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Upcoming Events

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.

March 2018

Popcorn & Program: Movie “Ancient America” & Presentation by Phil Millhouse

This popcorn and program event features the 40-minute film,“Ancient America,” by award-winning producer/director Gray Warriner of Camera One productions, about the indigenous people who first settled eastern North America. Before the movie, archaeologist Phil Millhouse will talk about his research at JDCF’s Wapello Land and Water Reserve, research which provides dramatic evidence that Wapello was an ancient home to peoples from both the Woodland and Mississippian cultures, whose achievements are showcased in the film. After the movie, Phil and Gray will provide commentary on the film and answer audience questions. 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 throughout the mid-continent. Archaeologists theorize that a village at the site of JDCF’s Wapello Land and Water Reserve may have been along one of those routes. The result of the interaction between the Woodland and Mississippians, documented by Phil Millhouse’s work, was the creation of 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.

April 2018


JDCF Annual Meeting

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.

Fantastic Frogs & Friends 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. 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.

Bluebird & Red-headed Woodpecker Workshop

Everyone is invited to enjoy a workshop on two of our most beautiful native birds, bluebirds and red-headed woodpeckers. This morning workshop will be filled with interesting and colorful information about these beautiful birds, including how you can help monitor bluebird trails and local woodpecker populations, and even attract them to your property. You are encouraged to come whether you are a new or experienced birder.

Our experts from the Bluebird Recovery Program will relate lessons learned from their years of experience in setting up and monitoring bluebird nest boxes, and share how the success of the bluebird trails in Jo Daviess County has brought bluebirds back from the brink of extinction. Discover the best ways to select the location for a nest box, the features of the nest box, and what to expect when you monitor the Bluebirds who use it. You can also find out how to join a team monitoring an existing bluebird trail, or attract these gems of blue to raise families in your own yard. New to the workshop this year, we will also be covering the basics of bed-beaded woodpeckers, another native, cavity-nesting bird whose population has been declining.

The morning will conclude with a drawing for door prizes, and the opportunity to pick up helpful literature, purchase professional bird photos, books and nest boxes, and get free advice on setting up your own nest box

May 2018

June 2018

Valley of Eden Bird Sanctuary Grand Opening

JDCF will be opening a 409-acre property near Stockton, Illinois, on Saturday, June 2, 2018 beginning at 9 AM.  After opening remarks, trails will be open for self-guided tours; and bird experts will be on hand with spotting scopes to answer your questions.   We will also be joined by the Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center with their American white pelican ambassador, Marshmallow, for a live bird program. Wear sturdy shoes for hiking on uneven ground, and bring your sense of adventure!

A generous gift from Nancy Hamill Winter, Valley of Eden offers a variety of habitats to sustain many native Illinois birds that have been on the decline for the past 50 years due primarily to habitat loss or alteration to grasslands, forests, and oak savannas.  The grassland habitat at Valley of Eden will support species that have suffered the steepest decline, including the bobolink, Henslow’s sparrow, dickcissel, sedge wren, and more, by providing the right cover and food mix to allow them to breed and successfully rear a family.

The name Valley of Eden is a tribute to the Eden families who settled in this valley and have farmed here for 4 generations, and continue to raise Black Angus cattle in one of two pastures during most of the growing season as part of the management of the property. The site has over 6 miles of grass walking paths that weave through grasslands, along forests and pasture edges, and between beautiful oak savannas. More than 108 bird species have been identified, and the list is growing.  Please note that dogs and dog walking are not allowed.

Camp Casper 2018 – People on the Land

JDCF, in partnership with the Galena ARC, will once again host Camp Casper, an outdoor day camp for children ages 9 to 13, at JDCF’s Casper Bluff Land & Water Reserve. This year’s theme is People on the Land. People have lived, worked and played on the land that now makes up Jo Daviess County for over 12,000 years. Campers will take a journey through time to explore the lives of the Native Americans who first inhabited this land, the settlers who migrated in search of resources and opportunity, and those who live on and work the land as we know it today.

The camp will take place from 8:30 AM – 11:45 AM on June 18, 20, 21 and 22. It will run until 2:00 PM on June 19th for a field trip.

To register, contact the Galena ARC at (815) 777-2248 or visit www.galenaarc.org/camp-casper.

Camp Casper 2018 is generously sponsored by Illinois Bank & Trust and Chestnut Mountain Resort.

July 2018

Potluck & Program: JDCF’s Native American Connection

Join us for a potluck and program featuring our own Executive Director, Steve Barg, as he discusses JDCF’s Native American connection through conservation of heritage sites and building relationships with tribal descendants.  If attending the potluck, please bring a dish to pass and table service.  Beer and wine will be available for purchase.  If attending just the talk, please arrive just before 7:00 PM. We thank the Apple River State Bank/First Community Bank of Galena for their sponsorship of our 2018 speaker series.

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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)