Area Boy Scouts and volunteers of the Dundee Township Open Space restoration group will team up this weekend to groom an overgrown oak tree grove at the corner of Sleepy Hollow and Huntley roads in West Dundee.
Elgin resident Bobby Larimer, an Eagle Scout candidate from Shabbona District Troop 567, will lead what is considered phase two of the project on Saturday, April 20. He and other Scouts will continue clearing overgrown brush in the remaining 2 acres of the site, said West Dundee Village Manager Joseph Cavallaro.
Eagle Scout candidate Morgan Temple of Fox Valley District Troop 5, in Geneva, led phase one in November.
Then, about 3 acres of the open space site were cleared of invasive plants including box elder trees, low-growing shrubs and hackberry bushes.
Phase three is expected to start this summer when Eagle Scout candidate Mitch Temple, also of Troop 5, will plant 20 oak tree saplings and 30 native shrubs on the site.
He will plant the trees and shrubs in a manner so deer will not eat them, Cavallaro said.
On the property are oak trees that were planted more than 100 years ago. The purpose of the project is to promote a healthier environment to both preserve the old growth oaks on the site and to begin the process of restoring this site to its natural and native prairie and habitat setting.
Clearing the property, owned by the village of West Dundee, has been a joint effort between Eagle Scout candidates led by Dundee Township Open Space volunteer Ken Raney and West Dundee resident June Keibler.
"Village staff is excited to be working with both the open space volunteers and the Boy Scouts to facilitate the restoration of this natural area," Cavallaro said. "This project highlights the positive impact of community involvement, while providing these Boy Scouts some valuable life skills in achieving their Eagle Scouts status."
The village of West Dundee has established a 3-year $5,000 annual budget for the restoration efforts. Donations and grants have also been received as potential funding sources for the project.
On Sunday, April 21, members of Cub Scout Pack 36 of West Dundee will clean up the banks of the Fox River in West Dundee.
The Scouts will begin at the footbridge that connects East and West Dundee, and work their way east and south along the Fox River to South End Park. They will pick up food wrappers, cigarette butts, and bottles along the way.
Retiring West Dundee Village President Larry Keller will join the troop in its cleanup project.
Residents who want to help Cub Scouts on Sunday can call the village hall at (847) 551-3800.