Langham Island Equipment Fund!

$1,505 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 31 people in 38 months
The Friends of Langham Island Volunteer Group is asking for help in raising funds to buy a Stihl MS 271 Farmboss Chainsaw and some hand tools for brush clearing.  These tools would greatly help our volunteer group complete the mission to restore Langham Island and save the Kankakee Mallow (Iliamna remota) from near extinction. 

Friends of Langham Island Facebook Page

Why is Langham Island Important?

Langham Island is an Illinois Nature Preserve located in the middle of the Kankakee River. At just over 20 acres, the island is home to a large diversity of plants which include over 300 species. Most notably the island is home to the Kankakee Mallow (Iliamna remota) which is native only to this island in the entire WORLD!  That fact makes the island one of the most unique natural areas in Illinois.

Langham Island

Why is Langham Island in Trouble?

Due to many circumstances the Island has not been managed since 2003. During this time several different exotic invasive species have taken over the island and severely impacted the native island flora including the Kankakee Mallow. The invaders include: bush honeysuckle, autumn olive, european buckthorn, sweet clover, and reed canary grass. These plants outcompete many of the highly conservative species on the island by shading them out, using allelopathic chemical to prevent germination, and resource consumption. Since 2003 there has also been no fire on the island which has allowed many of these species to gain an even stronger foothold. The lack of fire greatly impacts the survival of the Kankakee Mallow which requires the heat of the fire to germinate in large numbers.

Read more about the history of Langham Island here:

What experts say about Langham Island:

"Langham Island hosts some of Illinois' rarest and most unique plants. Stewardship of the island, especially removal of invasive brush, is critical to the preservation of this ecologically significant site." 
- Rachel Goad, Plants of Concern Manager 
Chicago Botanic Garden and Langham Island Partner

"One of the most important biodiversity conservation sites in North America, little Langham Island was so overrun by brush that its rare plants hadn’t been seen for years. Congratulations to the team of dedicated volunteers that is accomplishing miracles there. Friends of Langham Island deserves all the help and support they can get."
-Stephen Packard
Somme Woods/Prairie Steward
Former Director of Science and Stewardship with The Nature Conservancy
Langham Island Volunteer

"What an amazing site. The Kankakee Mallow was found in just one location, Langham Island and grows there today thanks to the brush clearing efforts of volunteers. There’s still time to help, as there is plenty of invasive brush left to remove before Langham Island is once again, the jewel of the Kankakee River."
-Floyd Catchpole, 
Land Management Program Coordinator
Will County Forest Preserve District 
Langham Island Volunteer

"Illinois generally lacks endemic species, which makes the Kankakee Mallow all the more special. Now that this species, along with other rare plants, are again being brought back from the brink of extinction, continual management by dedicated volunteers is essential to ensure the viability of these plant populations. " 
- Christopher David Benda, President 
Illinois Native Plant Society

The Friends of Langham Island Steps In:

During the late summer of 2014 the state gathering of the Illinois Native Plant Society was held in Kankakee County. One of the field trips planned was to visit Langham Island where it was expected that the Kankakee Mallow might be in bloom for people to see. When the canoes arrive to the island they were met with a wall of honeysuckle that closed off the entire island. No mallows were observed that day. Out of that field trip a new local volunteer group was born made up largely of Illinois Native Plant Society members: Friends of Langham Island.

Quickly in September 2014 we had our first workday on the island and people came from all over the Chicagoland area to help support the project.

First workday group photo

Since then we have been having workdays at least once or twice a month. In August of 2015 we had our first breakthrough in that we counted just under 1000 Kankakee Mallow first year plants in areas where we had cleared the brush. We have been making great progress but we could do much better. With a chainsaw in hand we could speed up the restoration work and clear more areas. By cutting down the mature honeysuckle we interrupt the exotic seed production and allow light to reach the soil again. In the spring time the dormant native seed seizes the opportunity and brings the Island back to life. We have seen this already in the areas we have cut. Up to this point and time we have been using loppers (mostly) and a couple chainsaws that volunteers may bring if they are able.
Wall of invasive Honeysuckle that prevents the native flora from growing on Langham Island. Note all the bare soil where plants should be.

Area on Langham that has been cleared of brush. Note all the plants growing where the bare soil used to be!

Kankakee Mallows Back on Langham Island in 2015! Let’s keep it rolling.  Thank you for supporting the work we do and we hope you can join us at an upcoming workday!

Other Reading about the work we do:
+ Read More
We are Thankful for all of you that recently donated! Some of the equipment has been ordered and should be here by our next workday......The posters have also come in this week and will be mailed out soon.

"In studying the flora of a restricted region, no matter how carefully it seems to have been explored,
one is frequently surprised by new things....
No region can be regarded as thoroughly explored
until every acre of its wild areas at least has been examined.
Then some plants are so rare or local or grow under such peculiar conditions
that a few square rods or even feet may comprise their range."
- E.J. Hill, 1899
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We did it!!!!! In just 11 days we fully funded and actually went over our campaign goal of $1000. A huge thank you to all the donors and supporters who helped with or contributed to this campaign.
Hopefully we will have some of the equipment ready for the upcoming workdays in December (5th and 19th).
If you still want to donate you certainly still can. Anything over the goal will go towards Personal Protective gear for the chainsaw.

+ Read More
Hello everyone! We are almost 3/4 of the way to our goal! This has been an awesome experience so far. Thank you to the many supporters.

Because of your overwelming support we have been able schedule 3 more workdays that will allow us to continue restoring Langham Island.

November 22nd 11am-3pm
December 5th 10am-2pm
December 19th 10am-2pm

Please come join us at one of these workdays to see first hand the progress we are making with our 100% volunteer led restoration.

Please continue to share this campaign and perhaps we will have some new tools for one of these upcoming workdays.

Onward and upward!
Workday strategy session
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Over HALFWAY to our goal!

Here is a picture of Don Nelson. A dedicated Langham Island volunteer who took initiative during a week day late this summer to go out to the Island and build a deer browsing exclusion fence. During our initial Kankakee Mallow survey we found that over 40% of the plants were browsed. Thankfully our partners at the Plants of Concern Program from the Chicago Botanic Garden helped us fund the fence.

We need your support for the upcoming growing season to clear more areas and help protect more Kankakee Mallows. Your help will ensure their survival.
Volunteer Don Nelson
+ Read More
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$1,505 of $1,000 goal

Raised by 31 people in 38 months
Created October 29, 2015
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9 months ago
37 months ago
Jeff Skrentny
37 months ago

Robb, hope you'll throw in a few buttons w/ the poster!

Molly Kozik
37 months ago

Thanks for all your work!

37 months ago
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