Scary Invasive Plants in Your Landscape

Scarier than goblins, witches and ghosts are all the invasive plants we have planted in our yards and gardens! This Halloween we bring you a post about the horrors of invasive plants in your landscape.

Some of our Menard County Trails & Greenways members have already been hard at work on the restoration efforts at New Salem in recent weeks. With the arrival of cooler temperatures, we’ll be scheduling volunteer work days soon! Be watching our Facebook page or your email if you’re an MCTG member for those dates. If you’d like to contribute to our forest restoration efforts at New Salem, but you can’t make it to our work days, there is still something you can do to help: remove invasive garden plants in your own yard!

There are many problematic plants still being sold in garden centers for use as landscape plants and seeds from those plants end up growing at New Salem and in other natural areas. Here are some of the worst offenders: Continue reading “Scary Invasive Plants in Your Landscape”

Riverfront Development

image of report cover
The Sangamon River shares a place in Petersburg’s rich history since the town was formed nearly 200 years ago. Its waters led to the arrival of a young Abraham Lincoln who later surveyed land that is now Petersburg. The river and the tracks along it shuttled 100,000 visitors in the 10 day mega-event each year known as Chautauqua on a site just a mile south of town in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Sangamon River was the subject of popular writings of Edgar Lee Masters as he described the beloved Sangamon River and the people who called the area home. Native Americans utilized the river for food, water and transportation. In much earlier times, it was home to mastodons and a wide variety of animal life.  Yes, the river has a rich history right here in our hometown of Petersburg.

The Sangamon is a gem, and Petersburg is fortunate to have city owned land running nearly uninterrupted along the riverfront. Although parks and recreation are two main draws for visitors and reasons why people choose a community in which to live, much of the riverfront has been unused and inaccessible to citizens and visitors. However, its natural beauty is coming to life as the city has accepted the Finding and Recommendations of the Riverfront Development Group to enhance the riverfront properties.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Garlic Mustard Pulls at New Salem

Why do we pull garlic mustard?

Each garlic mustard plant grows pods called siliques and each plant produces on average 22 siliques, each silique containing as many as 28 seeds. That is over 600 seeds on an average per plant, with some particularly robust plants producing almost 8,000 seeds. That’s why it is so important to remove the plant before it sets seed.

garlic mustard plants
There are at least 50 plants in this photo. 50 x 22 x 28 = over 30,000 potential seeds !!

Continue reading “Garlic Mustard Pulls at New Salem”

Trash Taskforce: Good Clean Fun

Join the Menard County Trails and Greenways (MCTG) and Petersburg Athletic Association’s (PAA) Trash Taskforce as we clean up litter around Petersburg!  We will pick up litter at several parks and spaces around town on Saturday, April 2, from 9:30 – 11am (Rain Date: April 9 or 10 – TBD).  We need your help!  Meet at Hurie Park (just east of County Market) to register and pick up supplies.  We will be clearing out litter from the parks and surrounding vacant lots.

Whether you have 30 minutes or a full hour, every little bit counts!  To thank you for helping to keep our community clean, and on a first-come, first-serve basis, we will give away a free reusable tote bag to each participating family and a free DQ coupon to every participant (while supplies last). 

With Earth Day approaching on April 22, we encourage everyone to take some time this month to clean up around your neighborhood.  Earth Day was established in 1970 and is an annual, worldwide event to raise awareness about issues affecting our land, air, and water.  

Whether you join us on April 2 or clean up litter on your own, we have some general rules of thumb to share with you:

  • Be safe!  Take precautions, including wearing sturdy gloves and being careful on river banks or near roads. Adults should handle dangerous items, and supervise children closely.
  • Properly dispose of all litter. During the clean-up on April 2, litter collected can be dropped at dumpsters at Hurie Park or the girls ball diamond.  If you clean up around your neighborhood, please dispose of the litter with your household trash.
  • Share the good news by posting a picture of your work or simply talking with friends and family about your efforts.  You may inspire others!  It takes all of us to keep our community clean.

Invasive Species at New Salem State Historic Site

Regular forest management is necessary to deal with invasive species that have displaced so much of our native flora.

It is very exciting to kick off our habitat restoration work at New Salem Historic Site in partnership with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources! While the site is best known and visited for the recreated village where Lincoln once lived, much of the site is forested land, from the floodplains along the Sangamon River to the upland forests crisscrossed by several miles of hiking trails. Like most natural areas, regular management is necessary to deal with invasive species that have displaced so much of our native flora. Continue reading “Invasive Species at New Salem State Historic Site”