Join fellow JDCF members and our guest speaker, botanical artist, George Olson, at our annual meeting. Mr. Olson will have some of his work on site. We will also be honoring John & Barbara Rutherford as recipients of the 2017 Nancy Hamill Winter Conservation Leadership Award. An interactive social hour will begin at 4:30, followed by remarks and introduction of JDCF’s board and staff at 6:00 with a buffet dinner including vegetarian option at 6:15. Mr. Olson will speak at 7:00 pm.
Each year, JDCF focuses on a theme. Our theme for 2017 is the "Year of the Prairie". For some, the word “prairie” simply conjures an endless sea of grass. For others, “prairie” evokes a veritable symphony of sights, smells, and sounds from bird calls, buzzing insects, and the wind rustling the grass, to vibrant purple and yellow wildflowers, minty Monarda, and peppery grey-headed coneflower seeds. No matter how familiar you are with prairies and the flora and fauna that call them home, there will be something to discover during JDCF’s Year of the Prairie. In addition, our calendar also features signature events such as our annual Camp Casper, Moonlight Frog Walk, Bluebird Trail Walk, and Fall Forest Walk. All of these events are free to the public, so join us!
The annual Mississippi River Clean Up will take place from 8 am until 3:30 pm at Gear’s Ferry Landing south of Galena. Individuals and families with older children are welcome. This event is generously sponsored by Chestnut Mountain Resort. Boats and shovels are needed. Anyone who provides a boat for the day will be reimbursed for gas. Participants will get wet and dirty, so come prepared with warm, waterproof clothes, gloves, and boots. Anyone who would like to participate but not go onto the Mississippi River can help by picking up garbage along Ferry Landing Road and the landing. The Galena Boat Club & Galena Rotary are partnering in the clean up.
Bring the whole family to Fantastic Frogs & Friends, a frog walk beginning at the Meeker Street footbridge on the east side along the Galena River Trail in downtown Galena, IL. 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 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.
Author Steve Apfelbaum will discuss his book, “Natures’s Second Chance” and artist Susan Lehnhardt will present art that has been inspired by the prairie and talk about local activism to protect water in our watershed. Co-sponsored by the Galena Center for the Arts.
Join JDCF staff and Jim Louderman, Collections Specialist from The Field Museum, for a spring hike at Schurmeier Forest. Details to follow.
Join us for this program to be presented by Natural Area Surveyor, Randy Nyboer. It will be followed later in the summer with an opportunity to view remnants of the prairies of that landscape. More details to come.
The Bluebird Recovery Program of JDCF invites everyone to enjoy a Bluebird Trail Walk on Saturday morning from 9 AM to noon. No reservations are necessary and this event is free. This is a great opportunity to experience an outdoor Bluebird adventure for people of all ages. Guided tours will be given on easy and scenic Bluebird trail walks to see Bluebird eggs and babies up close in nest boxes.
Camp Casper will include activities that follow JDCF’s 2017 theme of all things prairie for kids ages 9-13. Advance registration and fee required. Details to follow.
JDCF and the Planetary Studies Foundation (PSF) invite the public to a night sky viewing event. As part of the Perseid meteor shower that will be taking place, PSF planetary geologist, Dr. Paul Sipiera will be sharing his expertise in the area of meteorites beginning around 7:30 p.m. At 8:30 p.m., Diane Sipiera, Executive Director of PSF, will tell stories about the nighttime sky and explain how the indigenous American’s interpreted their sky. PSF’s amateur astronomers will be using their telescopes so that the audience can view various heavenly bodies. PSF will have its traveling meteorite exhibit on hand as well. The event is free and RSVP’s are not required.
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 will get to 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 echolocation.