Photo above:  Callery pear infestation, by Pat Hayes


Earth Day Celebration x 2

Orland Grassland Volunteers not only steward Orland Grassland on the second and fourth Saturdays and every Wednesday year round, they also have a "side job" of providing stewardship for Old Plank Road Prairies between Ridgeland and I-57 south of Route 30 in Rich Township and Matteson, IL.

This year we are hosting two Earth Day Celebrations, one for each site. 


Orland Grassland is about 1,000 open contiguous acres and we always need more helping hearts and hands there.  At Old Plank Road Prairies, a Grade A prairie, we do the best we can, picking away along the 33 feet on either side of the Old Plank Trail.  

At Orland Grassland, callery pear is a horrendous invader and the wet swales a magnet for willow and conttonwood trees and other woodies.  It seems there can't be enough help to keep on top of these.

At Old Plank Road Prairies, we have cleared woodies in an area and exposed wet leaves, vegetative debris and sadly, trash, that has become embedded into the soil and needs raking to tease it out. Tall coreopsis, prairie dock and bergamot are some natives that doing their best to survive so we know others are waiting for fresh air and sunshine to make their presence known.

How glorious to give either, or both, of these two precious places a big hug at our Earth Day celebration by participating in these events.

Of course, every day is Earth Day for the Orland Grassland Volunteers :-)


Meetings & Events


Orland Grassland volunteers and enthusiasts have plenty to do within each of the seasons on the grassland, each with its own natural splendor.




7:00 to 9:30 p.m.

Orland Park Civic Center

14750 So. Ravinia Ave.

Orland Park, IL

Next meeting:  April 12, 2022




Earth Day Celebration x 2


Our Habitat Rescue Team is dedicating two field days to Earth Day this year, one at Old Plank Road Prairie and one at Orland Grassland.

4-16--Old Plank Road Prairie


9:00 to noon

Located between Central Avenue and I-57, south of Route 30

Parking is along the north side of Miller Circle Drive (GPS Miller Circle Drive and Central Avenue, Matteson IL)


We need rakers!  We have cleared the stretch south of the car dealership parking lot of woodies, but much wet leaves, vegetative debris and trash is embedded in the soil. Raking this out will give the soil a breath of fresh air and sunshine.  We'll have gloves, tools and refreshments, but if you have a garden rake you can bring, that would be great.


This is terrific for individuals, families, groups and organizations.  Community Service Hours apply.  RSVP by hitting "Contact Us" above.

4-23--Orland Grassland


9:00 to noon

Parking on 167th west of La Grange Rd.


We'll be lopping callery pear and cutting invasive willows out of the swale in the area on the east side along the bike trail. 

We'll have gloves, tools and refreshments plus lots of smiling camaraderie. 

This is great for those 18 and older, minors with parents, groups and organizations.  Community Service Hours apply.  RSVP by hitting "Contact Us" above.



About Brats N' Burn


Usually is February, Brats N' Burn is a celebration of the Orland Grassland Volunteer's winter clearing work.  We build our brush pile, toss foil wrapped packets of brats, green peppers, onions and potatoes into fire and set the table with condiments and sides.  We take a break and eat a yummy lunch together.  It's a fun time.


About Hike the Night

To honor Earth Hour, Orland Grassland Volunteers are host a night hike at Orland Grassland along Birdsong Trail from 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.  We hike into the grassland wildness along this natural terrain footpath to see the sun set, hear the frogs call and stargaze into the night.  You may hear owls and see American woodcocks.  Red tower lights twinkle from the silhouette of the Chicago skyline seen from atop Kwadekik Hill.  You'll be unplugged, surrounded by nature, a multi-sensory delight.

Earth Hour is organized by the World Wildlife Federation (WWF) uniting people to protect the planet.  See for more information.

About "Autumn on the Grassland"

It's fall and time to begin our seed harvest.  We wander the site under the guidance of the Orland Grassland Volunteers and collect seed from our native plants.  We have 1,000 acres to seed, and every precious seed counts.

About seed cleaning

Volunteers gather to clean all the native seed that’s been collected.  Sometimes we rub the seeds over hand-made screens; sometimes we pry them open with our fingers; and sometimes we use a hammer to split them open. Whatever it takes, we get the seeds ready and sorted for Grand Seeding Day, just a couple weeks later. After that, nature will work her winter magic on them: the seeds will  be denched and dried, frozen and thawed, until the spring sun tells them it’s time to take their rightful place in the open air.

About Grand Seeding Day

On this day, volunteers distribute all of the seed we’ve harvested and cleaned. When we gather in the parking lot, teams are formed to spread out over the site. Once in position, long lines of volunteers hand-shake priceless native wildflower and grass seeds into areas that are ready to receive them. Equipment is provided. 

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
Edward Everett Hale
Author and clergyman