Engaging Calumet Students in Ecological Restoration
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Forest Preserve District of Cook County, IL in the Calumet Region

Friends of the Forest Preserves and the Student Conservation Association provided high school students from local communities with hands-on environmental training, education, and summer employment within the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.  Over the course of the 6-week program, 15 students contributed more than 2,700 hours of service to help restore 37 acres of coastal wetlands that were currently threatened by invasive species.  The site was a major link in a string of natural areas containing high biodiversity.  Project outcomes included: 1) increased coastal wetland biodiversity through restoration activities; 2) it maintained critical wetland habitat for migratory birds; 3) it engaged 15 high school students from local communities in active conservation work; and 4) it promoted the long-term stewardship of the region’s natural areas by engaging community groups in local conservation.

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