by Stephen Packard
Vestal Grove is a pint-size wilderness coming back to life. Rare orchids, birds, butterflies -- and rare people. This blog tells their stories.
More than 460 native species eat each other and support each other. That's what makes for beautiful and inspiring diversity. It's not make-believe or idealized; it's blood and guts, nectar and pollen, fire and ice, color, elegance and intricacy.
The people of Vestal Grove have been celebrated in books, TV and even song. But the stories that have been told just scratch the surface. Here we post news and tidbits of the ecology, restoration and conservation of Vestal -- and all the nearby forest preserves. These 90 acres of savanna, woodland, prairie and marsh are under the care of scores of wonderful people who study, plan, burn, cut brush, plant seeds, and otherwise work to make this site a healthy natural ecosystem.
The future of the ecosystem depends on what we think and do.
Stephen Packard is a talented writer for Vestal Grove, he devotes much of his time volunteering as site steward of Somme Prairie Grove, and is former long time Science and Stewardship Director for the Illinois Nature Conservancy and director of Audubon -- Chicago Region. We welcome his blog and talents to BackYard Nature Center.