Butler Lake Shoreline Restoration

  • Location
    Libertyville, Illinois
  • Status
  • Age Level
    14 to 18 Years
  • Group Type
    K-12 School

The Problem

We want to eliminate invasive species in the buffer strip between a walking path next to our school and the shoreline of Butler Lake. We will replace the existing vegetation with deep-rooted native plants that support pollinators and other native wildlife, including migratory birds. The plants will help mitigate erosion issues along the shoreline.

Our Plan

We will partner will non-profits to remove invasive buckthorn, propagate native plants using winter sowing, prepare the planting site, and plant over 1,000 native plants that help mitigate erosion, provide habitat for wildlife, and support pollinators and migrating birds. We will use this highly visible area adjacent to a widely used public path to install informational signs that encourage homeowners to adopt landscaping practices that support pollinators, and to incorporate native plants.

Themes Addressed

  • term icon
    Biodiversity Loss
  • term icon
    Clean Water
  • term icon
    Invasive Species
  • term icon

The Benefit

  • term icon
  • term icon
  • term icon

Here is how the project went:

We completed the planting on the shoreline. It took a little longer than we anticipated, but it went well! We had about 12 volunteers from the community come to help us plant.

Through this project I/we learned:

We learned that having a plan is so important, and the plan really had to be specific about how we wanted participants and volunteers to help so that they were trained and given instructions that they could follow without needed to be closely monitored. We also learned that having a group of students trained in "fixing" planting mistakes was important, as not all of our students/volunteers were great planters. Most importantly, we learned that a group of students can have an outsized impact in their local community. When we presented our project to the Village, we were prepared and confident, and we felt that we were heard. We learned that our community is supportive and excited about the work we are doing.

What I/we might change:

We would train our planters and then WATCH them plant a few to make sure they were able to successfully plant the plugs. We would have more planting supplies so that more volunteers could plant at once.

My/our favorite part of this project was:

Our favorite part of the project was talking to community members who were passing by on the walking path. People were interested in what we were doing and why we were doing it, so it gave us the opportunity to further expand our sphere of influence by teaching people about the value of native plants, and encouraging them to choose native habitats in their home landscaping.

Some tips, tricks or fun facts about the project:

Pro tip - planting augers that fit into cordless drills to drill the holes to plant the plants. Without the 6 augers/drills that we had, we would NOT have been able to plant 3,500 plugs over two weeks. See if you can borrow tools from a community collective, plant group, or library. Broadcast a call for volunteers on social media, and any other platform you can! The Village was able to help get the word out, too.

About Roots & Shoots

We are nurturing the compassionate leaders of tomorrow.

Get To Know Our Model

New Report