This popcorn and program event features the movie “Ancient America” by award-winning producer/director Gray Warriner of Camera One productions, about the indigenous people who first settled eastern North America, including northwestern Illinois. Several thousand years ago, Woodland and Mississippian peoples were constructing impressive burial mound groups throughout the Mississippi River Valley and its tributaries. Some were miles long with intricate geometrical designs; some supported settlement rituals or were built in animal forms embodying social and religious beliefs. They also built cities with tens of thousands of people, including the great center of Cahokia, across the river from modern-day St. Louis. Cahokia’s people built immense platform mounds and established trading routes and trading partners from coast to coast. Archaeologists theorize that a village at the site of JDCF’s Wapello Land and Water Reserve may have been along one of those routes. After the 40-minute movie, Phil Millhouse will talk about his research at Wapello, which provides dramatic evidence that Wapello was an ancient home to people from both the Woodland and Mississippian cultural traditions, whose interaction created a new culture referred to as the Oneota. The Ho-Chunk and Ioway peoples of today are among those who trace their heritage to these ancient Americans. The event is free to attend and complimentary popcorn will be served. Seating may be limited and will be first come, first served.
Our 2018 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, Bluebird Trail Walk, and Fall Forest Walk. The full calendar will be posted soon so check back often for more information.
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The public is invited to JDCF’s annual meeting on Saturday, April 7th, 2018 beginning with a social hour at 4:30 PM. Our keynote speaker will be Jon Greendeer, Former President and current Executive Director of Heritage Preservation of the Ho-Chunk Nation. Jon is a proud member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, a student of the Ho-Chunk language, and traditional way of life. A musician, cyclist, woodworker, drone pilot, and bow hunter, Jon believes in building a life around activity and the outdoors. He earned his Associates Degree from University of Wisconsin Marathon County in 2001 and later, his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point which has helped him develop his interest in state and federal relations with tribes.
We will also be honoring Joan Harmet, the recipient of the 2018 Nancy Hamill Winter Conservation Leadership Award. The cost is $45/per person and includes a buffet dinner. Cash bar available. Please call the JDCF office at 815.858.9100 for RSVP’s.
Join us for the grand opening of our newest preserve, a 405-acre bird sanctuary donated to JDCF by former Stockton resident Nancy Hamill Winter. To date, there have been documented sightings of over 100 different bird species at Valley of Eden. Notable Illinois species of conservation concern include the Henslow’s sparrow, bobolink, red-headed woodpecker, and northern harrier, as well as more common species such as a variety of owls, woodpeckers, and grassland birds making Valley of Eden a birding paradise for people of all ages and birding abilities. More details will follow.
Join JDCF and the Planetary Studies Foundation to catch a glimpse of the Perseid meteor shower from atop Horseshoe Mound on Saturday, August 11th from 7-11 PM. Enjoy family-friendly activities and learn about meteors before the sunset ushers in the celestial show! The event will be cancelled if it is raining, so please check jdcf.org or the JDCF Facebook page for updates. The event is free and RSVP’s are not required. Horseshoe Mound Preserve is located at 1679 N Blackjack Road, Galena.
With fall on the way, the appearance of trees changes significantly and identifying them can be tricky – unless you know your bark, berries & nuts. Join us to celebrate the change of season with a Fall Forest Walk on Saturday, September 15th from 1:00- 3:00pm at the Schurmeier Teaching Forest. This free event will be led by expert staff and volunteers from JDCF who will identify native trees, wildflowers, and berries on an approximately 1.5 mile hike through the forest. The terrain is suitable for people of all ages making the walk an event the entire family can enjoy. Appropriate footwear is recommended!
To reach Schurmeier Forest, take HWY 20 to Derinda Road just east of downtown Elizabeth. Travel a short distance to Tower Road, turn right and follow to Reusch Road. Take a left on Reusch and drive 1 ½ miles to the parking lot on the right side of the road. The entrance to the forest is on the left.
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 of the raptor family. Participants can dissect an owl pellet to see exactly what an owls eats. Basic information about bats will also be covered with an emphasis on how they navigate by a special system called echolocation. This free program will be held at the Belden School in the Galena Territory. RSVP’s are not required.