It is hardly news that our planet is on the brink of ecological disaster. Yet amid the alarming headlines, a grassroots restoration movement, comprised largely of everyday people and sponsored by organizations like The Nature Conservancy, has sprouted up and become the most vital environmental force in America. This compelling story of heroism and tenacious human spirit— the first book to look at this momentous new movement—brings alive one of its most astonishing victories.
Once a thriving habitat, Vestal Grove, a tract of land along the Chicago River, was abandoned and on the edge of oblivion. But Steve Packard, a charismatic, modern-day Thoreau, was determined to bring it back. With a small troop of volunteers, he began clearing the land only to make an amazing discovery: Vestal Grove was a long-lost ecosystem. Neither prairie nor forest, it was a living community so finely turned that only certain flora and fauna could live in its unique dapple of sun and shade. The challenge was to unearth its ecological Rosetta stone and find the secrets of its survival. Little did Packard and the others know just how wondrous those secrets would be.
A page-turning mystery, inspirational drama, and uplifting testament to a new breed of American pioneer, Miracle Under the Oaks is an important book for everyone—environmentalists, lovers of natures, dedicated gardeners, and the new generation that will inherit the earth.