VOF Monthly Meetings
Why stay home watching the tube when you could be sharing an experience with the prime outdoors club in the
nation? Enjoy old friends and make new ones. Talk about the environmental issues currently in the
Illinois Assembly. Check on upcoming outings. Sign up for your favorite volunteer projects.
VOF Sierra Club Meeting Monday, May 13
This month's Sierra Club VOF meeting is at the
Batavia Public Library, Monday, May 13, 7:00pm. Come for an introduction to the
co-op Green Tomato Grocery in Batavia.
Do you know what's so great about a co-op? Built upon a solid business model, members of the Fox Valley
community are working to bring the Green Tomato Grocery to Batavia. Join us and learn how a
unique store like this can benefit our community and what you can do to help make it a reality.
One of many dedicated volunteers, Jennifer Downing will be presenting this evening's program. With a
love for everything edible, the kitchen is the place Jennifer Downing is most at home. A real food
champion, her business, Nourish, allows her
to share years of food knowledge and involvement with local food
policy groups enhance her programs. As a passionate cook, educator and writer, she
enthusiastically shares useful strategies, tips and techniques to help people nourish their lives and feed
those they love.
Monday, May 13, 7:00pm
Batavia Public Library
10 S. Batavia Ave.
Batavia, IL 60510-2793
Directions to the Batavia Public Library
VOF monthly meetings are usually (but not always) held the second Monday of the month at 7pm except for the months of July, August, and December. The public
is invited and refreshments are typically available.
For our April 8 meeting in Batavia, Lane Allen , Architect, LEED AP of Allen & Pepa Architects, presented
Human Habitat vs. Animal Habitat: Can't we get along together?,
a presentation and discussion on new trends for making habitats for animals.
Elgin’s Green EXPO 2013
May 10 (7pm to 9pm) and May 11 (9am to 4pm)
at the Centre of Elgin.
Celebrating earth, wind, fire, water and spirit - the 5 elements
The EXPO is presented in partnership with Waste Management, Davey Tree, and the City of Elgin Sustainability
Commission. Admission is free!
See the country’s largest aquarium stocked with fish that have just come from the Fox River (yes, they go back
right after EXPO); experience the rich traditions of the Native American community in preserving our natural
environment; meet the eagles, hawks, owls and birds of prey in our region; enjoy a huge community carnival, music,
dancing and fire ceremonies; the 1st Green Award nominations and ceremony; plus exhibits and events which allow us to
conserve, preserve and restore the harmony of our magnificent community.
You can still join us on a Clean Sweep
Please note new dates due to flooding
Observe this Earth Day by helping us in a cleanup. There are
several to choose from! Join Sierra Club and other local groups as we clear the
Fox River recreational
areas of the long Winter's debris.
Gloves, snacks, water, and garbage bags will be supplied. Bring a refillable water bottle (no disposable bottles!).
Sturdy shoes, a hat and sunscreen are recommended. All participants must sign a waiver, and volunteers under 18 must
bring a parental signature. Pre-registration is greatly appreciated but not required.
Batavia Area Clean Sweep
- Friends of the Fox
- New Date: Saturday, 5/18, 9am-12pm
Blackard Skate & Bike Park, 411 S. River St. Batavia
- Julie Koivula, email@example.com
Aurora Fox River Clean Sweep
- Sierra Club Valley of the Fox Water Sentinels
City of Aurora
Fox Valley Park District
Sen. Linda Holmes
Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia
Rep. Stephanie Kifowit
- New Date: Saturday, 5/25, 9am-12pm
Fox Valley Park District Cole Center parking lot on Orchard Ave.,
near Lake St (Rt 31). and Illinois Ave.
- Linda Cole, firstname.lastname@example.org, or
Fran Caffee, email@example.com
Elgin Area Clean Sweep
- Sierra Club Valley of the Fox Water Sentinels
Rep. Keith Farnham D 43rd District
- New Date: TBA
North parking lot of Trout Park. 1,000 feet north of Duncan Ave. and Trout Park Blvd.; under the I-90 bridge.
- Sierra Club firstname.lastname@example.org 312-251-1680, or
Rep. Farnham email@example.com 847-841-7130
Aurora Green Fest - Saturday, June 8, 2013
rain or shine! free admission!
Prisco Community Center – 150 W. Illinois Avenue - Aurora
Don't miss this extravaganza, which will include speakers, vendors, recycling, live music,
a green car show, food, art, and much more!
Batavia Green Walk & River Street Opening Celebration
Batavia MainStreet is partnering with the Batavia Community Garden, Batavia Environmental
Commission and other green partners to present a Green Walk to Healthy Living through locally
grown foods, through movement and to kick off the Batavia Farmers' Market.
The Green Walk features vendors, local organizations and people at the Riverwalk who raise
awareness on green initiatives. Enjoy food, live music, demonstrations, education activities
and even kayaks and paddle boats.
The Green Walk will take place on Saturday June 15, 2013 from 11am to 4pm at the Riverwalk
and across the pedestrian bridge to River Street in conjunction with the River Street dedication.
100 N Island Ave.
Batavia, IL 60510
Cool Cities adds Elgin
VOF now has three Cool Cities signed on: Aurora, Elgin and Oswego.
For more information about this great grassroots Sierra Club campaign promoting local solutions to climate change,
Fox River Nutrient Pollution Update
In 2002, the Water Sentinels published a report on phosphorus pollution in the Fox River.
Since then, recommendations have been made, and legislation passed, to limit and reduce the amount of this
algae nutrient entering the river.
Click here to download and read the full report.
Sand mine proposed right next door to Starved Rock
Tess Wendel, clean water organizer at the Sierra Club Illinois Chapter,
reported in the February VOF meeting about Mississippi Sands proposal to mine for frac sand and
its impacts on the park and surrounding community.
Here is a link to the
Sierra Club's petition to protect Starved Rock and begin reform at IDNR.
If you want to take more action, Tess also recommends an op-ed/letter to the editor in
smaller papers, or writing to the governor; see
openlands action alert for suggestions.
For more information about fracking.
For the Sierra Club's view on fracking.
Make every day Earth Day!
can make every day Earth Day. How? The Sierra Club has come up with two information sheets:
Five ways individuals and companies can fight global warming, and five
ways cities and states can to it too. Both are about a megabyte in size
and are in PDF format. You'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the
sheets. Most PCs already have this valuable and free program; try
clicking on a link to one of the sheets to see. If you don't have it,
here to download a copy.
Want to celebrate on the actual day?
Try these activities!
Creek testing results, 2005 to today
The VOF's Water Sentinels have posted the
results of their testing program from 2005 to the current day. How did
your local creek rate? Click below to download spreadsheets with all the
Illinois Water Sentinels releases annual report
The Illinois Water Sentinels, a Sierra Club
group consisting of VOF members and others throughout the Chicago metro
area who are interested in protecting, improving and restoring waterways
by fostering alliances to promote water quality monitoring, public
education, and citizen action, has released its annual report. You can
read it by clicking
also read about the group's plans for 2010
here. For details on the Sierra Club's Water Sentinels, click
Water Sentinels Call for Volunteers
The VOF Water Sentinels is the oldest volunteer stream monitoring group in
the Sierra Club. We started in 1995 and in 2000, the program was nation
wide. So you can join the charter group! we need volunteers to help out with
Fox River water quality issues. We have two types of opportunities:
Assist With Student Activities
Are you retired or have a flexible schedule? VOF Water Sentinels
occasionally needs volunteers to assist with student activities. If any
training is needed, we will give it, but usually it's a matter of walking
along, chatting and providing a Sierra Club presence. The next event needing
this type of volunteer is Wednesday Aug 25 in Aurora. Students from the
Illinois Math and Science Academy (IMSA) will be doing a stream bank cleanup
in downtown Aurora from 1-3pm. They bring supervision, we bring Sierra
Club, and everyone has a good time. Please contact us if you can help with
this afternoon or future events.
Water Sentinels Needs More Volunteers
The team monitors 8 to 10 streams quarterly on Saturday morning--we provide
all supplies and training. You simply collect a water sample from a stream
near you and drop off at a designated, convenient location.
Please consider joining this premier team. And wait until you see the free T-Shirt!
To join or learn more, contact Fran Caffee.
Don't dump it—recycle it!
do you do when one of your energy-saving compact fluorescent
bulbs burns out? These bulbs should be recycled because they
contain a small amount of mercury, a neurotoxin. However,
the amount is miniscule compared to the mercury put into the
atmosphere from coal-burning power plants.
Here are some suggestions:
- Ace Hardware stores in Aurora will take back CFLs
for recycling. Check the Ace in your area.
- Home Depot has just announced that it will accept
CFLs for recycling at stores across the U.S.
- IKEA stores will also accept CFLs.
- Many varieties of household hazardous waste, from
CFLs and other fluorescent tubes to oil-based paints to
prescription medication, can be dropped off Naperville's
Household Hazardous Waste Center, 971 Brookdale
Road, on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. For
a map to the facility, which is open to DuPage County,
Kane County and Will County residents, click
What do you do if a CFL breaks? The U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency has the answer. Click
here to see the cleanup process.
Other recycling resources
According to Kane County officials, residents and businesses
are recycling 42% of their waste, a vast
improvement over the 8% that was recycled in 1986. Some
the county's recycling web site:
- The average Kane County home recycles about 60
pounds of material each month.
- Last year, we recycled about 65,000,000 aluminum
cans in Kane County (or 168 for each person), but we
still threw away 30 million cans (or 86 cans per
- Kane County residents recycled 30 million pieces of
junk mail (85 pieces per person). 44% of the junk mail
was never opened.
- We recycled 94 million pounds of paper, saving the
equivalent of 796,000 trees. Each day, 2 million trees
are cut down in the United States.
Click on a category to find out where and when you
can recycle the following items:
Municipal trash pickups: (Weekly pickups) What will my local trash
hauler accept for curbside recycling?
Electronics and books:
(Monthly dropoffs) Computers and Peripherals:
Personal Computers, Monitors, Printers, Scanners,
Modems, Tape, Disk, CD Drives, Cables, Keyboards, Mice,
Entertainment Equipment: Televisions, Camcorders,
Cameras, Stereo Equipment (no speakers), Game Players,
Office Equipment: Telephones, Cell Phones, Pagers,
Answering Machines, Typewriters, Calculators, Adding
Machines, Fax Machines, Shredders, Copiers, Postage
Electronic Media: Floppy Disks, Compact Discs (and
cases), Videotapes (no audio cassettes)
Household hazardous waste:
(Weekly dropoffs) aerosol
products, antifreeze, batteries (auto and household),
blacktop sealer, cleaning products, fluorescent bulbs,
gasoline, hobby and photographic chemicals, lawn chemicals,
mercury, motor oil, oil-based paints, pesticides, pool
chemicals, propane tanks and solvents. Not accepted: ammunition, explosives, fireworks,
biological or medical wastes, farm machinery oil, fire
extinguishers, latex paint, smoke detectors
Used motor oil
Unused and expired medicines
Don't live in Kane County? No problem! Just go to
www.Earth911.com and type in your ZIP Code at the top of
the page to get a list of recycling sites.
More recycling services
Who represents me?
Here's an easy way to find out who your state
and local officials are. Click the link below, and you'll be taken to
the Project Vote Smart site. On the left side of the page is a spot
where you can enter your ZIP Code and get a list of all your state and
federal elected officials, along with bios and contact information.
Click here to go to Project Vote Smart
and how do I register to vote?
Click here to find out all the facts
news Outings and events Links
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Last updated November 15, 2011. Questions, comments on this web site? Contact the VOF's webmaster.