Motorola Community Service Event October 14th – 9:00AM- Noon & 12:30PM – 3:30PM Busse Woods Forest Preserves – Grove # 24 Hosted by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) and Friends of the Parks (FOTP) Team Leader Training Overview Mission of the FPDCC Mission of FOTP Understanding Restoration Project Plan Responsibilities of Team Leaders Safety Training How to Prepare Questions Friends of the Parks Mission: “To preserve, protect, and improve Chicago’s parks and forest preserves for the benefit of all neighborhoods and citizens. Forest Preserve District of Cook County Mission: “To acquire, restore and manage natural forests, prairies and other lands to protect and preserve their flora, fauna and scenic beauty for the education, enjoyment and recreation of the public.” Forest Preserve District of Cook County In the early 1900’s, visionary leaders foresaw a time when the citizens of Cook County would need to be able to seek refuge in nature in the midst of a rapidly expanding urban landscape. Forest Preserve District of Cook County (FPDCC) - established in 1914. Over the past 94 years, the District has acquired 68,000 acres of land in which people, wildlife and native plants find refuge every day. Understanding Restoration Ecological restoration is defined by the Society for Ecological Restoration (SER) as “an intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity, and sustainability. Clewell and Arson (2007): the purpose of restoration is to return “an ecosystem to a prior state to the extent that the state can be ascertained and then approximated through restoration practice.” What Does a Healthy Ecosystem Look Like? In Chicago region: Open woodlands, savannas, prairies, wetlands Complex web of diverse, interdependent species Natural processes (e.g., fire & water regimes, predator/prey relationships sustain cycles of life Illustration by Geoff Lason, Chicago Wilderness Magazine Why Are Healthy Ecosystems So Important? Education & inspiration: Opportunity to explore science in a living laboratory of complex, dynamic ecosystems Diversity of life inspires artistic creativity and technological advances Ethics: Our children have the right to enjoy the same natural legacy we inherited. No generation has the right to destroy the environment and resource on which future generations depend. All species have a right to exist. Wildlife depends on native plant communities for food and shelter. Thus, native plant communities must be restored so wildlife can continue to exist. Recreation & quality of life: Healthy ecosystems allow for activities such as hiking, fishing, birding. Our lives would not be as rich if we lost species such as river otters, fireflies, red-tailed hawks, tree frogs, bobcats and the habitats where they live. Medical and economic reasons: Plants & animals could provide us with foods, medicines & other products that will save lives and benefit society Ecosystem services: Oxygen production, flood control, pollination, erosion control, pest management. Threats to Health of Ecosystems Fragmentation of habitat Interruption of natural processes such as fire & water regimes, predator/prey dynamics Global warming Invasive plant and animal species A recent FPDCC study of the ecological condition of its natural areas revealed that 21,000 acres of the District’s holdings “contain irreplaceable natural communities of significant ecological importance,” but that 76% of those irreplaceable communities “show signs of significant community decline that portends a loss of native species” (CW Journal, Vol. 3, No. 1. www.chicagowilderness.org). Project Plan Workday Schedule Overview of project activities Team leader responsibilities Roles of the FOTP & FPDCC staff supervisors Morning Schedule 8:45 AM- Arrival 9:00 AM – Brief overview 9:10 AM – Teams depart to work sites 11:45 AM – Teams turn in tools & equipment 12:00 PM – Departure *Please note there is no scheduled break. However, team leaders should call a short water break midway through the morning. Make sure volunteers stay hydrated and take additional breaks if needed. Water will be provided at two First Aid tables. Washrooms are available nearby. Afternoon Schedule 12:30 PM – Arrival & Brief overview 12:45 PM – Teams depart to work sites 3:15PM – Teams turn in tools & equipment 3:30 PM – Departure *Please note there is no scheduled break. However, team leaders should call a short water break midway through the morning. Make sure volunteers stay hydrated and take additional breaks if needed. Water will be provided at two First Aid tables. Washrooms are available nearby. Project Plan - Activities The activities you may be involved with may include: Litter Removal Brush Removal Buckthorn Teasel Map of Site Litter Removal This preserve is used by hundreds of visitors per week. We encourage stewardship by reminding preserve users to put litter in its proper place. We need volunteers to pick up litter from the preserve in the groves and in the woods. We estimate that we will need 3 teams of 10 people to work in parts of the preserve to help remove litter. Please remind your crew to be careful when picking up glass or debris. Leave full bags at the side of the road for later pickup by the FPDCC. Brush Removal: Team Leader Responsibilities 1. Orient your people Explain why, how and what your team will be doing. (Refer to slides if necessary.) Teach plant identification: Buckthorn Teasel Poison ivy Wild Parsnip Brush Removal: Let the Sun Shine In! PRIMARY TARGET: BUCKTHORN Introduced in mid-1800s from Europe for hedgerows & as an ornamental. Lacking any environmental controls to keep its growth in check, it easily out-competes native species for resources each year – esp. light. Identification Leaves: oval, dark green with 3-4 curved veins reminiscent of a pitchfork; margins serrated or toothed; leaf terminates in a slightly curved tip Bark: dark gray, often silvery Inner bark: orange Twigs: thorn in every joint where branches fork Growth form: deciduous shrub or small tree that can grow up to 25 feet in height Uses: fruits used medicinally as a cathartic Brush Removal: Part 2 Secondary Target: Teasel First introduced to the area in the 1800’s, Teasel is an aggressive plant that can take over prairies and savannahs if left uncontrolled. Identification: Teasel is a biennial plant that can reach heights of 6 Feet. The flowering plant will have tiny spines covering them and appear rippled. The stems have downward facing spines running along a wood-like stem. The flowers range from white to purple and occur mainly in early summer. In the fall the teasel flower turns brown Removal: Teams of two should take care to cut just below the flower on the stalk. One person should cut and the other person should put the plant material in a garbage bag. Then the remainder of the plant should be cut as near to the ground as possible. Harmful Plants Poison Ivy Shrub or vine Ovate or elliptical compound leaves that are trifoliate Margins are entire or shallowly lobed Common in open woods and borders of wooded areas “Leaves of three, let it be.” It can be a groundcover or a vine winding up a tree. Wild Parsnip Herbaceous plant In July, can stand chest high, with broad umbrella of yellow flowers In some people, can counteract the skin’s natural sunblocking abilities, leaving burns. If you think you’ve come into contact, wash the area with lots of soap and COLD water within 3 – 4 hours; this reduces the chance of rash occurring. Other potential plant hazards include: thorns, inedible berries, stinging nettles, wild parsnip. Brush Removal: Team Leader Responsibilities 2. Organize your people In each group of ten people, a successful workflow can happen with 3 pods of 3 people each (with the team leader circulating regularly for quality control). Depending on thickness and type of brush to be cut, each pod should have: One Lopper One Sawyer One Consolidator (drags cut brush to brushpile) Encourage each pod to rotate tasks among members or put two people on a saw for thicker trees if necessary. Brush Removal: Team Leader Responsibilities 3. Teach plant selection and cutting procedures Select shrub/tree to cut. Make sure you’re cutting the right shrub/tree! Forest Preserve District volunteers are only authorized to remove invasive shrubs and trees that are no larger than 6” in diameter at breast height. FPDCC/FOTP staff crew leaders will mark most trees to be cut with a dot of spray paint. If you run out of marked trees, check with FPD or FOTP staff person to confirm target trees. If you’re not sure about a tree, DON’T cut it. Move on to another target until you can check w/ FPD or FOTP staff person for confirmation. Brush Removal: Team Leader Responsibilities 4. Teach tool selection & use. THE LOPPER “RULE OF THUMB”: For saplings and re-sprouts whose diameter is thumb-size or smaller – use loppers. You may very well be able to muscle the loppers through larger saplings, but the force can actually break the loppers. For stems and trunks larger than your thumb (but smaller than 6” diameter) – use bow saw. Brush Removal: Team Leader Responsibilities 5. Safety training: Demonstrate how to saw and lop SAFELY. For All: always wear gloves when using tools or handling brush. Always walk with blades pointing down. For Loppers: cut FLAT and EVEN WITH THE GROUND. Do not cut at an angle; if someone trips, they could fall on essentially a sharpened stake. Instead, with the lopper handles parallel to the ground, make your cut as flat as possible. For Sawyers: cut FLAT and as EVEN WITH THE GROUND as possible. OR, if the tree seems unwieldy, FIRST cut at waist height to get the top off, then cut trunk down to the ground. Brush Removal: Team Leader Responsibilities 6. More on sawing and lopping SAFELY. More for SAWYERS: Plan your cut carefully. If you’re cutting down a shrub or tree as tall or taller than you: 1st: Determine which way the tree is likely to fall. Don’t just look at the angle of the trunk – also look up at the branches and estimate which side of the top of the tree is carrying the most weight. 2nd: Begin cutting on the side of the trunk that is opposite of the side the tree will be falling toward. Use LONG, SMOOTH STROKES. Always stop sawing halfway through the trunk, look around, ask everyone working nearby to step way back, and then resume cutting. Slow the saw down as you get to the last ¾ of the trunk and start to hear cracking sounds. This allows the pressure to release gradually. Proceed slowly, especially if there’s any chance that the tree might lean on another tree as it falls, because the cut end could shoot back toward you. Be ready to step away quickly. Yes, declare victory and shout TIMBER. But then, cut up your shrub/tree into lengths of 8’ or less and drag to brushpile. What do I do in case of an Emergency? Participants should alert their Team Leader, who will alert their FOTP/FPDCC staff liaison. Basic first aid kits will be available throughout the Busse Woods work area for treating minor injuries. FPDCC & FOTP staff will have emergency telephone numbers on hand and plan for making emergency notifications as necessary. Such contacts include the Police (call 911), fire departments, local hospital, poison control centers, nearest Nature Center, Volunteer Resources Contacts, etcetera. In medical emergencies arrangements should be made to give CPR and to transport the victim to the hospital if necessary. Evaluate whether or not the victim can or should be moved. In some cases (e.g. neck injury) it may be prudent to send someone for help, or to guide emergency personnel to the scene, while a caregiver remains with the victim. Volunteers are encouraged to alert staff to any health issues. This will aid in proper communication in the event of a medical emergency. Volunteers should ensure to drink a sufficient amount of water during the workday and to stay hydrated. Carrying of high-energy snacks is also encouraged. Crew leaders should ensure periodic group breaks for rest and hydration. How to Prepare? What do I wear? Dress for success! To help guard against injuries from tools, vegetation, sunburn, etcetera wear long sleeves and long pants of substantial material. Volunteers should guard against loose clothing or dangling jewelry which could be caught on trees, snags or in tools. Work boots, or other enclosed and substantial foot wear should be worn. Consider wearing footwear that supports the ankle and that will protect from punctures, water, and will be breathable. Sturdy work gloves should be worn anytime tools or brush are being handled. Please bring your own gloves. (We will also have some onsite.) A hat is helpful for shielding the head from sun, sunburn, and some minor hazards. Be aware that hats with visors can create blind spots in vision. What do I bring? Review and/or bring along team leader instructions. Questions?