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Mission: Rebuilding our relationship with DuPage through hands-on ecological restoration and protection.

2018 Restoration Saturdays (9AM-12PM):

-September 1st, 2018

Where to Park:
churchill woods entrance


The Sustain DuPage Protectors are a group of Sustain DuPage volunteers who host restoration days at Churchill Woods Forest Preserve in Glen Ellyn/ Lombard, Illinois. We post workday events on our Facebook and Meetup.

Restoration sometimes includes heavy labor like cutting brush, but we also have non-heavy days that include harvesting and spreading seed, river restoration, and more! We welcome volunteers of all ages, we ask that guardians supervise kiddos (with a 1:3 ratio of adults to kids!)

At our workdays we focus on many different challenges facing Churchill Woods.

We remove trash from the site.

We work on disrupting the monoculture (one-kind-of-plant) populations of buckthorn and honeysuckle (pictured above) which block sunlight from the forest floor. Once they are cleared the sunlight is restored so acorns can germinate (grow) and the native woodland seeds we spread can reclaim the area. Controlled fires are set annually by the Forest Preserve to keep the vigorous plant populations in check.

We focus on reducing erosion (pictured above) of the East Branch of the DuPage River with streambank stabilization practices.

A map of our goals of accessibility/ active transportation improvement for Churchill Woods Forest Preserve.

We hope to lobby local governments for improved accessibility, connectivity, safety, and signage for Churchill Woods and its historic landmarks. 

If you’re interested in receiving updates from us, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter!

We provide: tools (gloves, loppers, saws, herbicide), water, (and sometimes snacks!)

See you soon!

If you plan on coming to a workday, here’s a great infographic on things you might need! 
1) You’re going to want a hat- not a hood. A hood lets in the wind and falls off as you work, which is annoying!
2) You’re going to want a 100% wool work sweater. This sweater will wick the moisture away from your body so when you sweat you won’t get cold.
3) You will want to wear pants you won’t mind ripped, dirtied, or covered in clingy seeds.
4) You will want 100% wool socks to keep your feet warm.
5) Some people don’t like the feeling wool on their skin and prefer to wear a long sleeved cotton undershirt under their sweater. This also cuts wind shear, but can get sweaty and make you cold. Your call!
6) Long underwear can help keep you warm on really cold days.
7) Work boots. We recommend you wear steel-toe if you have them. Definitely want boots that are water proof.
8) 100% wool scarf. Sometimes it’s nice to wear a scarf when you get too hot for your coat. It’s a perfect temperature regulator- keeping you hot where it counts- around your armpits, your neck, and your chest.
9) We will provide gloves, but it’s nice to have the kind of leather gloves with fluff on the inside to keep your hands warm too. The kind we get from the County don’t have lining, so they can get a bit chilly.
10) Handkerchief. Make it old school! In the cold weather our lungs need to pre-treat the air before it is inhaled by warming it and moistening it down our throats. When we exhale through our nose, water vapor can form in our nose- making it seem like it’s running. Handkerchiefs are a great way to save paper by wicking this water onto cloth instead of tissues. Super handy and it saves the planet!
11) A thermos is nice when it’s cold out to keep your beverage warm!
12) Bring a phone, fully charged. It’s fun to take photos for instagram, facebook, twitter, etc.
13) A jar full of water is important. Dehydration happens in the winter too- especially if you’re working hard.
14) If you have a wildlife book you like, feel free to bring it and teach us about nature!
15) Feel free to bring a treat to share!
16) Bring a reusable spoon in case of hot food!
17) Bring a reusable mug in case of hot beverages!
18) Bring a reusable bowl in case of hot food!
 See you under the oak boughs!


Our restoration workdays empower DuPagers with ecological understanding. The work is instantly gratifying, pride-inducing, and improves our physical health. Restoration keeps you warm outside in winter, which prolongs your duration of nature immersion. This extended immersion bolsters eco-psychological wellbeing. The team-oriented activity works to strengthen bonds of reciprocity, communication, and communal trust. Risk management is paramount, increasing our awareness of our physical self, our limits, and our need for interdependence.
DuPagers create eco-disturbance in the form of habitat fragmentation, fire suppression, chloride (salt) pollution, soil erosion, flooding, water temperature increases, petroleum pollution, climate change, animal grazing, deforestation, species introduction, predator elimination, sound pollution, ground-vibration pollution, and light pollution. By working to restore the fire ecology of our natural areas we can begin to eliminate over-pressure from introduced species, restore the leaf litter layer of humus, re-introduce eliminated species, reduce erosion, filter groundwater, open hunting space for predators, and provide forage for remaining species. We have nearly destroyed our entire regional ecosystem in DuPage, and so we should be working to de-fragment crucial habitats by retiring excessive infrastructure, re-wilding, and restoring private properties to pro-Earth stewardship practices. 

There is much research positively correlating the positive effect of natural areas on local economies. The more natural areas that we preserve and restore, the higher our home values will become. There is much potential in the creation of home goods from invasive specie biomass as a means of restoring balance to local ecosystems, creating local capital at the same time. By restoring natural areas to native habitat, we increase the availability of wild-forage foods. Ultimately, DuPage could pursue wild-forage licenses for native fiber, medicine, or dye plants as well as edible funguses as a means for capital creation benefiting local conservation efforts. A wild-forage license would also greatly reduce the instances of poaching that threaten native wildlife and would improve the Forest Preserve District’s understanding of sustainable take limits on a regional level. The reduction in flooding from openspace and wetland uptake saves millions of dollar annually.