Montessori School of Lake Forest partners with Lake Forest Open Lands Association, and Lake County Forest Preserves in their Woody Invasive Species Clearing Project

Students at the Montessori School of Lake Forest are well versed in all aspects of cultivating a school garden, caring for their vast outdoor classroom, and appreciating the natural beauty of their outdoor environment, prairie, woodland, wetland and savanna.  They will now embark on another educational adventure as they learn about managing an invasive species and say “Bye, Bye to Buckthorn.”

Outdoor Education staff members Brandon Chartier and Julia Lunn prepare for Bye, Bye Buckthorn!

On October 10 at 1:30pm, Ann Maine, President, Lake County Forest Preserve District will join the students at MSLF and provide the project kick-off address.   Students and teachers will learn about the larger LCFP initiative and specifically buckthorn within their space.  The balance between an invasive species and the surrounding environment will be discussed, the impact it has, and the need for the community to come together to manage and eradicate it in order to support new growth of native species.

Peter Gordon and Luke Buckhardt of Lake Forest Open Lands will follow up with a hands-on lesson. Providing both the tools and expertise on how to help with the restoration work, students will learn how to recognize the species, and how to remove it.  Julia Lunn , Director, Outdoor Education at MSLF, explains the nature of an invasive species  in terms the children understand, “It is like a bully in the garden taking all the sun, space and water from other plants.” Understanding this dynamic is a key lesson in the ongoing outdoor education program at MSLF.

Limited edition hats are available to commemorate the project

Armed with their new knowledge and skills, students will join their parents, teachers and outdoor education experts at MSLF on Saturday October 14, 9:30am – 12:00pm for the Bye, Bye Buckthorn Fall Family Work Day. With stations set up throughout the garden and woods, there will be work available for all ages. Younger helpers will focus on garden work, while older students from Primary and Elementary classes will help lead the buckthorn management stations. Families are invited to come when they can to help out, and work will wrap up for all by noon.

Limited edition MSLF Bye, Bye Buckthorn baseball caps will also be available for $15.00.


About MSLF

As one of the premier Montessori schools in the nation and with a long-standing history of 50 years in the Lake Forest community, the Montessori School of Lake Forest (MSLF) offers exceptional learning programs for children ages birth to 15 years. Program options range from half-day to full-day and year-round academic offerings. The school is home to a diverse student body, encompassing eight countries and more than 30 communities in the Chicagoland area.


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