Our Trip to Lake Katherine
This post is the first in a set of guest posts by students in my Biology 100 class who helped manage an area of Lake Katherine for one of our lab sessions. Enjoy!
On April 24, 2019, my biology lab at Trinity Christian College took a trip to Lake Katherine Nature Center and Botanic Gardens, to take what we had been learning about in our ecology study and put it into practice. So, together we walked a short way of campus until we reached a hillside that is along the trail belonging to Lake Katherine. The hill was covered in an invasive species called Buckthorn. The naturalist at Lake Katherine, Sara Barnas, put us to work taking down the Buckthorn and picking up all the trash that was scattered throughout the hillside. I started by picking up trash and it was sad to see how many bottles and cans covered the hillside; proof that people don’t often care or pay attention to the nature around them. I then went to tackling the Buckthorn along with the rest of the class, cutting it down so that later in the year beautiful, native, species could grow and be seen.
WHY TAKE OUT THE GREEN?
Buckthorn is a tall, hardy, shrub that has thorns and grows little green leaves. It can survive in a variety of soil and light conditions. It’s tough to cut down and not fun to touch. Lots of thorns! Be careful! It was weird being told to cut down everything that was green, as usually you would do the opposite. However, Buckthorn is an invasive species and it can take over a plot of land, pushing out the native species that are supposed to live there. This affects the ecosystem greatly as it would then cause the native species to die and the insects and animals that live off the native species to also not have a food source anymore. Basically, Buckthorn isn’t a fun thing to have around.
Taking down the Buckthorn and picking up trash at Lake Katherine was an example of us being good stewards. We wanted to play a part in conserving and taking care of the beautiful native, natural land that was created by God. As Christians we are called to be good stewards and take care of the world that we have been put in. We are called to be stewards of creation and that includes animals and the environment. For us, that looked like picking up trash and cutting down Buckthorn. But this plays into our everyday lives, like recycling and not throwing your trash outside to begin with. God created a big, beautiful world for us to enjoy and filled it with so many animals, plants, etc. that we can enjoy. Being good stewards of the environment will not only help you to enjoy the world you’ve been put in, but also be an example to others and help them enjoy this same beautiful creation.
Genesis 1:26 “Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
Psalm 24:1 “A Psalm of David. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”
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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).