Choi to Speak on Wolf Lake Ecology At January’s Winter Festival

Those attending the 12th annual Winter Wonderland at Wolf Lake festival will hear about current efforts to monitor plants and wildlife at Wolf Lake.

Sponsored by the Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative (AWLI), the festival will be held on Saturday, January 19.

Dr. Young Choi, professor of biology and coordinator of the Environmental Science Program at Purdue University Calumet, will speak on the Ecology of Wolf Lake at 11 a.m. at the Environmental Education Center, 2405 Calumet Avenue, Hammond, IN.

Choi is in his second of a two-year effort to monitor the lake’s wildlife. He has trained student and community volunteers to identify wetland plants and aquatic invertebrates.

At the end of the project, Choi plans to compare findings to those of a similar monitoring project he conducted at Wolf Lake more than a decade ago. He also hopes to have a group of volunteers who will continue monitoring Wolf Lake wetlands.

In prior research, Choi has studied ecological restoration of tall-grass prairies, oak-savannas and wetlands in the southern coastal area of Lake Michigan. His research topics include, but are not limited to, vegetation trajectory after restoration, effects of atmospheric nitrogen deposition on the vegetation of restored communities, and assessment of restoration techniques and outcomes.

Earlier presentations during the morning of the festival will be given by Les Marszalek on retrieving Native American artifacts, Kevin Murphy on videography, and David Dabertin on ice boating.

In the afternoon, the event shifts to the Southeast Sportsmen’s Club on the Chicago shoreline where John Pastirik will speak on ice safety. Rod Sellers will lead a session on memories of Wolf Lake. Invited to speak on the Underground Railroad is Paul Petraitis.

The Sportsmen’s Club is at 13139 Avenue M, Chicago.

The festival showcases Wolf Lake and surrounding natural areas as a year-round resource for recreation and education. Its purpose also is to promote bi-state cooperation.

As for outdoor activities, planner have scheduled cross-country skiing and skating (bring skates), weather permitting. These will be conducted under the supervision of LaToyia Gilbert and Pastirik.

In the morning only, there will be a hike to view an art exhibit at the Bernard Gallery at nearby Calumet College of St. Joseph.

In the afternoon only, Pastirik will conduct Sellerski, a competition on ice safety. Walter Marcisz, who spoke last year on the birds of the Wolf Lake watershed, will lead a birding tour.

New this year will be an author’s corner. Participant will include such local writers as Cynthia Ogorek, David Dabertin, Kevin Murphy and Rod Sellers.

There will be displays on the development of a bi-state management guide for the watershed, amphibians and reptiles of the Calumet Region by Alan Resetar of the Field Museum, monitoring opportunities at Wolf Lake, and photo exhibits by Rod Sellers and Rebecca Moss.

AWLI is a bi-state not-for-profit organization and land trust dedicated to the protection and enhancement of the Wolf Lake watershed.

Contact Michael Boos at Association for the Wolf Lake Initiative 219 933-7149 or 312 220-0120

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