1993 Proceedings of the Midwest Oak Savanna Conferences
A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO VOLUNTEER ADMINISTRATION
FOR OAK SAVANNA RESTORATION PROJECTS
McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD)
6512 Harts Road
Ringwood, IL 60072
Tel: (815) 678-4431
VOLUNTEER TRAINING SCHEDULE 1993
NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
May 21, 1993
Natural History of Northeastern Illinois
7:30 PM - 9:30 PM Wiedrich Barn - Dr. Wayne Schennum
June 12, 1993
Brush cutting/Chain Saw Safety Workshop
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Main St. Prairie, Cary - Brad Woodson
July 13, 1993
6:30 PM - 9:00 PM Wiedrich Barn - Ed Collins, Brad Woodson
November 13, 1993
Prescribed Burn Workshop
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM Wiedrich Barn - Ed Collins
To be arranged First Aid/CPR
Contact Mike Martinez at (815) 678-4431 if interested.
This schedule was first distributed on April 29, at the Natural Resource
management volunteer organizational meeting.
APPENDIX C: HELLER PICKPOCKET PROGRAM (PDHP)
SAVE HELLER'S SAVANNAS AND WOODLANDS
BECOME A HELLER PICKPOCKET!
Have you ever felt like being a little unlawful - to dabble a little
in crime? More precisely, have you ever dreamed of being a modem day Robin
Hood - to steal from the rich and give to the poor? Just think of it, by
doing a little bad you could do a lot of good. We at Heller would like
to make it possible for you to live out this dream as a Heller Pickpocket.
What is a Heller Pickpocket?
A Heller Pickpocket is a member of a nature-loving gang who has one
noble mission in mind - to save the Heller savannas and woodlands. Each
pickpocket picks a pocket of savanna or woodland to save
and then unleashes a merciless attack on any and all non-native "weeds"
that has the nerve to set root in a Heller savanna or woodland Pocket.
Why are these non-native weeds such a hated and powerful adversary?
These non-natives are an aggressive bunch who live to invade once healthy
savannas and woodlands crowding out and stealing sunlight from the innocent
native plants. The most unscrupulous and dangerous of these invaders is
a tree known as Buckthom. With reckless abandon, this evil tree penetrates
the savanna or woodland and colonizes to form a dense canopy under our
majestic oaks which even the hardiest of natives cannot survive. This invasion
leaves the savanna or woodland choked and our oaks unable to reproduce.
How Can Innocent Pickpockets Help The Savanna and Woodlands Win
This One-sided War?
By becoming armed and dangerous! The Heller staff will first
arm you with training All Pickpockets will learn to identify, seek out,
and destroy any non-natives that have penetrated the pocket they have chosen
to save. The method of destruction may be hand pulling of wimpy weeds,
cutting down with hand saws of more noxious non-native trees and eventually
leading up to the most potent weapon to non-natives - FIRE (indeed Pickpockets
dabble in arson). The Heller Arsenal will provide all of your weapons which
include work gloves (so you do not leave any fingerprnnts), safety goggles,
hand saws, lopping shears, and field guides. In addition, you will be given
a sign to post while your war is being waged - we do not want any curious
or innocent bystanders hit by friendly fire.
Who Can Become a Heller Pickpocket?
Saving Savanna is no picnic so our Pickpockets must be hardy folks,
not afraid of some hard and sweaty work. A pocket can be picked by an entire
family (family members 10 years and up) or by an individual
or group of individuals (16 years and up). As in most criminal activity,
some element of danger is involved so our Pickpockets need to be cautious
How Do We Start?
Talk to Tim Girmscheid (the Pickpocket Kingpin) at Heller [(847)
more information. He will arrange individual or group training and get
you started. Fall and Winter are great things to do the tree clearing.
Of course, we will take everyone's mug shot and post them in the Pickpocket
Mugshot book. Remember to be a successful Pickpocket you need to make a
long-term commitment to your savanna or woodland restoration project.
This effort will be paid back many times over in the satisfaction you receive
in knowing that you have saved a perilously threatened natural area. This
is your chance to become the environmental hero we all need to save our
Here are some helpful notes on how to properly restore a pocket of woodland
or savanna. You will see that the process boils down to 4 steps - CUT,
PULL, SEED AND BURN. Do not hesitate to call Tim at (847) 681-2189 to answer
the additional questions which will come up. Remember that the volunteer
project you are embarking upon is one of crucial importance and necessity
to bring Heller back to its natural splendor!
1) SAFETY - This is crucial! Safety goggles, work gloves,
and helmets (with face shields) are available in the pickpocket Arsenal.
You must wear gloves and either goggles or a helmet with faceshield whenever
you are brush clearing or in other dangerous situations.
2) POCKET TYPE AND SIZE - There are 2 types of pockets
you can pick:
SAVANNA - Essentially prairie with large scattered Oaks dispersed. There
are some plant species which will grow under the Oaks but not in the prairie.
WOODLAND - Hardwood forest where the crowns of the trees touch and merge
and there are little or no openings. Often times a woodland and a savanna
will merge with no distinct line between them.
The size of your pocket is up to you and of course can expand with time.
We will give you some guidelines on the location of your pocket but you
will choose the specific pocket - after all you are the pickpocket!
3) TOOLS - All the tools you will need can be checked
from the Pickpocket Arsenal. Please return them clean and dry for other
Pickpockets to use. If any need repair leave them with the Heller staff
for The Pickpocket Kingpin (Tim) to repair.
4) WEED REMOVAL - The following trees and shrubs should
be removed by cutting with loppers if 1" or less and with bow saws if greater
European Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)
Glossy Buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula)
Hawthorns - All 4" in diameter or less. Consult with Tim for any larger
Honeysuckles - All
THERE ARE FIELD GUIDES AND TRUNK SAMPLES OF THESE IN THE ARSENAL TO TAKE
WITH YOU TO HELP WITH IDENTIFICATION. IF YOU ARE STILL UNSURE, TIM CAN
MARK THESE WITH ORANGE PAINT - JUST ASK. ONCE CUT, THE BRUSH SHOULD BE
PLACED IN PILES OF 10-20 MEDIUM TREES OR THE EQUIVALENT ALONG THE EDGE
OF THE CLOSEST TRAIL OR ROAD WITH THE TRUNKS POINTING TOWARDS THE TRAIL
AND THE CROWNS ANGLED AWAY FROM THE TRAIL. THIS WILL HELP TIM DRAG THE
BRUSH OUT WITH THE ATV 4 WHEELER.
These non-woody weeds should also be removed:
- White Sweet Clover - Hand pull up to and during the early flowering
stage which is normally June and July. Bag and remove to the composting
area in the compound by the garage.
- Garlic Mustard - Hand pull when flowering (May-June). Bag and remove
to the composting area in the compound by the garage.
After initial clearing, your pocket will need follow up weed removal
for a couple of years until burning can control them on its own.
5) SEED COLLECTING AND PLANTING - Once your pocket is
cleared of brush, native seeds can be introduced in areas
that are weak in native plants. This usually happens in late Fall after
burning or early spring. Heller will provide the seed and instructions
when needed. Your pocket may be used as a "seed nursery" and your help
in collecting would be great! A second option is to raise native plants
in your own yard and transplant into your pocket. This ensures a higher
success rate but requires more of your time. Call Tim (433-6901) if you
6) BURNING - The "final blow" to alien weeds is fire.
Once your pocket is cleared we can try to burn but it usually takes a couple
of years for enough fuel (native plants which were being choked by brush)
to build up for a hot fire. You are welcome to help Heller staff burn your
pocket. This usually occurs during the week and on short notice due to
changing weather conditions which burning depends upon. If you want to
help you need to call Tim and get on our "Burn List" to call before we
7) HERBICIDING - Herbiciding of tree and shrub stumps
is usually a necessary part of ecological restoration. We minimize use
by choosing the best chemical and using it at the best time. YOU WILL NOT
BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY HERBICIDING. We will notify you if we will be herbiciding
in your pocket. We will also post appropriate signage before, during, and
after any herbiciding. If you have any questions or concerns are left unaddressed
please talk with Tim for more information.
8) PUBLIC RELATIONS AND SIGNAGE - To the general visitor,
ecological restoration seems confusing - "Why are you cutting down the
trees?" is a common question. You as an educated restoration volunteer
working in the field are our best hope of educating them. Don't be shy
answering questions and sharing your enthusiasm! If you cannot answer their
questions refer them to the Heller staff. We also ask that you post an
"Ecological Restoration In Progress" sign from the Pickpocket Arsenal while
working in your pocket.
IF I HAVE MISSED ANYTHING PLEASE GIVE ME A CALL AT 433-6901.
ENJOY YOUR RESTORATION WORK!
ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION IN PROGRESS
This "Pocket" is being actively restored to presettlement conditions
by Heller Nature Center Volunteers. "Weed" trees such as Buckthorn and
other alien plants are removed and native seeds are introduced. Eventually,
prescribed burning will be used to maintain the natural integrity and splendor
of this area. Ask for more information on ecological restoration and volunteering
at the Heller Nature Center.
The Park District of Highland Park
Steward's Annual Report -19____
Please provide us with the following information:
1) Total number of volunteers that worked at this site during the year
(including yourself) _____________ Circle: Actual
*Note, an individual that volunteered on more than one
occasion should be counted only once here.
2) Total number of volunteer hours completed in ecological management
at this site during the year (including Steward's hours)
_____________ Circle: Actual Estimate
3) Total number of volunteer hours completed by volunteers conducting
plant and animal monitoring activities at this site durin
the year________ Circle: Actual Estimate
3) Total number of volunteer hours completed in administration, recruiting,
education, planning, etc. at this site during the
year_______ Circle: Actual Estimate
4) List all special events held during the year (Training programs,
tours, Earth Day celebrations, interpretive programs, etc.).
Total number of people who attended these events:__________
Circle: Actual Estimate
TOOL INVENTORY: How many do you use?
How many do you need?
MCCD tools: Saws Loppers Goggles
Glasses Helmets Chaps
_____ _____ _____ _____
_____ _____ _____ _____
Please use the back of this page to describe any other support that
you need from the Conservation District. Thank you.
Return by December 31 to:
McHenry County Conservation District (MCCD)
6512 Harts Road
Ringwood, IL 60072