Nature Forward

Fri April 26, 2024

DeKalb, IL—The DeKalb Park District is calling on the community to join forces in the battle against harmful invasive plant species by participating in two upcoming park clean-up events. The Great Garlic Mustard Hunt will occur on Saturday, May 4, followed by Sock the Rocket on Saturday, June 1, from 9:00 to 11:00 am on the Nature Trail.

Garlic mustard and dames rocket, both invasive species in Illinois, pose a significant threat to the biodiversity of our local ecosystems. They outcompete native plants, disrupt food chains, and degrade natural habitats. By pulling these invasive plants, the community can contribute to restoring and preserving the natural balance in our parks. No registration is needed for these events – all are invited to participate. And if you want to celebrate the spirit of May Fourth (May the Fourth be with you), wear your favorite Star Wars t-shirt to the clean-up. Volunteers are only asked to bring gloves, as the Park District staff will provide the necessary guidance and tools to assist in the removal process. Meet at the Greenwood Acres Drive and Greenwood North intersection at 9:00 am sharp. 

In addition to the park clean-up events, the DeKalb Park District is excited to introduce the new Nature Pack Program, made possible by grant funds from the Meta DeKalb Data Center. Starting on Saturday, June 1, this year-round program will offer themed nature packs filled with hands-on learning items for outdoor adventures in local parks. From Trees and Wildflowers to Birds and Insects, the Nature Pack Program provides an opportunity for all ages to connect with nature and explore the fascinating biodiversity in our parks and beyond.

Participants can check out a themed nature pack for up to two weeks at Haish Gym, 303 S. 9th Street, or Hopkins Community Center, 1403 Sycamore Road, for a refundable $100 cash deposit. To learn more about this exciting program and discover each pack's contents, visit our website's Adult or Family Variety pages.

"We are grateful for the partnership with Meta DeKalb Data Center, which has made the Nature Pack Program possible," said Meghan Jedloe, Natural Areas Specialist of the DeKalb Park District. "We invite the community to join us in preserving and nurturing our local ecosystems and to make the most of the outdoor opportunities offered through our park clean-ups and the new Nature Pack Program."

Join the DeKalb Park District in positively impacting the environment and embracing nature in our local parks. For more information on the upcoming invasive plant pulls, the Nature Pack Program, and other initiatives, please visit or call (815) 758-6663.

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