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

Bonfire on the Bluff

January 19 @ 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Enjoy home made cookies and hot coco around a huge bonfire. Take a hike on candlelit trails with the most beautiful views of the Mississippi. Visit the Thunderbird Effigy Mound and learn about the significance of this landmark.  Free to attend and RSVP’s not required.

Find out more »

Movie Event: Intelligent Trees with Randy Nyboer Speaking

March 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Do trees have human-like characteristics? That’s the premise of this 45-minute documentary film, which features German forester Peter Wohlleben, and is based on his internationally best-selling book, “The Hidden Life of Trees.” The book and film postulate that the massive, fungal infused network of roots in forests and woodlands are a “wood-wide web,” the “brains […] Read More

Find out more »

JDCF Annual Meeting with Lydia Scott, Director of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative at the Morten Arboretum

March 30 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

The public is invited to attend JDCF’s annual meeting for an interactive social hour, election and re-election of board members, and the announcement of the recipient of the 2018 Nancy Hamill Winter Conservation Leadership Award.  Our keynote speaker will be Lydia Scott, Director of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative and Manager of Community Trees Program at […] Read More

Find out more »

JDCF’s Biggest Tree Contest

April 1 @ 8:00 am - October 1 @ 5:00 pm

You may hear people speak of them reverently. You might catch word of a “big tree,” an important tree, a “Champion Tree.” But what does this mean? JDCF is sponsoring a Biggest Tree Contest to recognize the largest tree within each of the designated native tree species that grow in Carroll, Jo Daviess, and Stephenson […] Read More

Find out more »