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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!

April 2019

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

Calling all Volunteers: Spring Bird Count 2019

Do you have an interest in birds?  Can you identify most of those that visit your backyard?
Would you like to have the chance to see many new and different species in a single day in the company of an experienced birder?

We are seeking volunteers on Saturday, May 4th, to join a day-long Spring Bird Count project in Jo Daviess County. You will have the opportunity to be teamed with experienced birders and learn about the hundreds of species that migrate through our area each spring while you travel the scenic back roads of Jo Daviess County.

Spring Bird Count (SBC) is an annual citizen-science event that brings together birders from every county in every state across the country.  It is particularly interesting in Jo Daviess County because of our location on the Mississippi Flyway. More than 325 bird species make the round-trip each year along the Mississippi Flyway, from their breeding grounds in Canada and the northern United States to their wintering grounds along the Gulf of Mexico and in Central and South America. It is the busiest migration corridor in North America.

What will you do? As a member of a 3 to 4-person team, you will drive and walk your assigned territory from early morning to late afternoon. Armed with binoculars, a map, and a clipboard, your team will identify, count, and tally every bird you see or hear. At the end of the day all teams gather to report on their findings, share stories, libations, and a potluck meal.

iNaturalist Workshop with Cassi Saari

Become a citizen scientist at our iNaturalist Workshop! iNaturalist is an online community of people recording and sharing their observations of the natural world. Whether your a total nature-nerd or just simply going for a walk, your observations of the natural world can help generate scientifically valuable biodiversity data. In this workshop, you will learn the basics of using the iNaturalist app and website and practice recording observations at one of our preserves. iNaturalist Curator, Cassi Saari, is an ecological field consultant and field botanist in the Chicago region. She is the current president of the Northeast Illinois Native Plant Society and studied environmental science, plant biology, and conservation biology at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. She has become a familiar face on iNaturalist so some of you may recognize her name! The workshop will be held at the Galena Center for the Arts. Limited seats available. RSVP to educator@nulljdcf.org.  $10 for non-members of JDCF.

What to bring to the “iNat” workshop:

Sack lunch
Refillable water bottle
Sturdy outdoor shoes
Weather appropriate clothing (dress in layers!)
Laptop/tablet
Smartphone/digital camera
Notebook

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

$10

Birding 101

At the Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary, a team of expert birders will guide instructional tours of the preserve at this new event for 2019. It is open to the public, free for members and $10 for non-members (minimum membership is $35 annually). Novices are encouraged to join! Anybody ages 10+ may join one of the tour groups to learn how to identify species of birds in the wild. Learn how to use binoculars and field guides. Compare different field guides by hearing reviews by seasoned birders. If you have your own binoculars, bring them! With these tools at hand, you will learn the language of the birds. They are telling a story that you might want to hear. 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. Most likely, you will become the token “bird nerd” to all of your friends.  All tours leave promptly at 9:00 AM. Long pants are recommended and young children must be accompanied by an adult. We thank the Northwest Illinois Audubon Society for providing binoculars for this event.

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.

Thunderbird: a JDCF Safari

Day 1:  Archaeologist and historian, Dr. Phil Millhouse, will guide a half-day safari of one of the most significant Native American cultural sites in all of Illinois, featuring the last known intact Thunderbird effigy mound in the state.  Your safari begins with coffee, tea, and homemade pastries, as Phil tells you the amazing story of the mound builder society, creators of the Thunderbird.

Then, your safari will traverse the stunning landscape of JDCF’s Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve, overlooking the Mississippi and just minutes from downtown Galena, where you will view the Thunderbird along with many other burial mounds in the Aiken Mound group, which are still visible today.  Your tour of the site includes wilderness trails where native and edible plants and a variety of wildlife can also be viewed.

Day 2: Your safari location moves to an archaeological dig at nearby Gratiot’s Grove, Wisconsin, outside of Shullsburg, just over the border with Illinois. There you will join Phil and students from Syracuse University who are excavating a complex French American and Ho-Chunk Native American settlement on the lead mining frontier of the 1820’s.

Walking on uneven ground will be required at both sites. Our safaris are suitable only for children 12 and older.  This is a rain or shine safari, and unfortunately, we cannot offer refunds.

Day 1: Saturday, June 15, 8:00 am to Noon
Casper Bluff Land and Water Reserve, 870 S Pilot Knob Rd, Galena
Day 2: Sunday, June 16, 9:00 am to Noon
Gratiot’s Grove, Shullsburg Wisconsin
(maps and directions will be provided when you sign up)

$50 per person/$35 per person for JDCF members.  RSVP to info@nulljdcf.org to sign up.

 

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.

$50

Bobolinks: A JDCF Safari

Join JDCF volunteer and international birding expert Bobbi Asher for a half-day birding adventure at the Valley of Eden Bird Bird Sanctuary.

In decline because of habitat loss, this striking bird with a unique black underbelly and beautiful song, travels thousands of miles each year to nest in the restored grasslands of JDCF’s new bird sanctuary. Bobbi Asher, international birder and board member of the International Crane Foundation and Chicago Audubon, will guide you through the meadow where they nest to watch their charming aerial displays and along the way, you will likely see other birds of conservation concern such as the Henslow’s sparrow, red-headed woodpecker, and northern harrier as well as many of the more than 100 species that visit or make VOE their warm-weather home.

Over lunch (included), Bobbi will share lots of fun facts about the birds you’ve sighted. $50/safari; $35/safari for JDCF members. Rain days are Sun-day, June 23rd and Sunday, June 30th. Suitable for children 12 and over. Requires walking on uneven ground. Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund or alternative date for your safari beyond the stipulated rain dates. Nor can we guarantee you will see your target species, but we’re confident you’ll enjoy your safari and see much wonderful wildlife.$35/JDCF members, $50/non-member.  Includes lunch.  RSVP required to info@nulljdcf.org. Space may be limited.

$50

Bobolinks: A JDCF Safari

Join JDCF volunteer and international birding expert Bobbi Asher for a half-day birding adventure at the Valley of Eden Bird Bird Sanctuary.

In decline because of habitat loss, this striking bird with a unique black underbelly and beautiful song, travels thousands of miles each year to nest in the restored grasslands of JDCF’s new bird sanctuary. Bobbi Asher, international birder and board member of the International Crane Foundation and Chicago Audubon, will guide you through the meadow where they nest to watch their charming aerial displays and along the way, you will likely see other birds of conservation concern such as the Henslow’s sparrow, red-headed woodpecker, and northern harrier as well as many of the more than 100 species that visit or make VOE their warm-weather home.

Over lunch (included), Bobbi will share lots of fun facts about the birds you’ve sighted. $50/safari; $35/safari for JDCF members. Rain days are Sun-day, June 23rd and Sunday, June 30th. Suitable for children 12 and over. Requires walking on uneven ground. Unfortunately we cannot offer a refund or alternative date for your safari beyond the stipulated rain dates. Nor can we guarantee you will see your target species, but we’re confident you’ll enjoy your safari and see much wonderful wildlife.$35/JDCF members, $50/non-member.  Includes lunch.  RSVP required to info@nulljdcf.org. Space may be limited.

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Physical Address

126 N. Main Street
Elizabeth, Illinois 61028

Mailing Address

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

Email

info@jdcf.org

Telephone

(815) 858-9100 (voice)