Community Invited to Learn About Sustainability and Prairie Plants on April 15 at JJC

The public is welcome to learn more about sustainability and prairie plants in a Brown Bag Lecture given by Andy Neill, JJC natural sciences professor, on the Main Campus at 1215 Houbolt Road in Joliet on April 15 at noon in the JJC Library. The lecture, titled “Sustainability Lesson #2014” comes one week before Earth Day.

Andy Neill is pictured with students as he teaches them about the prairie.

Neill, who is passionate about both sustainability and environmental conservation, hopes to inspire both students and community members about sustainability from a very local standpoint.

“I am taking a different approach to sustainability in this year’s Earth Day Brown Bag presentation,” he said. “Instead of repeating the same old worn-out, discouraging statistics, I will present the awe-inspiring story of prairie plants. This is relevant to everyone who makes their living here in Illinois. Life is air, water and food. Without the living landscape that prairie has made possible for us here, life would be much different.”

Neill has been a professor at JJC since January 1993. In his time at the college, he has been a part of a restoration effort on campus to change the landscape back to its natural prairie. These efforts have cleared out all non-native plant species and returned 65 acres to its original pre-1820s state to create not only a more natural landscape, but also an outdoor teaching and learning laboratory. Neill teaches biology and ecological conservation.

For more information about sustainability at JJC, visit www.jjc.edu/about/committees/sustainable-campus. For more information at JJC’s natural areas, visit http://www.jjc.edu/about/college-info/master-plan/Pages/natural-areas-restoration.aspx.

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