The volunteers of the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Chicago's Lincoln Park are dedicated to maintaining, improving and creating a nature area on Chicago's lakefront. We hope to enhance this Sanctuary so that it can be home to many native species of plants and animals that would otherwise be missing from this urban environment. We also want to provide essential habitat for migrating birds to rest and feed in during their journeys. We look to diverse natural areas for our inspiration, and try to bring some of that diversity to this microcosm of nature in Chicago.

Lake View Citizens Council logoThis project is sponsored by the Lake View Citizens Council in cooperation with the Chicago Park District. 

Park District's new format for site management plans

Chicago Park District site stewards received a document that is to be the standard format for all natural area plans. In fact, on Friday Februaty 3rd 2012, Charlotte and I attended a meeting with Zhanna Yermakov and Jason Steger of the CPD regarding setting a timetable for the completion of this document. If you read on, you'll see that it's rather large, based on the Table of Contents. In fact, we covered everything except for Chapter 8, the management chapter, which we'll go through at another meeting within the next two weeks.

A Time to Seed

The seed we ordered through the CPD has arrived, so it's time to start preparing and seeding Barry Burton's Grove and the new fenced off area at the northwest corner. At the Saturday March 12th workday, assuming we're relatively snow-free, we'll start by preparing these areas. While the west side doesn't need much prep work, that's not the case with the Grove. The turf grass there was herbicided last fall. The thatch that remains needs to be removed so that the seed we sow can come in contact with the soil.

Herbicide license test in DeKalb

As I just took my tests for renewing my applicator licenses yesterday, I thought I'd write a few notes that might be useful to any readers who might be planning to take herbicide license tests at the Illinois Department of Agriculture on Bethany Road. They say DeKalb, but Google says Sycamore. No matter, it's not hard to find either way. There is a sign on Bethany Road just east of Route 23 pointing you to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, and a sign in the parking lot.

Marsh planting set for Saturday July 10th

We met the truck from Spence Restoration Nursery at Jarvis today and unloaded over 1700 plants. Most of them are destined for the marsh, a few for the ponds, and a few others for other locations. A Peoples Energy grant through the Nature Conservancy paid for most of them, with the Chicago Park District picking up the tab for the rest. So bring your trowels and tall rubber boots (or even waders) if you have them, and let's get these guys planted. This is the beginning of a whole new marsh...

Barry Burton's Grove plans and marsh update

We had a meeting today about future work at Barry Burton's Grove. As you may or may not know, this area, between the north fence and Addison Drive is now being managed as part of the nature area. Charlotte, Cathey and I met with Zhanna Yermikov (Natural Areas Manager) and Becky Schillo (Volunteer Coordinator) of the CPD along with David Wachtel and Jason from Aramark.

Early Spring at Jarvis

The early spring migrants are here, the bloodroot and hepatica are blooming, and it's time to think about different tasks. The garlic mustard will be tall enough to pull in a few weeks, but not this coming Saturday. We still need to remove some logs that were too big for us to handle during the last few workdays, but they may not be cut up by CPD's Forestry crews before this Saturday because of all the rain we've had. So that may have to wait another 2 weeks also.

Winter workdays

For the last ten years, the work we've done on any day has often been decided on that particular day, or sometimes a few days in advance when we knew what people or groups were coming, or based what supplies we had. While that certainly won't change completely, there are other considerations to when we do what work.

Names for Jarvis places?

It's been a long time coming, but I finally was able to put together an aerial map composite from several TerraServer satellite images that I had saved way back in 2002. Interestingly, they had not been update as of September 2009, although the formatting of the TerraServer web site has changed, and the scale of those images is different. They were captured on April 10th, 2002, after the changes had been made increasing the size of the enclosed area, expanding the ponds, building the viewing platform, and putting in the new fence.

Thoughts about the next ten (and more) years

First draft 2009-09-01 - 7 March 2011 revision


This is the beginning of the second Ten Year Management Plan for the Sanctuary. The original one was written in 1999, so it's time to put another on to "paper". This is a work in progress, and sections are being published in no particular order. Please feel free to make suggestions by adding your comments to this piece.

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