Centennial Volunteers' Event 'Progress in the Preserves' Draws a Crowd to Glenview: PHOTOS

Dozens of people of all ages turned out February 21 at the Glenview Public Library to hear more about Centennial Volunteers, an organization that works on projects in the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

Centennial Volunteers is dedicated to restoring nine Cook County Forest Preserve sites along the Chicago and Calumet Rivers. Founded in 2014, the Centennial Volunteers program is a partnership between Friends of the Chicago River, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Friends of the Forest Preserves, the Field Museum and the Chicago Ornithological Society.

Volunteer activities improve habitat and biodiversity by removing invasive vegetation, collecting native seeds, wildlife monitoring projects, and burning brush piles. In the north, volunteers work at Blue Star Memorial Woods in Glenview and at Clayton Smith Woods, Forest Glen Woods, and LaBagh Woods on city's Northwest Side.

MC'd by Friends' Volunteer and Events Associate Annette Anderson, the event featured presentations by Alice Brandon, resource programs manager with the Forest Preserves; Derek Ziomber of the Friends of the Forest Preserves; and Mark Hauser, Friends of the Chicago River's Ecology Outreach Manager. In attendance was Scott Britton, who is a commissioner of the Cook County Board and of the Forest Preserves of Cook County.

Brandon said that with 70,000 acres, the forest preserves need volunteers to maintain its health. "We need you to care," she said. Hauser described how assessments he's done of areas targeted by Centennial Volunteers has seen native plant coverage rise 22 percent while invasive buckthorn decrease from 42.2 percent to 9.2 percent. Ziomber, who serves as a field organizer for Centennial Volunteers, said participants not only help the forest preserves through ecological work but also have a lot of fun getting out in the woods.

Want to know more about Centennial Volunteers? Click here for information on how you can join in the effort. 

Below are some snapshots from the Glenview event:

Friends' Annette Anderson welcomes attendees.

About 70 people attended the Progress in the Preserves event at the Glenview Public Library.

Among the guests was Cook County Commissioner Scott Britton, far left.

Friends of the Chicago River's Mark Hauser explained how he calculates success in areas worked by Centennial Volunteers.

The Centennial Volunteers logo reflects its interest in improving land, water and air.

Derek Ziomber of the Friends of the Forest Preserves prepares some special gifts for distinguised volunteers.

Looking forward to warmer weather, no doubt!

Longtime Friends of the Chicago River volunteer Wayne Schimpff.

The passion among Centennial Volunteers is amazing!

Alice Brandon, resource programs manager with the Forest Preserves of Cook County, noted that the forest preserves are the largest in the nation.

Sign in please! The event attracted people of all ages.

The Chicago Audobon Society's new bird guide produced with the forest preserves says some 275 species frequent the region.

Learn more about Centennial Volunteers here.

South Suburban Centennial Volunteers