Loyola University Chicago

School of Environmental Sustainability

Ecological Restoration

at the Retreat & Ecology Campus, LUREC

The Retreat and Ecology Campus has globally rare wetlands and oak woodlands, an organic farm and apiary, and a peaceful landscape for spiritual contemplation. At LUREC, we are in the process of restoring the biodiversity of fragile ecosystems in rural Illinois while teaching students about the interconnectedness of nature.  We are working from a comprehensive Ecological Restoration Plan.

Buckthorn Removal

Buckthorn is a type of tree that is invasive when it crops up outside its natural European habitat.

Students and volunteers work hard to remove buckthorn from LUREC wetlands and woodlands. They strive to weed out unnatural, unwanted species and reintroduce native biodiversity.

Wetland Restoration

The restoration of the LUREC wetland will require draining the man-made pond and restoring it back to its original deep-wetland state. It will involve students measuring the response of plants, animals, and insects with the goal of increasing biodiversity and restoring ecosystem function.

Eventually, an elevated walking trail (wooden platform) will be built throughout the wetland for educational use.