Restoration Ecology

            Summer Internship

     Our Internship Opportunity is a summer long obligation.  Interns will focus on the maintenance of existing trails , and improving degraded habitats.


     Applicants must be willing to work in harsh weather , and do moderate lifting. The internship also requires minimal comfort working with tools.


    Lake Bluff Open Lands Interns gain a hands on ecological education in the field. This education includes identification of both invasive and native, flora and fauna. As well as the fundamentals of ecological restoration, this in turn with real work experience ; makes the LBOLA Summer Internship a solid foundation for any future endeavors.


The interview process will require attendance of at least one work day.


Please inquire about the application process , by contacting

Restoration Ecology

     Educational Resources

     Invasive species degrade natural habitats, many of invasive species came from Eurasia , and do not have any natural predators in our prairies to control them. Without these predators Invasive species unforgivably multiply , out compete , and shade out other species from growing.


Consequences of Invasive Species:

  • Impacts biodiversity levels both of flora and fauna due to limiting niches
  • Hinders the growth of native populations through out competing
  • Nothing typically consumes many invasive species, so they are multiplying,  but and more or less useless for the ecosystem
  • Ecological facilitation occurs with some species , and is where the invasive actually changes the environment making it harder for natives to survive. This can include the change in soil chemistry.

The Usual Suspects

European Buckthorn

Common, or European Buckthorn arrived to North America from Europe for the purpose of being a ornamental shrub.


Buckthorn is a major threat to prairies and woodlands, it grows into a dense understory out competing natives. It is capable of growing back after both cutting, and burning.


It is considered a tough plant to mechanically remove , but onces removed, the biodiversity of the prairie will greatly increase.

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife , commonly is a large problem in wetlands. However they can be of a concern in prairies as well, quickly multiplying and out competing natives.


Wetlands are extremely diverse habitats that many species are dependent on. When Loosestrife degrades them the economic effects can cost millions of dollars.


Controlling the spread of Loosestrife is critical because a single plant may produce several million seeds.

Canada Thistle

Canada Thistle, also known as Creeping Thistle, is a invasive plant that has origins in Europe and northern Asia.


In Europe this plant is highly valued for the nectar it provides pollinators. However even in its point of origin, it is still considered a weed due to it being difficult to remove.


Canada Thistle provides food for many natives birds however, it can quickly out compete native flora and cause ecological damage to biodiversity.

Garlic Mustard

Garlic Mustard has been used as an European herb since ancient times. It is a biennial plant that grows a rosettes the first year, the second year gives rise to stalked leaves and seed heads.


With no natural predators , and every plant producing thousands of seeds, Garlic Mustard slowly started invading. Unlike in Europe, Garlic Mustard has zero benefits to the wildlife of North America. Instead it spreads quickly and out compete native fauna, that would otherwise be useful resources for the ecosystem.

Common Teasel

Common Teasel was often cultivated in the textile industry. However few people find this plant appealing enough to be a ornamental plant, and between these two uses , it quickly found its way to North America.


Common Teasel like other invasive species out compete natives, while producing tons of seeds. The effects of this can be often seen along roadsides.


These plants are often top priority as far as invasive plants that should be removed because they can quickly overwhelm a prairie.


Since ancient Greco-Roman times Valerian has been used as a treatment for Insomnia. Still to this day it is often sold as a supplement as a sleep aid.


Valerian limits the biodiversity around it and spreads fast , typical of most invasive flora.



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Lake Bluff

Open Lands Association

P.O. Box 449   |   Lake Bluff, IL 60044   |   (847) 234-2860   |