Woods & Wetlands
Joining Illinois Sierra Club Members in Lake and Northeastern Cook Counties
March, 2001, Issue #32
In This Issue
CALENDAR: Meetings & Outings
Discover Sun Lake
W&W Considers Local Election Endorsements
Outings Committee Forms
Hike the Rt. 53 Corridor
Join the Club, Get Involved !
Printable pdf W&W News
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
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
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
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
The prime threats to the long-term integrity of Sun Lake are
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.
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
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.
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
The next meeting of the new Sun Lake Restoration Committee will be on March
24th in Grayslake. Contact our conservation chairs: John Massman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
or Mike Quinn <email@example.com> to join the committee. Or leave a message
in box 4 on the Hotline: 847-680-6437.
a continuing discovery of the site's natural history,
identification and reintroduction of the processes which created and sustained
the natural communities of these areas in presettlement times (fire, hydrology,
patterns and methods of species dispersal),
continuing control of problem species,
construction of non intrusive access to the site for human visitors,
fun ways for our members to support the projects.
|Use These Jewel Shop & Share and Dominick's Benefit
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
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:
The Political Committee evaluates candidates that return questionnaires,
and decides whether to recommend any to our ExCom for Club endorsement.
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.
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 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
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
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
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
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
W&W Volunteer Opportunities
Join Sierra Club !
INVITE A FRIEND TO JOIN SIERRA CLUB TODAY
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
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 Address
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.
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.
Printable pdf W&W News
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