Maple Grove Resident Speaks the Truth

Maple Grove is a small residential area adjacent to Lake Springfield and is an area The Friends of the Sangamon Valley have been working for two years. Marie Havens is a long time resident of Maple Grove. She is also a member of the Native Plant Society. Friends staff, Krystle Adams, recently conducted this interview with Marie after one of our recent workdays.

Krystle: When did you first become interested in the Maple Grove workday?
Marie: I saw a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook and I thought to myself yeah I could do that. The combo of honeysuckle and Maple Grove was just too
irresistible to avoid…Once I knew about the work days I felt
duty bound.

Krystle: What are some of positive benefits of volunteering your time with FOSV?
Marie: Being useful and productive exercise. I hope that we can
help native plants grow throughout Maple Grove which will ultimately help out the wildlife; the area really seems to need more diversity of plants.

Krystle: Marie then let me know what it was like living in this area 20 years ago.
Marie: 20 years ago the only trails through the Maple Grove area were horse trails, once the honey suckle moved in you couldn’t walk through the woods at all. No one was clearing honeysuckle back then unless it started to grow in their back yards. So I can really see now how important the work is. I really wish someone was here, clearing it out 20 years ago when the problem started. I hate honeysuckle.

Krystle: We ended the interview talking about how thankful many of the Maple Grove residents are that FOSV are clearing out invasive species and making it easier for them to watch all the wildlife.
Marie is 75 years old and says, “You’re never too old to get out and help nature.”

Marie on the left, Krsytle on the right, at Maple Grove. Photo by Vern LaGesse.

Free Workshops & Training – Winter 2020

The Friends of the Sangamon Valley is highly dependent on a well-trained group of volunteers. Here’s your opportunity to attend a workshop that’ll give you the skills, certification, and right safety mindset to make our work days and projects a success.

All the workshops are free, but space is limited, so contact Vern 525.1410 to save a spot or for more information. Take the opportunity to learn some new things, meet some new folks, or just have fun.

Herbicide Training • 1-3pm Saturday January 11 at Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary
Herbicide Training sessions cover equipment, safe practices, protective clothing, how to read pesticide labels, and how we use herbicides in our work. Classroom session, followed by an outdoors session (weather permitting). You must attend one of these sessions and receive your certificate in order to work with herbicides on our projects.

Annual Meeting • 11-1 Saturday February 1 at Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary
Hear about our last year and upcoming year. Vote for board members. Eat great chilli! Free! Contact Vern 525.1410 to let us know you’re coming.

Chainsaw Workshop • 9-noon Advanced/1-4 Beginners Saturday February 8 at Adams Wildlife Sanctuary
If you’d like to learn to use a chainsaw or want to check in with someone to make sure you’re doing it right, then you should come to our chainsaw workshops. Learn from experienced sawers and get answers to your “how to” questions. Field practice included. Any attendees from the Advanced session that stay to help out with the Beginners session will get a free lunch.

Fire Training • 1-4 Saturday February 22 at Adams Wildlife Sanctuary
One of the most important management tools is fire used in a controlled manner. We use controlled burns for prairies, woodlands, and wetlands. Classroom session covers principles and practices, including weather conditions, safe practices, equipment, and fire behavior. Field practice to follow, weather permitting.

Fire Training • 1-4 Saturday February 29 at Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary
Same as previous week, but at Nipper.

Click on Facebook links above for more event details, maps/directions and to add to discussion. Here’s a link to our Facebook page @TheFoSV – and note our volunteers are more active on Facebook than this blog/web site. So be sure to check the page and the events listed on the page for more updates on The Friends.

Location data for workshops …

Adams Wildlife Sanctuary
2315 E Clear Lake Ave, Springfield, Illinois 62703

Nipper Wildlife Sanctuary
9560 Withers Rd, Loami, Illinois 62661