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Invasive Species:

The spread of invasive species contributes to detrimental ecosystem change and instability everywhere. Invasive species displace or wipe out natives, damage infrastructure, and threaten to wipe out entire ecosystems.

In every county throughout Chicagoland, BUCKTHORN (Rhamnus cathartica), is of particular concern. Invasive buckthorn makes up 1 in 3 trees in the city of Chicago and 36% of all trees in the surrounding seven counties!

Buckthorn is destructive because it crowds out and outcompetes other trees and shrubs for water, nutrients and space. In natural areas such as the heritage quarries, it overpowers wildflowers and other native plants, causing harmful impacts on insect, reptile, amphibian, mammal, and bird species all along the food chain.

Our goal is to eliminate buckthorn from the heritage quarries recreation area and eventually, all of the public land in Lemont that is not being actively managed. 

Buckthorn 900x600_Univ of Minnesota.jpeg

Learn more about buckthorn from Allison Frederick, Administrative Director at Citizens for Conservation, as she describes how to join forces and stop buckthorn in our own yards.

Help us Eradicate Buckthorn!

Volunteer at our monthly Quarry Cares environmental restoration and clean-up projects.

  • Mar 09, 2024, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM CST
    The Forge: Lemont Quarries, 227 Heritage Quarries Drive, Lemont, IL 60439
    This is your opportunity to participate in the restoration and beautification of the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area by participating in projects to clear invasive plants, remove decades-old litter and trash, improve public trails, and more.
  • Apr 20, 2024, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    The Forge, 227 Heritage Quarries Dr, Lemont, IL 60439, USA
    Grab a friend and join us for a special Earth Day restoration and beautification project at the Heritage Quarries Recreation Area.

Before and After Photos of
Buckthorn clearing projects


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