It seems like just yesterday that COS kicked off the LaBagh Big Year with a field trip there on a snowy January 1. Here we are now in May, with migration in full swing, over one-third of the way through 2015. So how do we stand?

Here are some amazing facts:

  • $5,996 has been raised so far, of which $1,965 is pledges (assuming only 140 species are seen). Our members have been successfully enlisting support of their friends and families: $2,290 of these donations are from non-members!

  • 116 native shrubs were planted by volunteers on two planting days. 91 were purchased from Possibility Place Nursery for $1,148.50 and over 25 were donated by Ken Schaeffer, master naturalist.

  • All shrubs planted and the locations of the plantings were preapproved by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

  • Over 500 feet of fencing and 200 feet of chicken wire were purchased from Farm & Fleet to keep the hungry deer from lunching on our new shrubs. The cost of the fencing and tools to build it was only $674.61.

  • With the careful scrutiny by dedicated Team LaBagh members, 137 species of birds have been seen through May 7! At this rate, we are going to SMASH our goal of seeing 140 species!

  • SEVEN nest boxes for Prothonotary Warblers were installed in the slough. A female Prothonotary has been observed checking them out!

  • Monitoring of birds at LaBagh has begun. The information gathered will be used to evaluate which plantings work best for our feathered friends.

Have you made your donation yet? Here is the reason one donor gave for his contribution:

β€œIt's definitely more rewarding to contribute locally than on a larger scale, where you have no idea where the money goes, other than the near certainty that most of it goes toward more fundraising.  At least at LaBagh the money seems highly-leveraged with volunteer installation and preferential pricing from Possibility Place, as well as thrifty shopping at Farm and Fleet.”

It is so easy to donate! Just donate through the COS website and become a part of Team LaBagh!