A Day of Celebration at the Wapello Land and Water Reserve!

On a beautiful spring day in early May, over sixty people gathered for a celebration of two occasions at JDCF’s Wapello Land and Water Reserve in Hanover, IL. The first was the grand opening of a new picnic pavilion and volunteer staging area at the site. The second was the dedication of the 98-acre Addition to Wapello as an Illinois Nature Preserves Commission (INPC) Illinois Land and Water Reserve. The event was hosted by JDCF’s volunteer group, the Friends of Wapello, and was attended by dignitaries from the Village of Hanover and INPC.

Funding for the pavilion was provided by a new public amenities grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation (ICECF). Matching gifts were provided by Vincent Earthmoving, Architect
Joseph Bardusk, the Hanover Chamber of Commerce, Richard Speer, the Friends of Wapello, and the Apple River Well & Pump Company.

The grants purpose is to assist non-profits such as JDCF in providing picnic tables, gravel for parking areas, covered pavilion construction, barbecue areas, benches, and other such things that would be of benefit to volunteers and visitors to our preserves. Requirements for the grant included hosting a public gathering to celebrate the completion of the chosen project. By coincidence, INPC was meeting in Galena to review proposals, including JDCF’s request for Land and Water Re-serve status for the Addition to Wapello, and so it made sense to add the Commissioners to the invitation list.
After a delicious picnic lunch, JDCF Executive Director, Steve Barg, and archaeologist, Dr. Phil Millhouse, gave short presentations which were followed by a ribbon cutting and guided property tours. Phil waited at the southern property line between Wapello and it’s addition to discuss the cultural significance of each site and the work that will be done on the addition to try and determine a historical time line of human habitation.

The following day, JDCF staff learned that the Addition to Wapello was approved as a Land and Water Reserve by the INPC, which had also granted the same status to the original Wapello in 2006. This means that the entire 180-acre site is now covered by an additional layer of protection in perpetuity based on the significance of the cultural resources found there. Restoration of the addition has already begun and will conclude in 2019 following Phil’s archaeology study. The site will be open to the public in 2019. Stay tuned as this exciting project develops!

Upcoming Events

Ice Cream Social

May 30 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

JDCF’s Friends of Wapello invite you and your entire family to join them for an old fashioned ice cream social fundraiser under the new pavilion at the Wapello Land & Water Reserve on Thursday, May 30th from 5-8PM. Bring your lawn chairs, picnic baskets and blankets to enjoy the sights and sounds of Wapello while […] Read More

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Birding 101

June 1 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm

At the Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary, a team of expert birders will guide instructional tours of the preserve at this new event for 2019. It is open to the public, free for members and $10 for non-members (minimum membership is $35 annually). Novices are encouraged to join! Anybody ages 10+ may join one of […] Read More

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Bluebird Trail Walk

June 8 @ 9:00 am - 11:00 am

This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to experience an outdoor bluebird adventure.  Guided tours will be given by members of JDCF’s Bluebird Recovery Program along the bluebird trail at Casper Bluff to see eggs and babies in nest boxes.  The basics of bluebird monitoring will be covered as well for those […] Read More

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Thunderbird: a JDCF Safari

June 15 @ 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

Day 1:  Archaeologist and historian, Dr. Phil Millhouse, will guide a half-day safari of one of the most significant Native American cultural sites in all of Illinois, featuring the last known intact Thunderbird effigy mound in the state.  Your safari begins with coffee, tea, and homemade pastries, as Phil tells you the amazing story of […] Read More

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