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Upcoming Events

Our 2019 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!

January 2019

Bonfire on the Bluff

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.

March 2019

Movie Event: Intelligent Trees with Randy Nyboer Speaking

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 of the forest,” through which trees “nurture,” “warn,” and “protect” each other. Following the movie, botanist, ecologist and natural area surveyor Randy Nyboer will lead a Q&A and provide perspective. Complementary popcorn and beer. Free to attend, RSVP’s not required, but seating may be limited. Snow date: March 3.


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

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 the Morten Arboretum. $45/person includes a buffet dinner with vegetarian option.  Cash bar available.

April 2019

JDCF’s Biggest Tree Contest

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 Counties. Gather the family and head outside to discover, record, and appreciate the largest native tree species in our forests, parks, and front yards from April 1st through October 1st, 2019. We hope that in searching for these champion trees, you will become more aware of the beauty and importance of Illinois’ native trees. Information about the contest can be found here:  Big Tree Nomination Form


Wine & Woodcocks Viewing Party

Bring a lawn chair, blanket, and beverage of choice and join us at dusk to learn about and view woodcocks at JDCF’s Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary.  $10 for non-members of JDCF.

Moonlight Frog Walk

Bring the whole family for an adventure along the levee in Galena, an early evening frog walk beginning on the east side of the Meeker Street footbridge adjacent to 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.

May 2019

Ice Cream Social

Join us for an old-fashioned ice cream social under the new pavilion at the Wapello Land & Water Reserve.  The Friends of Wapello will be on hand to give guided tours of the site.

June 2019


Birding 101

Have you ever wanted to bird-watch like a pro?  Join some of our expert birders as they share tips and advice on how to spot some of the rarer bird species found in our area.  $10 for non-members of JDCF.

Bluebird Trail Walk

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 wishing to create a trail of their own. Free and RSVP’s not needed.

Camp Casper Nature Camp

JDCF, in partnership with the Galena ARC,  will once again host Camp Casper, an outdoor day camp for children ages 8 to 12, at JDCF’s Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve.  Our theme for 2019 will center around the importance of trees in our natural world.  Reservations are required by calling the Galena ARC at 815.777.2248.

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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)