Suburban Skyview: Hay bales in Ned Brown preserve help keep out invasive plants

  • Hay bales are stored on property at the Ned Brown Forest Preserve in Cook County as part of a grassland management program.

      Hay bales are stored on property at the Ned Brown Forest Preserve in Cook County as part of a grassland management program. Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 1/4/2022 1:17 PM

Taking a walk or energetic run through the Ned Brown Forest Preserve (popularly known as Busse Woods) surrounding Elk Grove Village, you will notice the landscape dynamic has changed. Hay bales now dot the brown dormant land.

The 3,700-acre Ned Brown Preserve is not only home to the largest fishing and boating waters in Cook County, but it also is part of the district's grassland management program. The program promotes biodiversity between plants and animals in their natural environment.

 

In early December, a John Deere tractor started mowing, tedding and racking row after row of dried grasses composed of timothy, alfalfa and clover, producing hundreds of hay bales now lined up in a perfect symmetry that turns heads. That symmetry helps keep out invasive woody plants and maintain a grassland habitat that serves as a colossal playground during the summer for a number of activities.

The hay bales now sit soaking up the sun's rays, glowing yellow when the sun goes down and patiently waiting to be frosted by the first snow like a giant piece of high-fiber frosted shredded wheat cereal.

• If you have suggestions for something you'd like to see our drone pilots photograph, email skyview@dailyherald.com with your idea.

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 
Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.