Left to right, Daniel Biss, Jerry Herst, and Marjorie Benton plant a black oak tree in honor of Mayor Biss’ birthday. (Photo by Libby Hill)

A beautiful black oak tree, Quercus velutina, was planted on a perfect morning at Clark Street Beach Bird Sanctuary to honor Mayor Biss on his 44th birthday, Sept. 27. The Mayor was not content to stand by and watch. He found tools and participated in all aspects of the planting, from cutting away the plastic protection holding the soil around the tree roots to shoveling the sand. Black oak is the only oak native to sand prairies in Illinois. The handsome 6-foot tall tree is planted in the north end of the sanctuary near the fence next to the bike path. Purchase was made possible by a generous gift of Marjorie Craig Benton.

Libby Hill

Libby Hill is the author of "The Chicago River: a Natural and Unnatural History. She has been writing about birds and trees and Evanston's natural history for the Roundtable since 2004.