Lake County Forest Preserves Offices Get Landscaping Makeover
The makeover was made possible thanks to a $15,000 donation from Libertyville-based Valent BioSciences. The funds were used to cover the cost of removing Callery pear trees, an invasive species, at the forest preserves general offices, 1899 W. Winchester Road, according to a news release from the Lake County Forest Preserve.
Native trees, such as oak and hickory, replaced the invasives.
The Callery pear, also known as Bradford pear, is an invasive ornamental tree introduced to the region for landscaping purposes from eastern Asia. While the original cultivars were bred to be sterile, cross-pollination has resulted in viable seeds.
Birds readily eat this plant’s fruits, which resemble small apples, and disperse the seeds in their droppings. Unfortunately, Callery pear has spread aggressively and invaded many habitats, including natural areas, according to a news release.
The invasive trees at the general offices have been replaced with native shrubs and trees, including oaks. Oak are a keystone species in the Chicago area. Hundreds of species of birds, insects, butterflies, mammals and other plants depend on them for shelter, nutrients, camouflage and reproduction.
Valent BioSciences made the contribution to the preservation foundation, which is the charitable partner of the Lake County Forest Preserves. The removal of the trees, also found in your preserves, is consistent with the Forest Preserves’ countywide natural resource management strategies, according to a news release.
“We are grateful for Valent BioSciences’ support as we work to remove this invasive species from our corporate campus, a key objective in the Forest Preserves’ 100-year Vision for Lake County,” said Angelo Kyle, president of the Lake County Forest Preserves . “Restoration is core to our mission and we want to lead by example in replacing these trees. We hope to educate and inspire other corporations to understand the threat of Callery pear to Lake County’s natural lands and remove it from their corporate campuses.”