September 27,  2016 - Kurt Dreisilker

Head of Natural Resources - Morton Arboretum.


Since 2004, Kurt Dreisilker has developed and led the natural resource program at The Morton Arboretum.  As the Head of Natural Resources he leads and implements ecological restoration programs and projects throughout 900 acres of the Arboretum, including oak woodlands, wetlands, and prairies.


The Morton Arboretum provides a unique perspective on invasive plant species.  In Dreisilker's presentation "Invasive Plant Prevention  at Morton Arboretum" you will learn how this public garden controls invasive woody species by using several unique resources, such as: ninety two years of history, 1700 acres of living collections surrounded by natural areas, a herbarium, and numerous naturalists employed over time who recorded information about the regional flora.  The presentation will share examples and insights into how The Morton Arboretum deals with plant invasions and evaluates the plant collections for invasive species.



All programs take place at the Prospect Heights Public Library's Borland meeting room and start promptly at 7:00. Nature Speaks is free admission but registration is necessary.

Invasive Teasel going to seed

Kurt has established a formal volunteer training program to assist in his efforts as well as for regional natural areas and now, volunteer led resource management activities assists staff programs 6 days per week all year long.  Kurt’s work within a public garden has provided him with a unique perspective on plant invasions since plants from around the world are utilized in many capacities throughout Arboretum programs.


Currently a board member of the Midwest Invasive Plant Network, Kurt has served on the Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership steering committee and his recent projects focusing on invasive species include analyzing the current population of a suspected invasive species, the giant globe thistle Echinops sphaerocephalus. He is also conducting a review of Arboretum plant records to provide a multi-decade perspective on horticultural plant invasions, shedding light on numerous potential problematic species.


Kurt has a B.S. in plant biology and a M.S.  in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.



Canadian thistle going to seed

Prospect Heights Natural Resources Commission

8 N. Elmhurst Road

Prospect Heights, IL. 60070

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