Jason Knade, of Palos Park; his wife, Marcelina; and daughters, Zofia, 6, and Kaya, 3, braved the weather last Saturday afternoon to take part in Lake Katherine's Earth Day BioBlitz. (Photos by Kelly White)

Jason Knade, of Palos Park; his wife, Marcelina; and daughters, Zofia, 6, and Kaya, 3, braved the weather last Saturday afternoon to take part in Lake Katherine's Earth Day BioBlitz. (Photos by Kelly White)

Lake Katherine celebrates with Earth Day BioBlitz

Spread the love
reporter lake kate earth day4

Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens, 7402 Lake Katherine Dr., Palos Heights, held an Earth Day BioBlitz on April 22.

By Kelly White 

Earth Day is an annual celebration is an opportunity to raise awareness and advocate for change around the issues most impacting our planet and to celebrate the beauty of Mother Earth. It is held globally every year on April 22 to demonstrate support for environmental protection.

It was no surprise that Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens, 7402 Lake Katherine Dr., Palos Heights, took part in the initiative with an Earth Day BioBlitz last Saturday.

“The mission of Lake Katherine embodies the spirit of Earth Day. Not only with its presence; but with its programs and presentations,” Palos Heights Mayor Bob Straz said.

Much has been achieved since former Palos Heights Mayor Eugene G. Simpson first had the vision to create a nature center in the heart of Palos Heights.

Nearly 20 years ago, Lake Katherine became a non-profit park and since then a dedicated team of staff and volunteers have utilized fundraising, donations and grants to fulfill Lake Katherine’s goal of connecting people to nature and encouraging good ecological practices.

Now, Lake Katherine is an 85-acre public park consisting of gardens, woodland, wetlands, prairie, and a 10-acre manmade lake. The park was created in 1988 for the purpose of providing public recreation opportunities for residents of Chicago’s southwest suburbs, and the lake was excavated as a retention basin to hold storm water before it flows into the Cal-Sag Channel.

The nature center continues to develop and educate the public on the importance of celebrating nature. In the past decade, there has been much restoration effort with teams of volunteers regularly removing buckthorn and planting around 50 native trees every year.

“Lake Katherine is one of our favorite places to visit in Palos Heights,” Roger Schweikert, of Palos Heights, said.

During the community event that aimed at discovering as many living things as possible in a specific area and timeframe, Lake Katherine’s Earth Day BioBlitz celebrated Earth Day by allowing local area residents to join Lake Katherine staff and volunteers to discover the variety of life on the trails, under rocks, on tree trunks, or in the garden beds.

Sophia Shukin, Naturalist at Lake Katherine, explained the name of the event.

“A BioBlitz is a community event that aims at discovering as many living things as possible in a specific area and timeframe,” Shukin said. “BioBlitz’s help organizations, cities, parks and more to better understand and appreciate their natural surroundings.”

Attendees were just asked to bring their phone and sense of discovery. The data gathered was collected in iNaturalist, an online mapping and identification website. The data could then be accessed by researchers, staff, and visitors to better understand and appreciate their surroundings.

Participants were also able to learn about completely new species, put names to species they see often but may not have known the name of before, and contribute to the scientific community Lake Katherine’s Naturalists work hard to entail.

Shukin said it is important to not only recognize, but to celebrate Earth Day.

“Appreciation of nature, learned at any age, is the key to ensure the survival of the forests, prairies, wetlands, and oceans,” Shukin said. “If you love and understand something, you will want to protect it. Earth Day is a great day to actively do something fun and productive in nature to learn more about the environment yourself, and to inspire others to join.”

3 5

Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens, 7402 Lake Katherine Dr., Palos Heights, held an Earth Day BioBlitz on April 22.

Local News

This family was one of many that attended an Iftar dinner at Simmons Middle School in Oak Lawn. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

SD122 celebrates end of Ramadan at Simmons Middle School

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam As Ramadan was drawing to a close for Muslims worldwide, District 122’s Superintendent Joseph Matise, Oak Lawn Community High School’s Muslim Students Association club, and the district’s Parents Committee came together to create history. They hosted the first-ever Iftar dinner at Simmons Middle School on April 8, a significant event…

Theresa Marketti, Green Committee member of the Orland Park Public Library, is happy to announce the launch of the library's first-ever Candy Bar Recycling Program. Candy wrappers can be dropped off at the library, 14921 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park. (Supplied photo)

Orland Park Library collecting candy wrappers

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Candy has taken on a whole new life at one local library. The Orland Park Public Library, 14921 S. Ravinia Ave., Orland Park, is happy to announce the launch of its very first Trash or Treasure candy wrapper recycling campaign. The Trash or Treasure program helps reduce the waste that…

Andre Showers’ fiancée Destiny pins the police badge on his uniform at last week’s Hickory Hills City Council meeting. (Photos by Nuha Abdessalam)

Hickory Hills adds new police officer

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Nuha Abdessalam Hickory Hills Police Chief Jason Bray welcomed Andre Showers as the city’s newest police officer during last week’s city council meeting. Aldermen and the community at the April 11 meeting helped celebrate the induction of the Showers, 21. He’s an Army veteran and a 2023 Cook County Correctional Camp graduate…

Marist High School, 4200 W. 115th St., Chicago, hosted its second annual Celebration of Culture Night on March 14. (Supplied photo)

Marist celebrates cultural diversity

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Marist High School appreciates the wide array of culture that walks its campus hallways on a daily basis. In order to celebrate, the high school, 4200 W. 115th St., Chicago, hosted its second annual Celebration of Culture on March 14. During the free event, students, faculty and staff represented their…

regional 4-16-24 gigi's playhouse

Palos Heights Knights of Columbus donate to GiGi’s Playhouse

Spread the love

Spread the loveGrand Knight John Laskey and Past Grand Knight Brian Mellenthin of St. Theodore Guerin Knights of Columbus Council 14057 presented a check for $1,500 to GiGi’s Playhouse of Tinley Park, one of several donations to local groups resulting from the Knights of Columbus’ Fall Tootsie Roll Drive. One of the most recognizable activities…

reporter worth police car

Worth police join task force to combat auto thefts

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle An agreement has been reached between the villages of Worth and Thornton regarding participation in the Illinois Statewide Auto Theft Task Force. Worth Police Chief Tim Denton said the approval of the memorandum to participate in the task force is necessary. “It’s no secret that there has been an increase…

Funeral2

Obituaries April 18, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the loveJAMES W. CZAJKOWSKI James W. Czajkowski formerly of Chicago, Garfield Ridge community, passed away April 4. He was the loving son of the late Walter and the late Irene (nee Gryska) Czajkowski; dearest brother of Robert J. Czajkowski and Linda (Michael) Brice; beloved uncle of Marlise Garcia, Jennifer Williams, Robert David Czajkowski, Kristin…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound April 17, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Mary Stanek

A simple idea for Earth Day

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796 . Moving right along through April, as the days get longer and nicer, time will start to go by faster. We have Earth Day on April 22 and the start of Passover at sunset.…

Kathy Headley

Bingo at St. Clare was something to yell about

Spread the love

Spread the love. Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . Recently I mentioned a bingo fundraiser the Augustinian Young Adults of St. Rita of Cascia Parish were holding. This was their first attempt at a bingo and they put on a really nice event. Held…

Neighbors

Capitol Briefs: Expansion of postpartum coverage, ban on kangaroos among hundreds of measures to pass House

Capitol Briefs: Expansion of postpartum coverage, ban on kangaroos among hundreds of measures to pass House

By ALEX ABBEDUTO & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois kangaroo owners are one step closer to being forced to surrender their marsupials this week after the House passed a bill criminalizing their possession. That was one of more than 300 bills to pass the House ahead of a Friday procedural deadline.…

Pritzker says state ‘obviously’ needs to change 2010 law that shrunk pension benefits

Pritzker says state ‘obviously’ needs to change 2010 law that shrunk pension benefits

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com With a month-and-a-half left in the General Assembly’s spring session, Gov. JB Pritzker’s administration is readying its proposal to address Illinois’ chronically underfunded pension system. But the governor this week also acknowledged in the strongest terms yet that any plans to finally get the state on track toward…

Pritzker’s health insurance reforms targeting ‘utilization management’ clear House

Pritzker’s health insurance reforms targeting ‘utilization management’ clear House

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker celebrated a partial legislative victory Thursday night when the House passed his initiative to end some practices health insurance companies use to control the amount and cost of health care services individual patients receive. The “Healthcare Protection Act,” House Bill 5395, cleared the…

Lawmakers, cannabis industry calls for ban on ‘delta-8’ and other psychoactive hemp products

Lawmakers, cannabis industry calls for ban on ‘delta-8’ and other psychoactive hemp products

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ largest cannabis business association is pushing to ban the sale of delta-8 THC, an increasingly popular psychoactive substance that’s popped up in corner stores across the country in recent years. New legislation filed in Springfield this week revives an ongoing debate over delta-8 and other…

As state continues to inventory lead pipes, full replacement deadlines are decades away

As state continues to inventory lead pipes, full replacement deadlines are decades away

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com Lead pipes in public water systems and drinking fixtures have been banned in new construction since 1986, when Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act, but they are still in use across the U.S. and in Illinois.  The presence of lead pipes has persisted due in part to…

Capitol Briefs: Bill creating new early childhood agency among 244 to advance

Capitol Briefs: Bill creating new early childhood agency among 244 to advance

By ALEX ABBEDUTO HANNAH MEISEL & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan to create a new state agency to oversee Illinois’ various early childhood programs moved forward on Friday after the state Senate’s unanimous approval. It was one of 244 bills that cleared the Senate this week. Early childhood…

INVESTIGATE MIDWEST: Farmers have clamored for the Right to Repair for years. It’s getting little traction in John Deere’s home state

INVESTIGATE MIDWEST: Farmers have clamored for the Right to Repair for years. It’s getting little traction in John Deere’s home state

By Jennifer Bamberg, Investigate Midwest Originally published April 10, 2024 During the 2023 harvest season, one of Jake Lieb’s tractors quit working. A week later, his combine stopped working, too. Both were new — and he was locked out from making any repairs himself because of software restrictions embedded in the machines.  Instead, a technician…

Capitol Briefs: Pritzker appoints first-ever Prisoner Review Board director; Chicago advances migrant funding

Capitol Briefs: Pritzker appoints first-ever Prisoner Review Board director; Chicago advances migrant funding

By JERRY NOWICKI & DILPREET RAJU Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com Weeks after two high-profile resignations at the Illinois Prisoner Review Board, Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday appointed the first-ever executive director to help lead the beleaguered agency. To fill the newly created position, the governor tapped Jim Montgomery, who most recently served as director of…

Advocates renew push to tighten firearm laws aimed at protecting domestic violence victims

Advocates renew push to tighten firearm laws aimed at protecting domestic violence victims

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Advocates for stricter gun laws rallied at the state Capitol Tuesday for a measure aimed at protecting domestic violence victims and two other criminal justice reforms. The bills are backed by organizations such as Moms Demand Action and One Aim Illinois among others. “These policies support…

Education leaders seek added state funding to help districts accommodate influx of migrants

Education leaders seek added state funding to help districts accommodate influx of migrants

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – The recent surge of international migrants arriving in Illinois has brought with it a host of new challenges for state and local officials. Those range from filling their most basic needs like emergency food, clothing and shelter, to more complex issues like lining them up with…