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Native Plant Sale Proceeds Fund Student-Based Programs

Class instructs on the art of fly tying.

More than 70 varieties of sun-loving, shade-loving and savanna plants will be available for purchase at the Lake County Forest Preserves’ 14th annual Native Plant Sale.

Stop by Independence Grove Forest Preserve near Libertyville from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 7  and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 8 to purchase native wildflowers, grasses, shrubs, vines and trees that thrive in local gardens. For a complete list of plants, visit www.LCFPD.org/plantsale.
 
Held annually on Mother’s Day weekend, this Native Plant Sale is a fund-raiser benefiting the Forest Preserves’ EnviroPatrol Programs, including Mighty Acorns and Preservation Partners. These award-winning programs teach Lake County students from grade school to high school about the damaging effects of non-native species on the balance of nature. Students join the EnviroPatrol and become superheroes in the fight to keep nature healthy. Through team-building and hands-on conservation, the EnviroPatrol works alongside Forest Preserve educators to restore an adopted preserve.
 
Independence Grove is located on Buckley Road (Route 137) east of Milwaukee Avenue (Route 21) and west of I-94. Follow signs to the North Bay Pavilion for the sale. Patrons of the Native Plant Sale are reminded that service animals are welcome at Independence Grove—but dogs, horses and other pets are not allowed.
 
This year’s native plant list includes a full variety of unique flowers, ferns and grasses. Native plants naturally thrive in Lake County soil and weather, requiring less time, effort and expense to maintain. They provide valuable food and shelter to native birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Because of the variety, ease of growing, and environmental benefits, native plants have become increasingly popular among professional landscapers and gardeners in recent years.

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Learn the art and science of fly tying and fly design and create your own hand-tied fly at a beginner fly tying course taught by professional fly tyer Paul Melchoir from1-4 p.m. April 3 at Ryerson Woods near Deerfield.

Artificial hand-tied flies are a type of fishing lure used by fly fishermen. They are designed to look like natural invertebrates or other food organisms and move like fish prey to attract strikes from fish.

Students will learn about the history of fly fishing, the equipment, materials and methods used in fly tying, as well as essential knots, fly patterns and techniques required to create a hand-tied fly. Each participant will tie at least one fly during the course. Equipment is provided.

The course is open to adults and families with children ages 12 and up. Fee is $25 for residents, $35 for non-residents, and includes all course equipment. Registration is required. Register online, by telephone at (847) 968-3321, or by mail or fax.

Melchoir, of Northbrook, has been tying flies for the last 40 years. He's spent the last 30 years teaching fly tying classes at the Shedd Aquarium, Trout Unlimited, Orvis Chicago and Francis Parker School in Chicago. Melchoir has been the lead fly tying instructor for the Northern Illinois Fly Tyers, and is currently the tying instructor for Trout and Grouse in Northbrook. He is president and owner of Angling Escapes, a specialty travel agency dedicated to arranging top quality fishing trips to worldwide destinations.

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Controlled burn season is starting in your Lake County Forest Preserves. The burns improve habitat for native plants and wildlife.

Specially trained and equipped Forest Preserve staff and volunteers carefully conduct the controlled burns, selecting sites based on wind and other weather conditions.

Every spring and fall for the past 23 years, the Lake County Forest Preserves has safely conducted controlled burns to restore and improve natural plant and animal communities. Native woodlands, savannas, prairies and wetlands are fire dependent communities that require regular controlled burns to maintain their ecological value.

Over the next few months, you may see Forest Preserve crews of trained professionals burning high-quality habitats or restoration areas in forest preserves throughout Lake County. Wind and other weather conditions are monitored daily to help determine which preserves are selected for controlled burns.
Click here to find which preserve is scheduled to receive a controlled burn, and to learn more about the entire land management program.

Controlled burns replace historical fires that naturally occurred in Lake County for thousands of years. They decrease invasive woody plants, remove dead leaves, and expose the soil and seeds to the sun's rays. This encourages native plants to grow more vigorously and to produce more flowers and seed, increasing their populations.

Wildlife populations are adapted to survive the burns. Most animals are safe underground or high up in trees; others move out of the way to avoid fires. Controlled burns are scheduled to avoid the breeding season of native wildlife.
Natural areas being managed by controlled burns are showing improvement. In woodlands, which are generally targeted in the fall for controlled burns, invasive brush is reduced and native plants are rebounding.

Controlled burns are the most cost efficient management tool available to land managers. Forest Preserve staff and volunteers complete intensive training before conducting controlled burns to ensure that proper safety measures are taken to protect people, facilities, plants and animals in the preserves and on surrounding properties.

Local fire and police departments are notified before and after each controlled burn. Forest Preserve staff closely monitor each burn with appropriate safety equipment and, if necessary, stays overnight on site.

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