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e - P R A I R I E   F L Y E R   Mar/Apr/May 2000
Newsletter of the Sierra Club Prairie Group

= = = = = Contents

Prairie Group General Meetings - Sprawl, Earth "Month," GM Crops

How Will Champaign Grow?

Oppose the Route 150 Corridor Plan

What Your Forest Preserve Board is Doing For You

Rankin Group Remains Ready To Fight Incinerator

70,000 cubic yards of PCB and dioxin contaminated soil in Rantoul

Menard's To Stop Selling Old Growth Wood

Weekly meetings about the World Trade Organization

Illinois Power Kills Clean Energy Proposal

Illinois Sierra PAC

Calendar

     Mar 6 - Noon talk at U of I Law School - Enviro/Cultural Pollution
     Mar 8 - How will Champaign grow?
     Mar 18 - Farm Crisis - John Ikerd and Kendall Thu - Streator IL
     Mar 21 - Vote! - Illinois Primary
     Mar 22 - Lester Brown at IWU, Bloomington IL
     Mar 25-26 - ISEN/PRN Annual Conference + ISEN Fundraisers
     Mar 27-28 - U of I Environmental Horizons 2000 Conference

     April - Saturday Cooking Classes at Common Ground Food Co-op
     Apr 16 - U of I Earth Day Celebration on the Quad !!!
     Apr 20 - Utah/Shawnee/Wilderness talk at EIU, Charleston IL
     Apr 21-23 - Prairie Group Outing - Shawnee Backcountry Trip !!!
     Apr 29 - Davis Caves Annual EarthFest
     Apr 30 - Renewable Energy Open House, Stelle IL

     May 1 - Best of the Banff Mountain Film Festival, Savoy IL
     May 6 - Prairie Group Outing - Middle Fork Canoe Trip !!!
     May 10 - Genetically Modified Crops

     Urbana Park District March-April Events
     Grand Prairie Friends April Workdays

     June 3-4 - Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park Annual Pow-Wow
 

Green Radio
e-Prairie Flyer
Stay in Touch With the Prairie Group Listserv
 
 
 

===== Prairie Group General Meetings
Illinois Disciples Foundation, corner of Wright and Springfield,
Champaign

-----
7:30 PM, Wednesday, March 8

How will Champaign grow? More sprawl?

Don Fournier, the Prairie Group's representative on the Champaign
Growth
Areas Task Force (GATF), will discuss long term growth plans for the
City of
Champaign. There will be a series of public meetings in the weeks to
come to
formally update the City's Comprehensive Plan. See Don's article below.
 

-----
April - no Prairie Group meeting - please attend some of the many
public
meetings and Earth Day events listed in this newsletter.
 

-----
7:30 PM, Wednesday, May 10

Frankenfood For Thought: Straight Talk on Genetically Modified Crops

It all sounds so ominous: Frankenfood...terminator genes...superweeds.
But
are genetically modified crops really dangerous, or could they actually
improve human health and the environment, as proponents claim? And
what's
being done to ensure that they're safe? Come hear the latest on the
science
and the regulation of GM crops, an issue that will only grow more
important
in the years to come.

Dan Ferber is a freelance journalist and former biologist who covers
agricultural biotechnology for Science magazine. His work has also
appeared
in Sierra, New Scientist magazine, WebMD, Illinois Times, and a variety
of
other publications.

For more information on GM crops, see the following articles:

"Risks and Benefits: GM Crops in the Cross Hairs" by Dan Ferber.
Science,
November 26, 1999.

"New Corn Plant Draws Fire From GM Food Opponents" by Dan Ferber.
Science,
February 25, 2000.

"Biotech Goes Wild" by Charles C. Mann. Technology Review, July/August,
1999.
 

===== How Will Champaign Grow?

By Don Fournier

Firming up the urban boundaries and controlling how our cities grow is
one
of the major local issues facing us. Post World War II, the dominant
form of
growth for urban areas in the United States has been based on
car-dependent,
single-use, and low-density land development at the edge of city
limits. It
causes our urban areas to grow significantly faster in land area than
in
population. The trends have been similar throughout the nation, and
small
cities have not been immune. Between 1950 and 1990, Champaign tripled
in
land area while the population grew only 60%.

The urban form has a tremendous influence on the flows of people and
goods
within a city. Low density development leads to significant additional
energy use and traffic congestion. It makes automobiles a requirement
and
mass transit inefficient. Sprawling neighborhood streets with
cul-de-sacs
become labyrinths leading nowhere, causing isolation of residents and
loss
of place. This type of growth exacerbates other issues such as inner
city
decay and disinvestment. It also leads to the loss of prime farmland,
forests, and wetlands with reduced biodiversity through loss of
habitat.

Smart development principles call for efficient use of land resources,
full
use of urban services, mix of uses, transportation options, and
human-scale
design.

The United States is still urbanizing and some growth is inevitable.
The
City of Champaign has not been immune to any of the trends and problems
discussed above. Its growth has been primarily in low-density
residential
neighborhoods. This is causing increased demands on the urban support
infrastructure such as water and sewer, policing, fire protection, and
the
school system. Champaign has several abandoned schools in the old part
of
town and has built new ones at the edge. Big box development and the
mall up
north require extra policing, and are create increased traffic and
congestion. The city borders now extend past the borders of the mass
transit
district, and the new development is not dense enough for mass transit.

In seeking to address some of these issues, the city planning
department
established a Growth Areas Task Force in December 1998, which has
finalized
its recommendations on growth areas for changes to the city
Comprehensive
Plan.

The current growth areas are not completely used, but much of the
remaining
land is either in the north end of the city where developers feel
people
will not buy, or the land is unavailable for development. Since Urbana
blocks the city on the east and Savoy on the south, the development
community seeks to push the city boundaries ever west and southwest.
The
Task Force has concurred with the Planning Department on how additions
to
the growth area should be handled, and how the Comprehensive Plan
should
incorporate the tenets of smart development.

For the task force recommendations, and for dates of upcoming public
meetings regarding the Comprehensive Plan:
http://www.city.champaign.il.us ;
Christine Newbold, City of Champaign Planning Department, 217-351-4486
<christine.newbold@city.champaign.il.us>.

For more info: Don Fournier <d-fournier@cecer.army.mil>, 217-373-7282.
http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/
 
 

===== Oppose the Route 150 Corridor Plan

By Norman Stenzel

Planning for the 150 corridor is complete--that is, as far as the 9
person,
3 government steering committee is concerned. The steering committee,
set up
by an inter-government agreement between Mahomet, Champaign, and
Champaign
County, has submitted its report for the future of the 9 mile space
between
Mahomet and Champaign.

The inch-thick report contains 12 chapters, an appendix, and a section
of
communications received by the committee in reference to the plan.
Seven of
the 12 chapters contain an outline of policies pertaining to the
content of
the chapter--land use; transportation; utilities and drainage;
community
services; environmental concerns; aesthetic, and design considerations;
and
implementation. Many of the polices suggest standards for development
that
are even more rigorous than existing standards of the governing bodies.

But that's just the problem. Standards are set for development, not for
the
restraint of sprawl. The dominant feature of the report is a pair of
maps
showing 20 and 50 year land use projections. The major uses to be
allowed
are commercial, business, and industrial.

The plan is an invitation to sprawl. If opposed by residents or others
trying to preserve moraines and headwaters, speculators who want to
convert
farmland to other purposes will point to the plan for justification.
Future
protests about sprawl will be snubbed by reference to a plan which took
3
years to prepare -- the implication being that any protest has not been
considered as thoroughly as the steering committee plan.

That prospect is disturbing. The planning process and the plan itself
are
both seriously flawed.

As the three governing bodies near approval of the plan, I urge active
opposition to adoption of the Route 150 plan. To review the plan in
detail,
a copy may be requested from the Mahomet (586-4456), Champaign
(351-4486),
or Champaign County (384-3772) planning departments.

Upcoming meetings:

City of Champaign - all in council chambers, 102 N. Neil
7 PM March 14, City Council study session
4 PM March 15, Plan Commission public hearing
7 PM April 4, City Council public hearing

Champaign County Board, 384-3772, 1776 E. Washington, Urbana.
The Environment and Land Use Committee will review the Plan on March 15
(and
maybe also April 12). The County Board might vote on the Plan March 21
or
April 18. All meetings at 7 PM.

Mahomet TIF District Meeting
7PM April 25, Mahomet Admin Bldg, 503 E. Main Street, 586-4456.
Call 586-4456 for schedule of other Route 150 meetings.
 

Dates may change for additional meetings to consider the plan, so
please
check with the three governing bodies (phone numbers above) about their
next
date for review or action.

For more info: Norman Stenzel <nstenzel@prairienet.org>, 217-863-4030.
 
 

===== What Your Forest Preserve Board is Doing For You

By Dixie Jackson

If you expect the board that governs the Champaign County Forest
Preserve
[http://www.ccfpd.org] to give some attention to the district's meager
forests and its other natural resources, you're in for a surprise.
Analysis
of the printed agendas for regular meetings of the CCFPD Board of
Commissioners in 1999 shows that the board dealt with 70 items under
"Old"
and "New" business. Of these, 29 concerned district-wide administrative
issues or financial matters, 22 dealt with facilities at Lake of the
Woods,
and another 10 with the golf course and its clubhouse.

Two agenda items dealt with the Middle Fork Preserve, and both of those
concerned equipment purchases. One dealt with the Salt Fork, and that
concerned a playground at the preserve. One concerned approval of a
plan to
seek a grant for Environmental Education.

No agenda items dealt with trees, prairies, or any other natural
resources.

Yet, as anyone who uses natural areas in the preserves knows, these
resources need attention. A number of those needs were carefully
spelled out
in a site plan for the Middle Fork River Forest Preserve, developed by
a
well-qualified group of volunteers working with the Forest Preserve
staff.
The plan was presented to the board in October, 1996. It recommends
that
trails be developed or re-routed, that the patches of prairie be
enhanced
and expanded, that fields now in cultivation be drawn back from forest
edges, that green belts be established, and other measures be taken to
improve and enhance the preserve.

The Forest Preserve has won recognition for the fine work done for it
by
generous and well-qualified volunteers from throughout the county. The
Middle Fork site plan is a product of the time and expertise that those
volunteers have freely given. But since accepting the plan in 1996, the
board has ignored it. They made no mention of it at any time in 1999.
And it
wasn't because the board's agendas were crowded with more pressing
issues.
Most regular board meetings in 1999 lasted less than an hour. One
lasted
only 15 minutes.

Why does the Forest Preserve Board of Commissioners give so little
attention
the Middle Fork, the Salt Fork, and to natural resources throughout the
district while lavishing time and money on Lake of the Woods and the
golf
course?

The answer lies partly with citizens in Champaign County who value the
"natural" parts of the district's holdings.

With very few exceptions, they fail to attend Forest Preserve board
meeting
and to insist that the board of directors develop the site plan for the
Middle Fork, devote more resources to environmental education, develop
a
canoe trail, or take other steps to enhance and protect the district's
natural resources.

Their silence allows board members to follow their own interests and
the
interests of the Champaign County Board that appoints them, rather than
the
interests of citizens at large. Most board members, if they use the
preserves at all, use the golf course and Lake of the Woods, not the
Middle
Fork or the trails along the river at the Salt Fork or the other
natural
areas. They are committed to having a top-notch course to golf on and a
manicured Lake of the Woods park for picnicking, so that's where they
spend
meeting time and our Forest Preserve dollars.

As we begin a new century, I urge you to set aside some time to be
involved
in issues that impact the Forest Preserve.

The board usually meets on the third Thursday of each month, beginning
at
6:30 PM, at the Golf Course Clubhouse at Lake of the Woods. However it
has
re-scheduled two upcoming meetings: the March meeting will be held on
Thursday, the 30th and the June Meeting on Thursday, the 22nd. The May
meeting will be held on the third Thursday, but at the Recreation
Center at
the Salt Fork Preserve. Public input is received soon after the meeting
is
called to order.

Caring, informed, and insistent voices can make a difference for the
Forest
Preserve today and in years to come.

For more information: Dixie Jackson, 344-5736, CenSDixie@aol.com
 

===== Rankin Group Remains Ready To Fight Incinerator

As of late February, the developer who proposed a medical waste
incinerator
near Rankin has let pass the time period for appealing the Vermilion
County
Board's decision to throw out his application (due to notification
errors).
According to newspaper reports, however, the developer is considering
whether to submit a new application. Citizens for the Protection of
Butler
Township (CPBT) led the opposition to the incinerator, and remain
prepared
to continue this opposition if a new application is filed.

For more info: CPBT 217-397-2233.
 

===== Officials ask Air Force to change its soil plans
Feb 12, 2000, The News-Gazette (Champaign IL)
http://www.news-gazette.com/story.cfm?Number=6600

RANTOUL -- Rantoul Mayor Joe Brown and State Rep. Tim Johnson,
R-Sidney,
called on the Air Force on Friday to reconsider its plan to haul away
only
part of the contaminated soil identified at sites on the former Chanute
Air
Force Base...

Although the soil in question is contaminated with lead and
carcinogenic
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) and dioxins...the Air Force will only
remove [approximately 15% to 70% of the] soil and leave the rest of it
in
place...

Ron Steward of the IEPA and Gary Schaefer of the U.S. EPA both strongly
criticized the Air Force decision, saying that leaving untreated
contaminated soil in place poses a threat to the ground water in the
area.

Steward and Schaefer said that contaminants from the tainted soil could
spread to Salt Fork Creek and threaten drinking water downstream from
the
former base if all the soil is not either cleaned or removed...
 

===== Menard's To Stop Selling Old Growth Wood

A nationwide campaign by the Rainforest Action Network -- including
several
weekends of protests at the Champaign Menard's by the Rainforest Action
Group at Univ. of Illinois -- recently led to the announcement that
Menards
will stop selling lumber from old growth forests. Congratulations to
Chantel
Brennan and all the other protesters! For more info: http://www.ran.org
;
<cbrennan@uiuc.edu>.
 

===== Weekly meetings about the World Trade Organization
Every Monday at 6 PM
School For Designing A Society, 409 N. Race St, Urbana

Come discuss your thoughts on the World Trade Organization, learn more
about
it, and take part in planning sessions for upcoming events. Call Molly
@
217-344-4302 or the School @ 384-0299 for more information.
 

===== Illinois Power Kills Clean Energy Proposal

By Hans Detweiler, Chapter Political Chair

Clean power from small wind and solar generators in Illinois should be
worth
at least as much as the dirty coal and nuclear power that comes from
our
power grid, right?

Wrong, says Illinois Power.

In February, Illinois Power took a leading role in defeating net
metering
legislation in Springfield. Net metering allows homeowners with small
wind
turbines or solar panels to spin their utility meter backwards when
they are
generating more power than they can use. Because solar panels produce
all of
their power in the daytime, the ability to store excess power in the
power
grid is very important to the economics of solar power.

But Illinois Power likes the current law, which favors major producers
of
greenhouse gases like itself. Under the current law, IP is allowed to
pay
solar and wind producers only 2 cents per kWh for their power, while it
charges close to 10 cents per kWh for its coal and nuclear power. And
despite bipartisan support for net metering, including co-sponsor Rep.
Rick
Winkel of Champaign, IP managed to kill the bill (HB 4628) in committee
by a
single vote margin.

Customer choice, however, is coming to Illinois in several years, at
which
point we'll all be able to say good-bye forever to short-sighted
polluters
like Illinois Power. In the meantime, call IP and let them know that
you
support net metering. You can also let them know that if they continue
to
behave so irresponsibly, you'll look forward to switching power
companies in
the future. You can reach IP's public relations department at
217-362-6336.

For more info, contact Hans at 312-795-3720, <hdetweiler@elpc.org>.
 

===== Illinois Sierra PAC

Please donate to the Illinois Sierra Club political action committee.
Help
support our environmental allies in the legislature, and help elect
more
friends as well. Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter, 200 N. Michigan Avenue,
Suite 505, Chicago, IL 60601, 312-251-1680.
 

========
Calendar
========

See newsletter articles above for dates of many important upcoming
Champaign, Route 150, and Forest Preserve meetings.
 

For a calendar of Bloomington/Normal area environmental events, see the
Living Upstream Committee website:
http://www.communityzone.com/community/livingupstream
 
 

===== Professor John Nagle of Notre Dame Law School
"Environmental Pollution, Cultural Pollution, and the Law"
Monday, March 6, at NOON in Room B
U of I's College of Law, 504 E. Pennsylvania, Champaign

In his talk, Professor Nagle will draw comparisons between
environmental
pollution and "cultural pollution," or the spreading of ideas that
injure
society through mass culture and the media. He will also discuss how to
adapt the regulation of environmental pollution to controlling the
problem
of cultural pollution, while still retaining respect for the First
Amendment.

The talk is sponsored by the U of I Environmental Law Society.
 

===== Prairie Group General Meeting
Illinois Disciples Foundation, corner of Wright and Springfield,
Champaign

7:30 PM, Wednesday, March 8

How will Champaign grow?

Don Fournier, the Prairie Group's representative on the Champaign
Growth
Areas Task Force (GATF), will discuss long term growth plans for the
City of
Champaign. There will be a series of public meetings in the weeks to
come to
formally update the City's Comprehensive Plan. See Don's article above.
 

===== The Farm Crisis: How it affects rural communities, food safety,
and
you

Saturday, March 18, 12:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Annunciation Parish Hall (Eagle Church Hall)
5 miles West of Streator, IL, on Route 18

Featured speakers: Dr. Kendall Thu, Northern Illinois University -
Environmental and social impacts of large-scale livestock facilities;
Dr.
John Ikerd, University of Missouri, Columbia - Top 10 reasons
communities
should say no to large-scale hog operations; Dr. Bill Weida, Colorado
College - The real costs to communities for factory-style livestock
production.

Free admission, sponsored by: We the People of LaSalle County, and
Illinois
Stewardship Alliance. For more info: 815-853-4298, 815-672-1742, or
815-856-2253; Families Against Rural Messes,
http://www.farmweb.org/b/conf.htm
 

===== Vote!
Illinois primary - Tuesday, March 21

Don't know who's running in your district?
See http://www.vote-smart.org and type in your zip code.
 

===== Lester Brown: "Environmental Challenges for the New Century"
Wednesday, March 22, 7:30 PM, Workshop & Lecture

Memorial Student Center, Illinois Wesleyan University, Bloomington,
http://www.iwu.edu
 

===== Illinois Student Environmental Network's Annual Conference
Saturday and Sunday, March 25-26

The Watershed Training Conference is being co-sponsored by Prairie
Rivers
Network. The event will be held at the 4-H Memorial Camp on the
Sangamon
River in Monticello (20 minutes west of C-U). Costs: $25 - Students
($35
after March 10); $40 - Non-students ($50 after March 10).

Session topics will include: Biodiversity and endangered species;
Monitoring
water quality; Wetlands protection; Watershed management; How you can
use
the Clean Water Act to protect your hometown stream; Global warming and
energy efficiency/renewable energy; The state of Illinois' environment;
Sprawl and transportation issues.

For more info or to register, contact ISEN at (217) 384-0830 or
isen@prairienet.org

Also note: ISEN fundraisers...
Annual Dinner, Wed, April 5, 4:30-10pm, Silvercreek, Urbana, tickets
start
at $15.
Cyber Auction, April 15 - April 30, http://www.prairienet.org/isen
 

===== UIUC Environmental Horizons 2000 Conference
Monday-Tuesday, March 27-28

This two day conference, sponsored by the UIUC Environmental Council,
will
be held at the UIUC Illini Union and features posters by faculty,
graduate
and undergraduate students, and scientists from campus scientific
surveys.
The conference also includes a job-internship fair and special symposia
on a
variety of environmental topics. May Berenbaum, professor and head of
the
UIUC entomology department will give a keynote speech entitled
"Invasion
USA" at 3:30 PM on March 27th. The tentative schedule for the
conference can
be found on the web at http://www.environ.uiuc.edu, or you can phone
the
Environmental Council at (217) 333-4178 for information.
 

===== Cooking Classes at Common Ground Food Co-op (CGFC)

April 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29, CGFC is offering a series of Saturday
afternoon
(3:00 - 5:00 PM) cooking classes at no cost to CGFC members. Others are
welcome to attend by joining the Co-op, which requires a one-time
equity
deposit of $30 per adult in the household. Learn how to cook delicious
vegetarian and vegan meals from around the world.

For more info: Common Ground Food Co-op, corner of Springfield &
Wright,
Champaign, 217-344-4640 or 352-3347, http://www.prairienet.org/co-op
 

===== Univ. of Illinois Earth Day Celebration on the Quad
(South of the Illini Union)
Sunday, April 16, Noon - 6:30 PM

Bands, speakers, food vendors, and tables with representatives from
many C-U
area environmental groups. For more info: Students for Environmental
Concerns, 365-5369, 373-1391, hayers@uiuc.edu,
vanadium@physics.uiuc.edu.
 

===== Wilderness and Democracy: Utah's Redrock Canyon Lands, Illinois'
Shawnee Hills, America's Wilderness Heritage and How You Can Help
Preserve
It

Thursday, April 20, 7:30 PM
Eastern Illinois University (EIU), Charleston, IL

Support for preserving lands as officially designated wilderness is
growing
by leaps and bounds across America. The national movement to preserve
the
spectacular redrock canyons of southern Utah is one of the premier
examples.
Activism growing from the human passion for wild lands is also
spreading in
Illinois with the current development of a plan to increase the amount
of
officially designated wilderness in Illinois's Shawnee National Forest.

There will be three speakers at the event sponsored by the Charleston
Earth
Society: Clayton Daughenbaugh, a member of the Club's National
Wildlands
Campaign Committee, Patrick Murphy the National Conservation Director
of the
Sierra Student Coalition and a member of the National Conservation
Governance Committee, and Nils Larsen who, along with Clayton and
Patrick,
is co-chair of the Illinois Sierra Chapter's Utah Wilderness Task
Force.

It will take place in Phipps Lecture Hall in the Science Building on
the EIU
campus in Charleston on April 20 at 7:30pm. The Science Building is on
4th
St. about a block south of Lincoln Ave. Contact: Larry Thorsen at
217-345-6476.
 

===== Prairie Group Outing - Shawnee Backcountry Trip
Fri - Sun, April 21-23

Prairie Group Outings chair Matt Nowlan will lead a backcountry hiking
and
camping trip in Southern Illinois' Shawnee Forest. Advance reservations
required by April 14. Call Matt at 217-352-4610.
 

===== Help Plan Summer Outings

If you have suggestions for summer outings -- in Illinois or out of
state --
please contact Matt Nowlan, 217-352-4610.
 

===== Davis Caves Annual EarthFest
Saturday, April 29, 10 AM to 5 PM

Armington, IL, Southwest of Bloomington on U.S. Rt. 136, 8 miles East
of
I-155 (old Rt. 121) & 7 miles West of I-55.

There will be workshops and tours of Earth Sheltered Homes and
construction
demonstrations. The festival will also feature renewable energy
workshops,
displays of wind and solar power, antiques, crafts, and roof-top pony
rides.
Admission and parking is free. For more info: 309-392-2574;
<earthome@daviscaves.com>; http://www.daviscaves.com
 

===== Renewable Energy Open House
Sunday, April 30, 11 AM to 3 PM

Mark Wilkerson of the Stelle Chamber of Commerce invites you all to the
most
sustainable city in Illinois. Stelle opens its doors for visitors to
see,
first hand, leading-edge energy technologies and sustainable living
practices at work in a real-world setting. For more info: 815-256-2222;
http://www.stelle.net
 

===== Best of the Banff Mountain Film Festival
Monday, May 1, 7:00 PM
Savoy 16 Theater, Savoy, IL

Tickets $10. Fundraiser for Prairieland Council of Boy Scouts of
America.
Sponsored by Champaign Surplus. For more info: Ira or Lynn Wachtel at
Champaign Surplus, 217-356-4703, <csurplus@soltec.net>.
 

===== Prairie Group Outing - Middle Fork Canoe Trip!
Saturday, May 6

Canoe Illinois' only National Scenic River, the Middle Fork of the
Vermilion. 12-mile trip will include about 3-4 hours on the water, the
remainder on sand bars and visiting prairies, Indian mounds etc. along
the
way. Meet 9:30 AM at river bridge in Kickapoo State Park (just West of
Danville); canoe rentals available at Park. (Advance canoe reservations
recommended: 217-354-2060 after April 1.) Leader: Clark Bullard
<bullard@prairienet.org> 217-333-7734.
 

===== Prairie Group General Meeting
Illinois Disciples Foundation, corner of Wright and Springfield,
Champaign

7:30 PM, Wednesday, May 10

Frankenfood For Thought: Straight Talk on Genetically Modified Crops
(see above for more info)
 
 

= = = = = Urbana Park District March-April Events = = = = =
Anita Purves Nature Center
1505 N. Broadway, Urbana 61801, 384-4062.
 

Basics of Bird Watching
Wednesday, March 29, April 12 and 26, 9 - 10 AM
Fee $3, Registration process: Call 367-1544 to register before March
22.
This three-part class will teach you how to attract, observe and
identify
some common and not-so-common birds in the area. Discover what to feed
the
birds, the proper way to use binoculars and what clues to look for when
trying to identify birds.

Breakfast with the Birds
Sunday, April 2, 9, 16, and 30, 8:30 - 9:30 AM
Free, donations welcome. After bird watching with the Champaign County
Audubon (7:30 AM), relax in the Nature Center and enjoy some tasty
tidbits.

Illinois Rivers
Sunday, April 9, 2 - 4 PM
Fee $5, Registration process: Call 367-1544 to register before April 3.
Discuss the value of healthy rivers, the interesting role rivers have
played in Illinois history, and how 300 years of cultural and
technological
changes have affected rivers with Marc Miller of Prairie Rivers
Network.

Busey Woods Work Day
Saturday, April 15, 9:00 - 11:00 AM
Free, donations welcome. Please call 384-4062 by April 12 and let us
know
you'll be attending. Busey Woods needs your help! Remove non-native
vegetation, plant native  trees and flowers and help with general trail
maintenance.

Spring Wildflower Walks
Sunday, April 16, 30, call 384-4062 at least 3 days before each hike
for
time and to register. Free, donations welcome. Join us as we watch the
forest transform from dark and dreary to lush and beautiful. This show
won't
last long, don't miss it!
 
 

= = = = = Grand Prairie Friends April Workdays = = = = =
P.O. Box 36, Urbana, 61803
http://www.prairienet.org/gpf
All workdays are free, bring work gloves.

Jasmine Hollow
Saturday, April 1, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Meet at Allerton Park Lost Garden parking lot for car pool from there
to
Jasmine Hollow Natural Heritage Landmark, to pull garlic mustard. This
is a
140 acre privately owned site along the Sangamon River. It contains
mature
bottomland and second growth upland forest. The landowner wishes to
restore
the site to presettlement conditions. This site is important in that it
protects the Sangamon River and is a link to nearby Allerton Park.
Contact:
Mary Ann Feist (W 244-6858).

Loda Prairie Work Party
Saturday, April 8, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Meet at Loda Cemetery or contact Dwain Berggren (367-5014) to make
carpool
arrangements. Directions: Loda Cemetery Nature Preserve is on the north
side
of Pine Ridge Cemetery just northwest of Loda. From C-U take US 45
north (or
I-57 to Paxton exit, then north on US 45). Volunteers are needed to
help
clear brush at this spectacular mesic prairie remnant. Bring drinking
water;
loppers too, if you have them.

Patton Woods Work Party
Saturday, April 15, 9:45 to 11:15 AM
Meet at Parkland College at 9 am to carpool (at parking lot B-1, near
the
circle drive - look for the flag pole), or meet on site at 9:45 am.
Directions to the site: From C-U head north on either I-57 or US 45 to
US
136. Go east on 136 to Gifford then north on County Rd. 2300E about 6
miles
to the T-intersection with 3600N (County Line Rd.) Head east on the
County
Line Rd about 2 miles to 2500E. Go south on 2500N about 1/4 mile to
Patton
Wood's entrance. Help preserve this diverse woodland. Trail
maintenance,
brush clearing, and some litter pickup. Bring pruners or rakes if you
have
them, drinking water and a snack if you'd like. Contact: Earl
Creutzburg (W
351-2371, H 328-2375).

Spring Wildflower Hike
Saturday, April 22, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Horseshoe Bottom and Windfall Prairie Nature Preserves. Meet at Anita
Purves
Nature Center, 1505 N. Broadway, Urbana, to carpool to the site. Hike
the
long way to Horseshoe Bottom and Windfall Prairie Nature Preserve. See
hill
prairies, seeps, marsh marigolds, and breath-taking views of the Middle
Fork
of the Vermilion!!! Be prepared for several miles of rough (and maybe a
bit
wet) hiking. Wear good boots and bring water and a lunch. Contacts:
Rick
Larimore (H 337-7006), Dave Ketztner (W 244-8821), or Jim Smith (H
896-2079).

Middle Fork Woods Nature Preserve Work Party
Saturday, April 22, 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Meet at Anita Purves Nature Center, 1505 N. Broadway, Urbana, to
carpool to
the site or on site at 10:00 am. High School through Adult Garlic
mustard
and bush honeysuckle have become established at Middlefork Woods and
they
need to be eradicated. Wear gloves and bring plastic bags, loppers, and
pruners if you have them. Bring drinking water and a snack. Contact:
Jim or
Crystal Brewer (H 354-2558).

Bonnie's Prairie Nature Preserve Work Party
Saturday, April 29, 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Meet at Anita Purves Nature Center, 1505 N. Broadway, Urbana, to
carpool to
the site. Get down and dirty cutting brush and pulling weeds at this
unique
nature preserve! Bonnie's Prairie is a sand prairie and sand pond;
spring
flowers should be in bloom. Bring loppers if you have them, a sack
lunch, or
have lunch in nearby Watseka. Contact: Joyce Hofmann (W 244-2366).
 

===== Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park
3nd Annual Pow-Wow, Sat/Sun, June 3 & 4

See American Indian dances, and also have the rare opportunity to
participate. The Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park is located between
Bloomington and Champaign, north-east of LeRoy. (From LeRoy, go east on
School Street/County Hwy 40 approx. 5 miles, turn north onto County
Road
3100, and follow Pow-Wow road signs.)

For more info: Bill and Doris Emmett, R.R. 2 Box 94A, LeRoy, IL 61752,
309-962-2700,
Fax 309-962-2701, <ccranch@davesworld.net>
http://homepage.davesworld.net/~ccranch
 

= = = = = Green Radio

NPR's Living On Earth can be heard at 5:00 PM each Saturday on WILL-AM
580.

The Prairie Monk can be heard at 11:00 AM each Sunday on WEFT-FM 90.1.
 
 

= = = = = Stay in Touch With the Prairie Group Listserv

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