Waterfall Glen: Kettle Woods and Musk Turtle Marsh

Overview
In winter 2014, the Forest Preserve District removed considerable amounts of buckthorn, honeysuckle and other select weedy, invasive trees and shrubs from Kettle Woods at Waterfall Glen Forest Preserve in Darien. It also removed a grassy footpath and the remainder of an old section of the Main Trail that cut through the marsh. Contractors carefully applied herbicides to cut stumps and additional nonnative plants as needed. The District then restocked these areas with native flowers and grasses and will over the next several years plant native shrubs.

The most dramatic changes took place in the 13.5 acres directly north and east of Musk Turtle Marsh, where 95 percent of plants with woody stems — mostly buckthorn and honeysuckle — were removed. In this particular area, the combination of suppressed natural fire and previous grazing by cattle significantly degraded the oak community and the marsh, allowing nonnatives to gain an exceptionally strong hold.

Since brush has been removed, the woodlands and areas around the marsh have responded well, with native plants, once shaded out by dense brush, have popped up and set seed.

Status
Work to restore habitat around the old segments of trail, the marsh and other degraded areas — work that will include restocking native species and keeping nonnatives in check — is ongoing.

For videos and other detailed information on this project, visit The Road to Restoration.
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