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Recently, a successful Arbor Day Foundation grant application—written and submitted by David King, executive director of Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc., and Rob Porter, an assistant professor in the WIU Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (known at RPTA, which administers Horn Field Campus, or HFC, at Western)—resulted in an award that will provide for 16,350 saplings to plant at HFC at the challenge course area and in the surrounding woodlands. According to HFC Program Coordinator Mindy Pheiffer, the current health of the forest at HFC is very poor. She noted it is overgrown with invasive species, which prohibits the natural regeneration of the native hardwoods, so most of the trees are old, with little to no regrowth.

Horn Field Campus Reforestation Project as Model for Local Reforestation Talk April 18

April 12, 2013


MACOMB, IL – Learn more about how the Western Illinois University Horn Field Campus reforestation project will serve as a model for local reforestation initiatives when David King, executive director of Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc., will be on Western's campus next week.

Recently, a successful Arbor Day Foundation grant application—written and submitted by King and Rob Porter, an assistant professor in the WIU Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration (known at RPTA, which administers Horn Field Campus, or HFC, at Western)—resulted in a $10,000 award that will provide for 16,350 saplings to plant at HFC at the challenge course area and in the surrounding woodlands.

At 7 p.m. Thursday, April 18, King will present, "Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development: A Regional Public Charity Improving the Quality of Life in Our Communities," in Currens Hall 204.

According to King, Prairie Hills Resource Conservation and Development, Inc., is a regional public charity for communities improving the quality of life. Formed in 1976 by local leaders in western Illinois to combat social, economic and natural resource concerns, Prairie Hills became an Illinois not-for-profit corporation public charity.

"Prairie Hills mission is 'helping communities help themselves, whether it is for plant, animal or human communities, we provide programs and services that help them thrive.' Our vision is sustainable growth-productive ecosystems; increasing the capacity of organizations, communities and individuals to protect, restore and manage natural habitats; and encouraging economic development and re-development for small businesses to grow," King noted.

Mindy Pheiffer, Horn Field Campus program coordinator, said the HFC reforestation project will not only help the community in its service as a model for local reforestation initiatives, but it will also enable RPTA students, as well as students in other natural resource management-oriented programs on the WIU campus, to gain hands-on experience in reforestation.

Porter added the reforestation project will also benefit other plant life and wildlife at Horn Field Campus.

"Forest habitat is disappearing in Illinois due to major agricultural activity," he explained. "It provides biodiversity not found in prairies or agricultural land. Spring wildflower species, such as prairie trillium, Virginia bluebell and Jack-in-the-Pulpit, thrive in the forest understory, and animal species such as red-headed woodpeckers nest in tree cavities. In addition, burrowing crayfish live along the stream. Other wildflowers, wildlife and migrating/nesting birds depend on these forest patches, too. The forest habitats filter water and prevent runoff and erosion by absorbing rainfall."

For more information about King's presentation or the Arbor Day Foundation grant for the Horn Field Campus reforestation project, contact Pheiffer at (309) 833-5798 or MJ-Pheiffer@wiu.edu; Porter at (309) 298-1967 or R-Porter@wiu.edu; or King at (309) 833-4747 or david.king@frontier.com.

Visit Horn Field Campus online at www.wiu.edu/hfc.

Posted By: Teresa Koltzenburg, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606