Over 50 volunteers from Northwestern University and the Chicago community helped Cook County Forest Preserves cut, clear, and burn buck-thorn in the Deer Grove West forest preserve and the Busse Woods forest preserve.
Evanston’s January CommuniTyler event was a phenomenal experience, and a great way to kick off what I hope will be a tradition of similar events. There’s nothing quite like getting up early on a Saturday morning to not only give back to the community, but to do it with friends. Clearing invasive species in the Busse Woods Forest Preserver really epitomized everything that’s wonderful about the organization– to do good in an unexpected and most importantly, fun way. It also really spoke to the spirit of the event, and of Ty, in that it drew friends from all over the Evanston and Chicago community together for a couple hours of fun in the woods, snow, and sun.
The most powerful way people we’ve lost persist is not through the preservation of the memories they inhabit, but through the evocation of their aura in present action. Spending the bright, icy morning out in the woods all together, clearing invasive species to make way for new growth, focusing in on one small spot of the planet and making it better seemed to elicit everything Tyler was. The atmosphere around us was rife with his instinctive desire to give fully of himself, his unbridled enthusiasm for the earth, and his genuine interest in and love for other people. With the fresh air rising and falling in our lungs and brightening our cheeks, his spirit seemed to reverberate infinitely throughout the universe. I could feel Ty everywhere.
CommuniTyler Evanston really was an amazing day. A group of us drove out to Deer Grove West Forest Preserve to help remove an invasive species called Buckthorn. It’s so easy to get caught up in our own individual lives and never take some time to give back, and I know it would have meant a lot to Ty to see us all of together, old friends and new faces, up and about early on a Saturday morning enjoying the day, each other, and just doing some good together.