Next month is pivotal for land protection in the Fox River watershed. Several open space referenda will be on the ballot. On April 17, our collective votes can make funds available to purchase, preserve and manage nearly 10,000 additional acres of open space. When we invest in open space, we:
- protect high quality natural areas,
- provide habitat for native plants and animals,
- link important greenway corridors between protected areas,
- protect the water quality of our watershed’s streams, and
- provide regional stormwater retention capacity and flood control.
Open space adds value to our properties, provides us additional recreational opportunities and slows urban sprawl. Fiscally, it is the ultimate tax cap.
Sue Bennett, Communications Committee Chair
- Successful passage of open space referenda can preserve nearly 10,000 acres throughout the Fox River watershed. Vote on April 17!
Kendall County McHenry County
- Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources (IDNR) recently received $2 million for the first year of an expected three-year project to update the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory (INAI). The INAI provides information about high-quality natural areas and is used to guide and support land acquisition, protection and stewardship programs by all levels of government, as well as private landowners and conservation organizations.
- Fox River Ecosystem Partnership's (FREP) Sixth Annual Conversations About Conservation With Our Legislators Forum for FREP members, interested residents and area legislators to get better acquainted and to discuss issues that are relevant to Fox River Watershed environmental work. Public welcome. Fri., March 9, 11:00AM-1:00PM, Prisco Center, Room 104, 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora. RSVP by March 6
- Kendall County Environmental Fair sponsored by Kendall County Forest Preserve District and the Kendall Environmental Coalition, Sat., March 24, 9:00AM-Noon, Historic Courthouse, Yorkville. For more info, call 630-553-4111.)
April & May
- Schoolyard Habitat Development Workshop (for educators) sponsored by IDNR's ENTICE program. Sat., April 14, Time: TBA, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia. Fee: $10.
- Earth Day Celebration - Join the McHenry County Conservation District and the McHenry County Defenders in an Earth Day Celebration for the whole family. Indoor/outdoor, rain or shine event features music, storytelling, nature walks, environmental exhibits, and more. Sat., April 21, 11:00AM-4PM, Prairieview Education Center, Crystal Lake. Fee: None.
- Meet the Macros - Great workshop for stream monitors, fishermen, and anyone interested in stream ecology. This workshop will be part refresher and a whole lot of getting up close to the benthic macroinvertebrates of the watersheds of McHenry County. Restoration Ecologist John Aavang will lead us on an armchair/electronic tour that will hone aquatic macroinvertebrate identification skills and review their adaptations. Time will also be spent in a stream sampling macroinvertebrates. Sat., April 28, 1:00-4:00 PM, Glacial Park, The Lodge, McHenry, Fee: None. To register: Contact Mary Kozub, McHenry County Conservation District at 815-479-5779 or
- Fox River Watershed Monitoring Network Student Conference (for middle & high school teachers & their students). - This one-day conference will feature a fish census (electroshocking) demonstration and hands-on water quality monitoring and GPS tracking/GIS mapping activities. Fri., May 4, 8:00AM-1:00PM, LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles. Fee: $20/school. For more info and to sign up, call Gary Swick at 847-426-1322 or
- Fox River Watershed Monitoring Network 'Monitor With Your Mother' Event - Family event on Mother's Day features conservation-focused educational activities & demonstrations, canoe & kayak paddling, food & music - all free. Sun., May 13, 10:00AM-2:00PM, Fox River Shores Forest Preserve, Carpentersville. For more info, contact Gary Swick at 847-426-1322 or
- Birding by Boat - Join world traveler and bird watcher Jack Pomatto on a bird watching trip on the Fox River. Board the paddle boat at Pottawatomie Park in St. Charles and cruise for waterfowl, shorebirds and spring migrants. Bring binoculars. Wed., May 16, 5:30-8:00PM, Pottawatomie Park, St. Charles. Fee: $15. Program #595. For more info, call 630-584-1885. For registration info, call 630-513-6200.
Fox Rescue Cleanups
Friends of the Fox River will hold its next Fox Rescue Cleanup on Sat., May 19, 2007. Cleanups are being scheduled on other dates as well. Plan early to get involved with cleaning up the river. To set up a cleanup site in your area or to get more information about river cleanups, contact Jessi DeMartini at 630-871-7548 or
Spring 2007 Fox Rescue Cleanups
Aurora - Join Sierra Club Water Sentinels (Valley of the Fox Chapter) on Earth Day as they continue their annual Fox River Cleanup along the Fox River. Sat., April 21, 9:00AM-Noon, Aurora. For more info and to volunteer, contact Fran Caffee at 630-859-1687 or
Oswego - Prairie State Canoeists has scheduled a Fox Rescue Cleanup on Sat., May 19 in Oswego. Contact George Stenitzer at 630-215-6751.
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