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Upcoming Events

Our 2020 calendar of events is taking shape. We have some exciting new outings planned in addition to our signature events of Camp Casper, Potluck and Program Series, Moonlight Frog Walk, and Meteors on the Mound.  Scroll through and mark your calendars today!

February 2020

Snowshoe Hike & Cross Country Ski at Wapello

The Friends of Wapello invite you to explore the trails of Wapello by snowshoe or ski and enjoy hot cocoa and cookies under the new pavilion.  You will have the opportunity to meet members of the volunteer, Friends group and ask questions about the exciting things going on at Wapello including the proposed Discovery Center. This event is weather permitting. Free and RSVP’s not needed.

March 2020


Popcorn & Program: “Racing Extinction”

The Emmy-nominated film, “Racing Extinction,” follows a team of artists and activists as they expose the hidden world of extinction with rarely-before-seen images of precious and endangered species. Louie Psihoyos, the documentary’s producer, is an esteemed National Geographic photographer and Academy Award winning filmmaker. “Racing Extinction” features appearances by Photo Ark photographer Joel Sartore, Tesla and SpaceX founder, Elon Musk, primatologist Jane Goodall, and others. “Racing Extinction” sparked the #StartWith1Thing movement and showcases high tech innovations and simple ideas that are helping to win the race against extinction. Complementary popcorn and Potosi beer.  $10/suggested donation for non members, RSVP’s not required, but seating may be limited.

JDCF wishes to thank The Galena Territory for providing the venue for this event, the Potosi Foundation for donating the beer, and Apple River State Bank/First Community Bank of Galena for sponsoring JDCF’s speaker series.


Early Spring Bird Walk at Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary

Woodcocks, also known as timberdoodles, are one of nature’s earliest signs of spring. Learn how the woodcock dances in the sky and on the ground to attract a mate. The Valley of Eden short grassland habitat is thriving with wildlife of all kinds and we invite you to join us in viewing the sunset showing of woodcocks and other wildlife in their home. Meet by the kiosk for an introduction before we start down the trail. Rain/snowdate is April 2nd. Free and RSVP’s not needed.

April 2020

Bluebird Monitors & Wannabes

Join our Bluebird Recovery Team under the picnic shelter at the Schurmeier Teaching Forest to learn how to monitor bluebird nest boxes. Whether you have been monitoring bluebirds for years or are just getting started, this event is for you. While many bird species in North American are on a decline, bluebirds are doing okay. Citizen science efforts, like this one, track bluebird populations and implement changes in nesting habitat to help fledge healthy, young bluebirds. This event is free and RSVP’s are not required. Dress for the weather and bring your refillable water bottle.

Moonlight Frog Walk

Bring the whole family to Fantastic Frogs & Friends, a frog walk beginning on the east side of the Meeker Street footbridge along the Galena River Trail in downtown Galena, IL.  The event begins at 6:00 pm.  Learn all about frogs and toads, join us in a toast to spring, and then take part in a guided hike down the trail to see how many frogs we can see and hear.  Participants will learn about the difference between frogs and toads as well as how to identify them by their sound or “call”.  Parking is available on Park Avenue and Jefferson Street in Galena.  This is a catch and release event and will be held rain or shine. Free to the public.

Birding & Botanizing

A unique birding experience lead by our local bird expert, Dr. Charlie Winterwood, will be held at the south entrance to the Mississippi Palisades State Park.  Nearly half of all birds in North America use this route to migrate, and this is your opportunity to see them. If you have binoculars and/or a camera, bring them as you will be using them non-stop. Extra binoculars will be available as well. This event involves moderate hiking up stairs (with lots of stops to look at birds and flowers) so come prepared with hiking boots, weather appropriate clothing, and water.

This is a show-case event of the regularly scheduled Thursday Bird Outings that happen during the spring and fall migration. A fun group of regulars will be eager to teach you how to ID species and what to expect. Ask to be put on the “Birding list” for updates on these Thursday Bird Outings. Come watch the migration in action! Free and RSVP’s not needed.

May 2020

iNaturalist Workshop

JDCF  is holding a workshop on how to use the popular nature app, iNaturalist. Jess Hepker, JDCF’s Outreach and Education Manager, will walk through the basics of iNat and show everyone how to make observations with it. By using the iNat app, you can create research quality data for scientists around the world to use. This online community can also help you identify and understand the environment around you. After the indoor session, we will head outside to the Schurmeier Teaching Forest, just south of town, where we will practice using the app. $10/person for non-members.

Please note that a second session will be offered from 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Limited seats available. RSVP your session preference to educator@nulljdcf.org

You can check iNaturalist out here:  https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/about.

June 2020


Birding 101

Join a team of expert birders for instructional tours of the Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary. This event is open to the public, free for members, and $10 for non-members. Anybody ages 10+, accompanied by an adult, may join one of the groups to learn how to identify species of birds in the wild with binoculars and field guides. Compare different field guides by hearing reviews from seasoned birders. If you have your own binoculars, bring them! With these tools in hand, you will learn the language of the birds. We should warn you that after attending the tour, you might never look out of a window the same. You might even try to bring your binoculars with you everywhere you go.

Bluebird Trail Walk

Expert guides will share the history of the Bluebird Recovery Program and its success in Jo Daviess County on tours running between 9:00 AM and noon at Horseshoe Mound Preserve.  Young and old can observe bluebird boxes, get a glimpse of the nests inside, and learn about bluebird monitoring. Geared for people of all ages, the tour is your opportunity to experience bluebirds up close and personal. Free and RSVP’s not needed.

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Physical Address

126 N. Main Street
Elizabeth, Illinois 61028

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 216
Elizabeth, Illinois 61028-0216




(815) 858-9100 (voice)