LAKE BLUFF – Lake Bluff Open Lands Association is about a quarter acre into its latest battle with buckthorn and other invasive species, as it endeavors to clear a densely tangled wooded area adjacent to the artery into and out of the village.
The forest is next to the Lake Bluff Golf Club course on the north side of Rockland Road/Highway 176 and just west of the intersection with Green Bay Road. It’s an extension of LBOLA’s pristine Rockland Wetlands (where the Lake Bluff turkey once roamed), which is home to thousands of Western Chorus Frogs, stately bur oaks and thousands of wetland wildflowers, grasses, sedges, reeds and rushes.
Over the decades the area west of the wetlands has become overgrown with woody invasive trees and shrubs including buckthorn, honeysuckle, alder and poplar – creating an unsightly mess.
Many volunteers recently helped clear a quarter acre of a total span of five acres. LBOLA President Larry McCotter said they found a lot of golf balls — about 60 of them, which was no surprise since the woods are near the driving range. Other finds included a young white oak tree and wild hydrangea and witchhazel — all native survivors.
Here’s what the area looked like after January 16’s snowfall when JWC Media chief photographer Joel Lerner stopped by with his camera: