REGISTRATION SITE OFFLINE 2/14-2/15: For details, check our Bulletin Board post, below

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REGISTRATION SITE OFFLINE 2/14-2/15: For details, check our Bulletin Board post, below

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Something is Missing at Keay Nature Center

4/17/24 – Something is Missing at Keay Nature Center

Invasive species list with images

You may have noticed a significant reduction of invasive species around Keay Nature Center! Starting this past winter, the Wilmette Park District ramped up our restoration efforts at Keay. We’ve spent years monitoring the park for invasive species and discovered more and more aggressive, non-native plants in our woodland space.

Examples include: 

  • buckthorn (Rhamnus)
  • honeysuckle (Lonicera )
  • lesser celandine (Ficaria verna)
  • common reed grass (Phragmites australis)

These plants quickly spread, choking out delicate native species and upending the ecosystem. Keay may look a little sparse during removal work, but we assure you that the park will thrive once we’ve cleared out these damaging plants. With more light reaching the ground, the natural understory will have a chance to return and flourish. We also plan to add more native trees, shrubs, and perennials back into the landscape.

Our invasive species improvements will promote biodiversity, preserve wildlife habitats and support the park, which will ultimately require minimal human intervention. This process will take multiple years and must be done in phases.

It’s unrealistic to expect to eradicate all invasive species permanently, but we’ll move closer to restoring Keay’s ecosystem through good management efforts. Follow along and check for updates on our project page as we continue improving Keay Nature Center.

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