To the editor:
This letter is in response to an article published Oct. 23 titled “Volunteers, students help clear invasive species at headwaters.”
I am a student at Loyola University Chicago from Woodstock. I attended Woodstock Community High School and worked for a year with the Defenders of McHenry County. It is a great thing that in the McHenry County community we are fighting back against invasive species.
Invasive species come into our area and take over by producing large numbers of offspring, which take over the niche or environmental role of our native species. In some cases, they can even decrease the populations of native species by outcompeting them for resources. This is a terrible thing for the local environment, as it alters the makeup of species’ diversity in the area, as well as causes significant changes to niches of those organisms that were in synch with the native species before the invasive species moved in.
Invasion of a species can throw the entire system off balance if the species are pervasive enough. What these high school students are doing in clearing the invasive tree species at the Kishwaukee River is a benefit to our local ecosystem and also to our community. I wanted to thank them for their efforts and hard work.