The Oak Forest High School Ecology Club is making National news with their work in the Bartel Grasslands project. Ecology Club Sponsor Dawn Sasek said that a video featuring Oak Forest High School students was shown this summer at the National Audubon Society Annual Bird Conference in Washington, D.C.
In the video, students are seen working on the Bartel Grasslands project. The Bartel Grasslands have been named as an Important Birding Area, according to Sasek, because “it is a corridor for bird migration.” Important birds that migrate through this land are sandhill cranes, meadowlarks, bobolinks, savannah sparrows, saw whet owls, and dicksiscels.
Sasek says that the Ecology Club students are very dedicated to the project and “go out twice a month to restore the habitat by controlled burns, restoring the habitat, and collecting and spreading native seeds.”
Additionally, the Ecology Club students also participated in a bobolink study in which they studied what predators were preying on the bobolink’s eggs, which are laid in the grass. They made clay models of the eggs and then found through remote captured cameras that the biggest predators were crawfish and raccoons.
The video that was shown at the National Audubon Society Annual Bird Conference can be found at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=beGUuVeLEZg&feature=youtu.be. Current Oak Forest High School students Teagan Doyle, Sara Papiez, Annie Samoska, Erika Arias, and Caitlin Chismark can be seen at the three minute fifty second mark on the video.