The chief of emergency medicine at the NorthShore University Health System, Dr. Morris Kharasch has practiced medicine for 25 years. Dr. Morris Kharasch also donates to local community groups, such as the Friends of the Green Bay Trail.
Based in Glencoe, Illinois, north of Chicago, the Friends of the Green Bay Trail (FGBT) began when residents started to explore the impact of invasive species, such as common buckthorn and garlic mustard, on the native biosphere. They learned how restoring native plants, such as milkweed, a food source for monarch butterflies, can bring back dwindling populations of insets and other species of animals, including birds such as goldfinches, which also thrive on native plants. The FGBT also urges residents to avoid using outdoor plants from Japan and China in their gardens.
Officials have praised the FGBT for its grassroots fundraising efforts and partnerships with other organizations. For example, ecology + vision, a firm that consults on ecosystem restoration, donated its services in creating an elaborate landscape plan. The University of Illinois at Chicago lent the services of seven students to devise ideas for good funding sources.
Also working with the FGBT is the Village of Glencoe, which has started a Trees for the Trail program. This initiative lets donors purchase native trees to be planted along the trail. Those interested in volunteering for this and other events can reach the FGBT at www.gbtrail.org.