Loyola Park Erosion Control Project and Volunteer Marram Grass Planting
The Chicago Park District will be conducting an erosion control project and volunteer Marram grass planting at Loyola Park, 1230 W. Greenleaf Ave., on Saturday, November 10 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Monday, November 12 from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. The Marram grass being planted at this site will help stabilize the sand with the help of its deep root system and prevent it from depositing on nearby parkland.
With the Chicago area’s frequent storms and mild winter season last year, wind erosion on the Loyola Park’s beach has been a major issue. In efforts to prevent the erosion, a strip of naturally occurring dune grass, Amophilla brevigulata, commonly referred to as Marram grass, will be planted with the help of a few good Chicago Park District volunteers under the direct supervision of the Chicago Park District Natural Resources Department staff members. The pilot strip of dune grass will be 15 feet wide by 330 feet long northeast of the field house. This section will be fenced in with a non-intrusive transparent fence at a minimum for a year or until the Marram grass has established which can take up to two years.
Additionally, a small section just south of the comfort station will also be planted with Marram grass. This areas was formerly turf grass but has now become covered with sand due to the erosion. In order to prevent the sand from moving further into the adjacent parking lot, the Chicago Park District plans to strategically plant Marram grass throughout this area and incorporating pedestrian pathways to the comfort station.
Marram grass is a beach grass which occurs naturally along the entire coastline of Lake Michigan and has a long root system which can outgrow the rise of sand and stabilize the system. This beach grass requires no mowing.
Interested volunteers are asked to meet near the playground area adjacent to the beach. For more information about the project or if you would like to volunteer, please call (312) 742 – 4702.