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

Critters of the Night

October 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join JDCF on Saturday, October 2oth at 10:00 AM to learn about some of our nocturnal friends, owls and bats. This program, geared towards a middle school grade level, introduces the life cycle of the owl and its food and habitat. It also identifies the characteristics that make the owl a perfect predator and member […] Read More

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Keynote Address: Kay Rhoads, Principal Chief of the Sac & Fox Nation

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

To kick off JDCF’s Voices from the Past: An Archaeological & Cultural Symposium, Kay Rhoads, Principal Chief of the Sac and Fox Nation, will give a keynote speech on Friday evening at 7:00 PM at the Hanover Township Park District Building, 500 Fillmore Street, Hanover, IL.  There is a $10.00/person entrance fee for non-JDCF members.

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Voices from the Past: An Archaeological & Cultural Symposium

November 3 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

JDCF’s Wapello Reserve has many stories to tell about the native people who once inhabited the Mississippi River Driftless area. Exploration of Wapello’s broad terraces show that Paleo, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Euro-American peoples used the land along the Apple River over many millennia. These occupations left a rich record of artifacts, hearths, storage pits, […] Read More

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Potluck & Program – Citizen Science, Modern Technology & the Conservation of Nature

November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Charlie Blake, PhD biologist, will present on Citizen Science, Modern Technology and the Conservation of Nature. Charlie directs RiverWatch, an Illinois statewide citizen science program which monitors stream health. She will be giving an overview of popular phone apps including eBird and iNaturalist and web sites like FieldScope, which allow for far more accurate gathering […] Read More

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