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Group to restore land on Fermilab campus
By Leslie Hague | Daily Herald Staff
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Published: 9/5/2007 12:20 AM

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A new not-for-profit group plans to improve the land on Fermilab's 6,800-acre campus.

"We want to make Fermilab even more of an amenity and enjoyable part of the community," Rod Walton of the Fermilab Natural Areas group told the Batavia city council Tuesday night.

The not-for-profit will work to restore and improve prairie, forest, wetland and savannah areas on campus, including the spots open to the public.

"We want to make it more visitor-friendly," Walton said.

He also hopes that the campus can be used for ecological research.

"It's a perfect outdoor laboratory for people to use," he said.

The group is not officially a part of Fermilab and is not federally funded. It is beginning to apply for grants to support projects on the campus.

They will soon begin an aggressive corporate and individual fundraising campaign, Walton said.

Alderman Jodie Wollnik asked if the group would be working to save ash trees affected by the infestation of the Emerald Ash Borer discovered earlier this year.

Walton said that Fermilab is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to decide what to do about that.

"As far as we can tell, it's limited to a few trees along Kirk Road," he said.

The group plans to hold a general membership meeting early next year with community members who want to get involved in the project.

Donations can be sent to Fermilab Natural Areas, P.O. Box 500, MS 214, Batavia 60510.