most pristine body of water in the Sequoit Creek Watershed Water Quality Study. The floating mat consists primarily of overgrown cattail, purple loosestrife and willow, but it also supports a population of the state threatened bod bedstraw (Galium labradoricum).

Sun Lake receives water from several sources. Groundwater discharge, direct precipitation, runoff from the adjacent uplands, and outflow from Deep Lake all contribute to its waters. Sequoit Creek, which flows out of Sun Lake, is a highly channelized stream that flows north, through a dormant wetland area, to Antioch. It empties into Lake Marie and eventually into the Fox River.

The upland dry-mesic forest has been severely degraded by grazing, farming and logging. The understory is dominated by Eurasian shrubs, including honeysuckles and buckthorn, over a ground layer of alien and disturbance-adapted native species.

The prime threats to the long-term integrity of Sun Lake are

  1. the potential use of the dam between Deep Lake and Sun Lake to regulate levels within Deep Lake, which would be detrimental to the hydrologic regime within Sun Lake, and
  2. the impact of recent and planned residential developments adjacent to the forest preserve, particularly water quality degradation resulting from lawn chemicals, septic systems and recreational use of the natural area.
Volunteer restoration activities so far have focused on eliminating buckthorn, honeysuckle and wild grape from areas within 50 feet of Sun Lake. It's been a lot of work, and although much more needs to be done, the effort is paying off.

Now we're considering ways to invite participation in this worthy project by many more of our members, both young and wise, big and small. We're looking for volunteers to join the Sun Lake Restoration Committee, and plan involvement of members to implement restoration projects. This will include:

The next meeting of the new Sun Lake Restoration Committee will be on March 24th in Grayslake. Contact our conservation chairs: John Massman <beritz@earthlink.net> or Mike Quinn <drngo11@aol.com> to join the committee. Or leave a message in box 4 on the Hotline: 847-680-6437.
Use These Jewel Shop & Share and Dominick's Benefit Days Coupons. 
Just click Coupons, print them out, and turn them in at the checkout on any of the designated days.

Woods & Wetlands Considers Local Election Endorsements Return to Top

by Mary Van Vactor
The Woods and Wetlands group currently considers election endorsements for candidates at the county and state levels, but not for candidates in municipal elections. Since most development occurs within municipal boundaries, influencing elections at the local level could have an enormous effect on growth and environmental protection in our area.

Our group Executive Committee (ExCom) recently considered making endorsements in selected municipal elections. Since our territory covers a large area with many municipalities, local endorsements can only be made with help from members who reside in those municipalities. Therefore, the following requirements must be met before Woods & Wetlands will consider endorsing a candidate in any community:

  1. At least two (but preferably more) Sierra Club members from the municipality must volunteer to serve on the group's Political Committee. These members will identify local issues and help write the questionnaire that will be sent to all candidates of that municipality. They should also be prepared to participate in other group endorsement decisions.
  2. Political Committee Members must help campaign for the endorsed candidate(s).  Tasks usually include: writing articles for the W&W News,  press releases, press conferences, stuffing envelopes, canvassing neighborhoods, or contacting voters.
The Political Committee evaluates candidates that return questionnaires, and decides whether to recommend any to our ExCom for Club endorsement.

The Sierra Club takes endorsements quite seriously, and applies a high standard. To protect the club's good name, every effort is made to ensure that the candidates will actively and successfully support environmental protection. The club does not endorse candidates who are merely the lesser of two evils, and reserves the right not to make any endorsement in a particular race.

If you would like to help the Woods and Wetlands group to consider endorsing candidates for your town or village, please contact Mary Van Vactor at 847-949-1355, or Gerry Rodell at 847-367-5676.

Outings Committee Forms Return to Top

by Evan Craig
Several members who came on our December Cross Country Ski outing were eager to have more outings with more members. We recently held our first planning outing of the W&W Outings Committee, and the few outings already listed on the website (see above) are the result. New group members often contact us looking for an outing, and with more of us leading outings, we hope to have more to offer. The Club provides training for outings leaders, and we welcome members who would like to help make W&W more fun by becoming leaders. Contact Evan.

Hike the Rt. 53 Corridor Return to Top

by Evan Craig
The Hawthorn Woods Heron Rookery is just one of the precious wildlife habitats threatened by the Rt. 53 extension. We calculate that corridor wetlands alone comprise 178 acres. We would like to visit others threatened areas, and need to discover and explore them. If you've seen those little green "FAP 342" markers along the roads near where you live, we need your help. Survey the land within a quarter mile of those signs. Find out who owns them, and help us draw attention to them with an outing later this year. For a corridor map, see: http://www.sierraclub.org/il/chapters/w&w/route53.html#FAP342. Contact Evan, our outings Chair with information (See masthead on the back page).

W&W Volunteer Opportunities Return to Top

Your local group is run entirely by local volunteers. Please donate your time and talent to help promote protection and enjoyment of our local environment. Check out the list of open volunteer positions on the Volunteer page..

Join Sierra Club ! Return to Top
When you or your friend join Sierra Club, it helps make the Club stronger. When you do it using a W&W form, more of your membership contribution goes to W&W for local action. Copy this invitation into an e-mail to your friends and edit it so they know it's from you. E-mail your friend.

Friend - 
I belong to the Sierra Club Woods & Wetlands because it helps me understand, enjoy, and protect our environment. The Woods & Wetlands Group organizes members from Lake and NE Cook counties for local events, outings and actions. Membership includes the benefits of the national Club: Outings, Sierra magazine, and involvement with national issues. Visit their websites: http://www.sierraclub.org/chapters/il/w&w/ and you'll see what I mean. I hope you'll consider helping to protect our environment and become a member.

Send Us Your E-mail AddressReturn to Top

In an effort to cut costs and improve effectiveness, we are giving you the option of receiving issues of this W&W News on our Web site, with e-mail notices, instead of by mail. So far only 34 of our 2,000 members have joined the ALERTS list and requested this option by using their membership number in place of their lastname (see below).

Members are invited to join the W&W group's e-mail lists. On the ALERTS list you will receive infrequent timely posts from the Group Chair (only), primarily on local issues. Some of these appear on this website, and if you subscribe you will learn about them in time to help. The ISSUES list allows you to share in a discussion with other W&Wers. To sign up, click LISTS, and then, for each one you want to try out, insert your name into these commands in the body of the message :
SUB IL-WWG-ALERTS firstname lastname
SUB IL-WWG-ISSUES firstname lastname
and send the message.

We do not share e-mail address lists, and you can remove yourself from either list at any time.

Printable pdf W&W News Return to Top

Here's the printed version of this issue of the W&W News in pdf. It's 431kb, you'll need Acrobat to view it, and it should look like the copy members get in the mail. If you want to give a copy to a friend, we suggest printing this pdf rather than this web page.

Contributions Welcome

To return to the Main selection page, click Go Back to Main