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ECCo Partners with Calumet Area College Students to Restore Local Natural Area

Photo: Leslee Jackson

On April 23, 2011, staff from The Field Museum’s Division of Environment, Culture, and Conservation organized the first-ever volunteer stewardship day for the Calumet Higher Environmental Education Partnership, a group of local Calumet-area universities and colleges. Twenty-one students and facility from Chicago State University, The University of Chicago, and South Suburban College came together to remove invasive species at William Powers State Conservation Area on the Illinois side of Wolf Lake in celebration of Earth Day.

For most of the students this volunteer day was their first time to the state park and their first experience in ecological restoration or stewardship. For ECCo, the partnership is the next step on the Division’s ladder of environmental education in the Calumet Region, where students have opportunities to learn about and connect with local nature at various stages of their educational experience through the Calumet Environmental Education Program (CEEP).

One participant started off the day a little unhappy about the need to walk on a wet and muddy trail to reach the stewardship location. But by the end of the day, this same participant exclaimed to one of the organizers, “I feel good…I feel real good…I definitely want to come back and do this again!” 

Volunteers remove invasive brush at stewardship workday.  Photo: Leslee Jackson