JDCF Announces 2020 Slate of Candidates for Election to the Board

The following individuals will stand for re-election to the Board of Directors by mail in ballot to all members in good standing with JDCF.

Maureen Bardusk

Maureen Bardusk

An artist whose work celebrates the Driftless landscape, Maureen has owned property in Jo Daviess County for 40 years. A fascination with area architecture and history led to learning more about county geology and geography, birds and wildlife. A graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago, her professional life in human resources helped her build a successful art career in fiber and surface design: creating art, curating exhibits, writing reviews, and speaking to groups.

Community involvement includes the Patient Family Advisory Board of Lurie Cancer Center, Chicago; Greenspace Committee at The Galena Territory; arts advocate and Exhibitions Committee at the Dubuque Museum of Art; Corps of Discovery team at Lost Mound; bird surveys and bio blitz at Wapello Land & Water Reserve; bird counts, burn team, and birdwatching. Maureen is looking forward to contributing her talents to JDCF.

Randy Downing

Randy Downing

“My professional career of some 30+ years mostly involved managing the development of computer controlled switching systems for Bell Telephone Laboratories. Our first visit to this county in 1978 led to the purchase of a small piece of property, then to a weekend home, and finally to a full-time home in 1990. We fell in love with the rolling hills of the Driftless Region. Bluebird conservation through the Natural Area Guardians got me interested in environmental issues. Next came The Prairie Enthusiasts and prairie restoration. For many years I enjoyed the peace and tranquility of picking prairie seed for new restorations on beautiful fall days, and managing burns in the springtime. In 1995 we acquired a 14-acre parcel of land in rural Stockton and did our own 5-acre restoration (with a lot of help from our friends) which we call Bluebird Prairie. The call of the prairie eventually led to our building a home on this property and to move here in 2006. A conservation easement held by JDCF now ensures that Bluebird Prairie and the surrounding woodlands will be here for a long time.  In my first term I had the opportunity to serve one year as Secretary, one year as Treasurer, and the third as a Director. I look forward to continuing to serve the JDCF on its very successful land preservation journey.”

Fran Peterson

Fran Peterson

“I was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois. My husband and I moved to Galena in 2003 and became involved with the Guardians and JDCF almost immediately. The beauty of the region was so different from central Illinois. We both loved it and wanted to do what we could to preserve and protect it. It has been my privilege and honor to serve on the JDCF Board of Directors for the past six years and serve as president for the past three years. JDCF is accomplishing great things in this area and I am very excited to continue that work into the future.”

Carl R. “Skip” Schwerdtfeger

Carl R. “Skip” Schwerdtfeger

Skip received his B.A. from McKendree College, Lebanon, IL. He majored in history with an emphasis on Military History, minored in Sociology and Political Science. He received his M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. His master’s research was on the Black Hawk War. He enjoyed a full career teaching history and political science at the secondary and university level. During that time he was very active politically.

In 1968 Skip purchased, as part of a partnership, organized and managed Hickory Ridge Ranch, a 275-acre cow-calf and Morgan horse farm north of Elizabeth, IL.

In 1989 he, with his wife and partner, formed the OLD NORTHWEST LAND CO., which grew to over 30 agents, over 300 listings valued at about $30,000,000. In 2005 they sold the Old Northwest Land Company although they continue to be licensed there and actively involved in real estate brokerage.

Currently, Skip is President of the Apple River Fort Historical Foundation, Inc.

“I have always believed in the can-do approach to life. It has led to tremendous challenges and satisfactions. In whatever I have achieved, individually and as a family member, I have pursued integrity, achievement, and contribution as the measurements of success.”

Upcoming Events

Backyard Birding & Birding 101 – A Virtual Lesson

April 9 @ 10:00 am - 10:30 am

We are all in this together! For a virtual, family-friendly activity outdoors, join JDCF Education & Outreach Manager, Jess Hepker, for the 2nd in our new series of nature-related, educational Facebook Live events. We will be practicing social distancing while discussing birding in your own backyard as our feathered friends return to our area, ushering […] Read More

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Bluebird Monitors & Wannabes – Cancelled

April 16 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
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Murphy’s Gardens Native Plant Fundraiser Will Be Held Online

April 24 @ 10:00 am - April 25 @ 4:00 pm

Murphy’s Gardens is still hosting a native plant fundraiser for JDCF in April.  Due to COVID-19, this sale will take place online.  Shopping this sale will support both a local business and a local nonprofit! Details to come.  

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iNaturalist Workshop

May 13 @ 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

JDCF  is holding a workshop on how to use the popular nature app, iNaturalist. Jess Hepker, JDCF’s Outreach and Education Manager, will walk through the basics of iNat and show everyone how to make observations with it. By using the iNat app, you can create research quality data for scientists around the world to use. […] Read More

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