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updated: 9/13/2012 12:48 PM

Prairie Day in Lombard puts native plants on display

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  • Jacks and other games commonly played by Illinois prairie pioneers will be part of the fun at Prairie Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Terrace View Park in Lombard.

       Jacks and other games commonly played by Illinois prairie pioneers will be part of the fun at Prairie Day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Terrace View Park in Lombard.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer, SEPTEMBER 2011

  • "Monarch Mike," played by Dave Lloyd of Brookfield, has been a common sight at Prairie Day in Lombard and will be back for this year's event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Terrace View Park.

       "Monarch Mike," played by Dave Lloyd of Brookfield, has been a common sight at Prairie Day in Lombard and will be back for this year's event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, at Terrace View Park.
    Mark Black | Staff Photographer, SEPTEMBER 2011

 
 

At Prairie Day in Lombard, the good, native plants will be running wild, growing along the shores of Terrace View Pond for all to see.

But the bad, invasive plants? They'll be behind bars.

The Lombard Garden Club and Lombard Park District, which team up to run the annual, free, one-day celebration of all things prairie, have created "a jail for all of the plants that should not be in the prairie," said garden club Co-President Rose Roth.

"It really looks like a jail," she said. "They've pulled up some of the plants that we shouldn't have any place, the bad plants, so everybody can see the ones that we don't want in our gardens."

The invasive plant prison adds to the event's emphasis on teaching children about ecology and the environment, Roth said. It joins traditional pioneer crafts and games, music, food and a drawing to win a free rain barrel as highlights of Prairie Day, which runs 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 16, in Terrace View Park on Greenfield Avenue, two blocks west of Main Street.

New attractions this year include live animals from Brookfield Zoo and guided wagon rides around the pond, allowing visitors to view up close the progression of prairie plant restoration the Lombard Park District began in 1998.

Garden club members joined the restoration by introducing tall native grasses and plants with deep roots. The plantings were designed to control erosion around Terrace View Pond's shoreline and disrupt the Canada goose's preferred habitat of low, short grasses.

Roth said the club did less planting this year than other times because of upcoming work on Terrace View Pond as part of a stormwater control project.

The park district gave the village permission to install two sewer lines into the pond from Crystal Avenue to the north and to lower the normal water level by one foot. Both measures are designed to increase the pond's efficiency as a stormwater detention basin and decrease neighborhood flooding.

Even as modifications are planned, the pond and surrounding park offer an example of the prairie lands of the past and a place to learn about the area's natural history.

"You learn a lot about nature, and especially the prairie," Lombard Trustee Greg Gron said, while reading a resolution in recognition of Prairie Day at a recent village board meeting.

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