among the illegally dumped trash.
It was one of the nicer thank yous we've ever received. In the Spring of 1999, just as the restoration of Daffodil Valley was getting underway, we noticed that they were back. One of our neighbors told us about the flowers, and how the hillside was once covered with daffodils in the spring. When the Illinois Raptor Center moved to its present location in January of 1994, the degradation of Daffodil Valley had already begun. None of us had ever seen the valley's namesake flowers.
It seemed somehow fitting that two patches of daffodils bloomed within sight of a group of 35 high school students that was busy sorting junk tires, lumber, metal and other trash to be removed.
In June, 1998, the IRC purchased the five acre property adjoining ours. In addition to the purchase price, Wildlife CPR agreed to pay two-and-one-half years property taxes that were owed, and undertake the substantial cleanup. Costs included the $8,500 purchase price, back property taxes of $1,600 for 1996, $1,200 for 1997 and $600 for the first six months of 1998.
In June 1999, long after the daffodils had finished their run for the year, we reported that nearly all of the trash had been removed from the property. Thanks to several groups of volunteers, only those of us who remember the junk cars, deteriorating mobile home, dilapidated outbuildings and endless illegally dumped trash can know how far things have come so quickly.
Bringing back native Illinois biodiversity will take time and money. We have started the process of restoring several portions of our property including "Daffodil Valley." The valley is almost completely degraded, with few native species remaining. It will be quite a challenge. Fortunately, a new partnership with the Girl Scouts of America has helped us get this important work underway.
Thank you for believing that this hopeless piece of ground could bloom again.