Cleanup starts at Wilmette’s Elmwood Dunes Preserve
Lake front ssues topped the news in Wilmette in 2012. Mike Boyer (left) and Patrick Duffy were two Wilmette residents leading the effort for the village to keep a small piece of land it owns that fronts on Lake Michigan. | Curtis Lehmkuhl~Sun-Times Media
WHERE: Elmwood Dunes Preserve
WHEN: April 13, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
WHO: Friends of Elmwood Dunes
Updated: April 22, 2013 10:19AM
WILMETTE — In the early 20th century, it was Elmwood beach. Then it was an unnamed, fenced-off piece of village property. Since 2011, it has been either Elmwood beach or the Elmwood Avenue right of way.
Now it has a new name: the Elmwood Dunes Preserve.
At least that’s the name it has indirectly acquired through the newly titled Friends of Elmwood Dunes. That group, comprising many of the people who revived interest in the tiny lakefront property, will hold its first officially sanctioned Elmwood activity from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 13 when volunteers begin hauling garbage, wood and brush out of Elmwood’s wooded strip.
The Friends worked with Wilmette’s engineering department to develop the clean-up plan, group member Patrick Duffy said March 12. In addition to hauling out trash and dead wood, they will tag invasive plant species for later removal, and photograph restoration efforts.
“It’s a unique situation. It benefits the village because there are fewer dollars spent on maintenance crews and it gives the residents involved a sense of ownership and community building,” he said. School groups and Boy Scout troop members are part of next month’s effort, he added.
Friends members walked through the site with staff from Wilmette’s forestry division and engineering department last fall, to get a general idea of what needed to be cleared out, Village Engineer Brigitte Mayerhofer said March 13. She said village staff will handle larger tasks, like cutting down dead or non-native trees.
After the April 13 cleanup, “the next phase would be our public works department going out and finding out what trees would need removal. After the spring growth comes in, in May or so, we’ll go back and take a look at the vegetation and further identify what we want to preserve,” she said.
People interested in joining the April cleanup can contact Friends of the Elmwood Dunes by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org