Morton Arboretum Seminar Explores Benefits Of “Extreme Makeovers” In Nature
Plants, Birds, Insects, Other Animals Make Themselves At Home; People Benefit Too
LISLE, IL (February 9, 2006) – They say you can’t go home again. But for a diverse array of plants, birds, insects and other animals, “home” is just like it once was thanks to tireless volunteers and others who restore open spaces to their natural condition. Now, The Morton Arboretum presents “Wildly Successful” - a seminar showing how to invite nature into your backyard through restoration, the benefits of restoration, and even how to ease children’s concerns about environmental ills.
“The impact of public and private partnerships to restore natural areas is tremendous, and we’ll explore these restorations from every angle” said Jan Little, Arboretum Assistant Director of Education.
Over time, people transformed open spaces into farmlands, lawns, roads and parking lots. This disturbed the ecological balance of natural areas, severely hindered some plant species, and forced animal species to look elsewhere for the proper habitat. Now, however, public and private groups have begun to turn back the clock and restore these areas to their natural condition. The benefits to people can include floodwater management, biodiversity and a better quality of life for nearby residents.
Rare turtles and prairie plants have found a home in McHenry County’s newly-restored natural areas. Seminar experts will discuss how the influx of these and other species suggests the restoration techniques are successful, and that they could be a model for future work.
The seminar will also present a strategy to combat Ecophobia in children. Studies show that many young children who hear stories about acid rain, rainforest destruction and global climate change develop a feeling that they cannot control an environment in crisis. However, the Arboretum seminar will reveal strategies for counteracting such concerns in children, directing children’s interest toward the joys and excitement of nature’s wonders.
In fact, some youngsters have enjoyed the technical aspects of restoration, with impressive results. A high school teacher will describe how his students conducted natural area field studies of soil, life forms and inorganic material in water, and insect and plant diversity. The quality of their results was so high, the students earned special recognition from the State of Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Finally, attendees will hear a presentation on how to restore your own backyard to its natural condition with native plants – all bringing a diverse group of birds, insects and other animals into the backyard.
The seminar occurs Saturday, February 25 from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. at the Arboretum’s Thornhill Education Center. Tuition is $95 for non-members and $75 for members. To register, call 630/719-2468 or go online at www.mortonarb.org.
The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized 1,700-acre outdoor museum with collections of more than 3,700 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (CDT) and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST). The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) and 9:30 to 4 p.m. (CST). Visit www.mortonarb.org or call 630/968-0074 to learn more.