Find a Nature Preserve


I highly recommend you find a nature preserve near you to volunteer in regularly. It’s impossible to articulate how special it is to get to know a piece of wilderness in all its stages, meeting all its blooms and residents, temporary and permanent. And seeing the effect our restoration work yields.

This is from our workday at LaBagh woods today, and we pulled garlic mustard and collected some Virginia bluebell seeds for redistribution in places we’ve managed.

We’ve cut buckthorn and planted/caged shrubs, distributed valuable seed mixes and put down erosion blankets. I’ve seen dozens of creatures I’ve never seen before at LaBagh and all inside America’s 3rd largest metropolis.

Find the green square by you on the Google map, go there at least once a month, find out who is in charge of it, see if they need help managing it. It is currently my job to do this work and I still go and volunteer because it’s indescribably profound. My favorite kind of art is transformative, life-altering, spirit-buttressing. This volunteer habitat restoration work is my favorite kind of favorite kind of art. Favorite favorite. This is my current prescription for year-round fulfillment. Try it. I dare you!

This post originally appeared in The Jackass Gardener.

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Robb Q. Telfer

Advisory Group Member at Habitat 2030
Robb Telfer is a professional performance poet and organizes volunteers for habitat restoration with The Field Museum in Chicago. He serves on the Advisory Group for Habitat 2030 and helps moderate the Calumet Nature Nerds Facebook group here. He doesn't know how to science very good, but he's trying.

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