The Elmhurst Great Western Prairie is located within Wild Meadows Trace just north of the Prairie Path between Spring Road and Salt Creek. This area is the oldest living environment in Elmhurst. Left by chance, the existence of the prairie adds a very special ecological dimension to the community.
Volunteers are needed to help restore a part of our past to its former beauty.
Below are the ten (10) planned volunteer work dates for 2019. Note that they are the third Saturday of each month (plus an extra in June), March through November, 9 a.m. until Noon. In addition, we may add a few special work days for larger groups (schools, service organizations, corporate projects) wanting to do service projects:
• March 16
• April 20
• May 18
• June 15 and June 22 (two dates)
• July 20
• August 17
• September 21
• October 19
• November 16
We meet on the east side of Berkley Avenue at the Illinois Prairie Path (Prairie Path Lane). That is three blocks south of St. Charles Road, four blocks west of Spring Road and six blocks east of Rt. 83 (view map). On volunteer days, we might be working anywhere in the mile long stretch between Spring Road to the east and Salt Creek to the west, but the bench at the halfway point at Berkley Ave is our home base and parking is easy there. Always fun and a full body workout, and more worthwhile than a couple hours at the gym! Sometimes after a few hours work, we grab a burger together at a local beanery!
Some news about the EGWP
- The Crestview Garden Club has given us a most appreciated grant to purchase tools for our volunteer efforts. With that money, additional loppers, a couple folding pruning saws and a new first aide kit have been purchased by the Park District. Many thanks to the membership of the Elmhurst's Crestview Garden Club for providing us with the tools we need to remove invasive plants that crowd out native prairie species.
- If you have any unused loppers, hand trowels, folding pruning saws, we will happily put them to good use! Monetary donations are wonderful as well, but need to be routed to the Elmhurst Park District. Visit the Make a Donation page for more information.
A few pointers for volunteers
- Volunteers should wear durable work clothes: Long sleeved shirt, long jeans, closed-toed shoes (boots are best), and a hat. If you have work gloves, please bring those as well, but we can provide. You will get dirty and might find a few seed passengers attached to your clothes.
- Sunscreen and mosquito repellent are advised depending on the season. There is no drinking water on site, so please bring some refreshment.
- Neighboring Grace Bible Church has kindly offered us use of their restrooms.
- Most of our work involves cutting brush, so if you have loppers, bring them along. No power tools are permitted.
- Hazards to be aware of include: Thorns and sharp-edged plants, trip hazards, sun exposure. There are currently no known poison ivy or ticks in the EGWP, but the possibility of exposure cannot be ruled out.
- Children over 12 years old can be very helpful, but will require direct supervision by their sponsoring organization. Children under 12 will require one-on-one supervision during work days.
- Groups of more than four new volunteers are encourage to contact Eric Keeley (see below). Our regular volunteers can happily arrange special volunteer work days and educational walks on days other than our usual monthly dates for corporate, school and community groups.
Questions and further information
David Price (Elmhurst Park District Horticulturalist) at dprice [at] epd.org or (630) 993-8909
Eric Keeley (EGWP Steward Volunteer) at keeley.eric [at] gmail.com or (630) 336-1852
Keith Olson (EGWP Steward Volunteer) at keitholson [at] usa.net or (630) 834-7357