LUREC Students Sustain Wildlife through Academic Programs
Loyola Neighborhood News: Retreat and Ecology Campus - V3, I1
During our first year of operation, Loyola faculty engaged many students in academic/field work at LUREC. Classes like Plant Biology and Ecology lab brought students on field trips; some studied the field station, and others used it as a home base for other trips in McHenry County.
In the 2011 spring semester, Wetland Ecology students studied the fen and made recommendations for its restoration as their class project. Many neighbors and alums observed their final presentation. It was our experience that most of the students who visited the site loved it and tried to find other opportunities to visit.
Throughout the summer, two classes were in residence at the field station. General Ecology lab was on site for three weeks, and simultaneously student interns in the sustainable agriculture program were present for most of the summer. The student interns implemented and sustained a very successful garden, from which our wonderful chef Scott Commings obtained (and is still getting) most of his produce. In addition to the garden, chickens and bees are now producing on site.
Restoration work has begun in our oak-hickory woodland with two groups of Plant Biology students cutting, pulling, and dragging out invasive buckthorn and honey suckle. We intend to schedule monthly work days, and anyone interested in being put on that e-mail list should contact Justin Harbison: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are looking forward to teaching a two-week January intensive Winter Ecology course (3 credits with a lab – see luc.edu/januaryterm). Restoration Ecology will be taught at the Lake Shore Campus during the upcoming spring semester, and its focus will be both the oak-hickory woodland and the wetland.
Finally, a wide variety of courses is being planned for next summer including Wetland Ecology, Ornithology, Ethnobotany, Field Archeology, Environmental Advocacy, and Nature Drawing.
- Bobbi Lammers-Campbell