Skip to main content

Adventures in Conservation – CLIP 2024 Week 5

Published on
08 July 2024

My name is Madi Benezra and this was our fifth week as CLIP interns! I just graduated from Prairie Ridge High School and plan to study wildlife rehabilitation and environmental conservation in college. 

We started out on Monday at Petersen Park in McHenry putting in a pollinator garden with kids of all ages from the Youth and Family Center of McHenry County. Being from McHenry myself, it was super cool to make a change in a place I have visited since I was young, and I can’t wait to continue checking on the garden in the future. It was also very empowering to see the hard work and interest of young kids and to be able to teach them about the importance of pollinators and plants! We finished planting on Tuesday, then headed over to TLC’s Apple Creek site to dig up invasive parsnip. The next day, we used herbicide to remove invasive plants such as Multiflora Rose, Bittersweet and Buckthorn. 

In the afternoon, we met with Pete Jackson at Boloria Meadows to learn how to monitor butterflies! After going over the importance of monitoring species and how to do it properly, we headed out on a beautiful hike throughout the property and saw many different native butterflies. 

Thursday we started bright and early at 6:20 a.m. to travel to the Indiana Dunes National Park! On the car ride there, we discussed the formation of the dunes and how their biodiversity provides importance to so much wildlife. When we arrived, we were able to meet with a park ranger to help him collect June Grass seed heads and ask lots of questions about conservation. We also went on a hike to practice our plant identification skills out in the field. My favorite part was eating lunch by the water and seeing a Prickly Pear Cactus in bloom.

Unfortunately, because of the rain, Friday’s workday plans were changed and we stayed at Hennen instead. There we worked on our plant ID notebooks, organizing and storing dried seed, sharpening our tools and cleaning up our herbicide backpacks. This week was full of so many different learning opportunities and amazing experiences!