On this chilly December day with snow flurries, it may be hard to remember the hot days of September. I've been meaning to share this additional guest post on from a member of my Environmental Science class this semester, so here it is.
Thursday, September 21: A sweltering 94 degrees with record high degrees for that day. And what do we have planned for that day in Biology 102? Doing physical labor outside for a couple hours. While this gave many opportunities to complain and whine, I think our class did well considering the conditions.
We went to Lake Katherine on this day for our lab time. Lake Katherine is a nature center and botanic garden. The area includes woodlands, prairie, wetlands, gardens, and a 10-acre lake. There is a trail that runs through some of the park. Our class walked over from Trinity Christian College and it was pretty close right there by the path. We were working on a hill that was mostly prairie and some woodlands. While there, we were trying to cut down invasive species, which are plants that are not native to this area that spread and cause damage to the environment and our ecosystem. The most common invasive species we were cutting down was buckthorn which had a skinny trunk and oval green leaves. Sometimes, it was hard to tell if the plant was invasive or not, and we had to be careful not to cut down the good plants.
Why do this type of work and ecological restoration? Invasive species can wipe out some of our native species, so cutting down the invasive species to restore the ecology can increase biodiversity. This means we can have the native species back promoting a variety of species in the area which God intended. He wants plants to live in unity with each other, just like humans should. We are to take care of this earth He has created and restore the earth back to its perfect form.
Even though we sweated through everything that day and some poison ivy was found that gave itchy aftereffects, the important thing is that we were taking care of God’s earth and learning more about His creation.
I'm a biology professor at Trinity Christian College. I'll be using this page to share interesting stories related to ecology and conservation at Trinity and in the Chicago area (although I might be tempted to expand my geographic focus upon occasion).