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Chapter meeting, April 27, 2019

The Grand Prairie chapter will hold its next meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 27, 2019 in the Heartland Bank community room (4th floor), 200 W. College Avenue, Normal. Parking is available in the ramp garage next to the bank.

March 24, 2018 chapter meeting minutes — PDF version inps gpc march 24 minutes

Hidden Creek Nature Sanctuary Walk About

On Wednesday, Dec. 20th,  7 members of the Grand Prairie chapter of the INPS met at the Sanctuary for a look around.  Should you want to have a look the area is easily accessed from Sycamore St. from North Fell Ave.  Five representatives of the City of Normal’s Parks and Recreation joined us: Gene Kotlinski, Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation, Tyler Bain – Park Supervisor (over Forestry & Horticulture Operations), Nathan Bair – Horticulturist, Steve Laning – Forester, Dustin McCarty – Horticulture staff.

The weather was quite cooperative and we picked up litter and trash as we went.  The Sanctuary area is bounded on the south by Sycamore St., on the east by Constitution Trail, to which it connects by means of a stairway on the bank or at street level at Sycamore.  The north end is hard to reach because access is blocked the creek.  At this end residential backyards end at the edge of the Sanctuary. To the west the area is park-like with mowed lawn.

The portion with tree cover has a heavy understory of largely honeysuckle.  A lot of garlic mustard was also evident.  Quite a bit of downed limbs occupies several areas.  A lot of removal is clearly called for, but Normal is committed to beginning a restoration.  To this end they have commissioned a restoration report by Ecology & Vision consultants.  The report has been placed on dropbox where you may have a read at this website address:

Our immediate reaction (discussion will have to wait until our next Chapt. Meeting in March. (time and date not yet set), is that this restoration effort merits INPS collaboration.  Our assessment is that we might start introducing some native woodland plants to some well-defined areas. Determining this area will require waiting until spring to see if any ephemerals appear.  We see potential to interact with Friends of the Constitution Trail, the local chapter of Wild Ones, and area master naturalists.

In the meantime, remember your membership ends on the 31st, so send in a check or go to the INPS website to re-up online.  Encourage any like-minded people to sign up.

Respectfully submitted.

J.E. (Joe) Armstrong, President, Grand Prairie Chapter, INPS

December 2, 2017 chapter meeting minutes — Click here for pdf version.