Northeast Chapter at the INPS Annual Gathering

Botany enthusiasts from throughout the Chicagoland region converged in Oglesby, Illinois last month at the 2019 INPS Annual Gathering. The highlights of Friday evening’s mixer, in addition to reconnecting with old friends from throughout the state, were the research updates provided by several 2018 research grant award winners and the keynote presentation on the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge given by Gary Sullivan from the Wetlands Initiative (TWI).  

Linda Masters, Roger Ross, and others look on as INPS President, Floyd Catchpole, and trip co-leader Bill Handel get down for a closer view of the Amboy Marsh flora (photo by Sheri Moor)

In his talk, Sullivan described both the pre-restoration history of the Dixon Refuge and the hydrologic trade-offs that his team evaluated in their implementation of the restoration. The critically important habitat at the Refuge has been recognized in its formal designation as a Ramsar “Wetland of International Importance.”

lllinois Botanists Big Year winners Evan Barker and Erin Faulkner chat with Alice Brandon while strolling through Dayton Bluff Preserve (photo by Sheri Moor)

Saturday’s field trip selections included the opportunity to visit the Dixon Refuge with TWI staff, as well as outings to Starved Rock, Nachusa Grasslands, Amboy Marsh, and Green River State Wildlife Management Area. Fortunately, the weather cooperated all day, and participants returned to home base at Illinois Valley Community College thoroughly botanized, eager to discuss the highlights of their day over a cold beer, and hungry for the banquet spread of lasagna, salad, and cannolis. 

Though the raffle’s much coveted prize, a copy of Flora of the Chicago Region signed by both authors and the illustrator, went to Edie Sternberg of the Central Chapter, Northeast Chapter members Diana Krug, Erin Faulkner, Brian Hale, Evan Barker, and Linda Masters, among others, took home goodies offered at the evening’s silent auction. Sunday morning’s field trips reshuffled the meeting’s participants once again, offering half-day guided visits to Jubilee College State Park or Dayton Bluff Preserve.