JDCF Announces Slate of Candidates for Election to the Board

JDCF will present the following slate of individuals for election and re-election to our Board of Directors.  The election will take place before our membership at our annual meeting on April 1st, 2017.  The public is invited to attend.

Standing for Election:

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; 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 Guardians got me interested in environmental issues.  Next came NIPE 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. I look forward to helping the JDCF continue on its very successful land preservation journey.”

Larry Martin

Larry Martin

Larry spent 42 years in the consulting engineering business working throughout the U.S. His personal expertise is as an environmental/regulatory specialist for managing the environmental and regulatory requirements for large infrastructure projects, in particular transportation projects including the Illinois Tollway system. His project experience ranges from highway and bridges, to hydroelectric, to oil/gas pipelines, electrical transmission, water resources, mining, and more.

In his long professional career Larry sought to balance between the needs of our urban population and the environment.  “With good development comes a strong consideration for the environment such that we avoid impact when we can and provide apt mitigation when impact is unavoidable.  But, in the process of impacting resources we must do the necessary work to truly understand the environmental systems that are at risk.”

“My wife (Linda) and I have lived part time and now full time in the Galena area for over 6 years.  We have grown to love our home and the area that surround it.  We seek the quiet, natural, and scenic qualities that are offered here, and like so many choose to guard against activities that would cause a material change.  Our interest in the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation is founded in protecting the important resources of the area, preserving a life style that evolved over the generations, and giving back in ways that we are most passionate.”

Standing for Re-Election:

Fran Peterson

Fran Peterson

“I was born and raised in Decatur, Illinois.   I graduated from Millikin University and worked for Archer Daniels Midland as an accounting manager.  I have two fabulous daughters and four fantastic grandchildren who all live in the Midwest.  My husband and I moved here in 2003 and became involved with the Guardians and the Conservation Foundation almost immediately upon moving here.  The beauty of the region was so different from central Illinois and we both loved it and wanted to do what we could to preserve and protect it.  I have been fortunate to serve on the Board of Directors for the past three years and have been so impressed with the work of this organization.  I am very excited to continue that work into the future.”

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., President of the Upper Mississippi River International Port District, and Partner in Savanna Portland, LLC. “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

The Prairie Enthusiasts 2017 Annual Conference

March 4

JDCF is co-hosting this annual, one-day conference with the Northwest Illinois Prairie Enthusiasts.  The theme will be Landscapes of the Future: Challenges & Opportunities. Two keynote speakers will be Jeff Walk of The Nature Conservancy, speaking on “Climate Change & Habitat Preservation & Restoration” and Bob Palmer of the Effigy Mounds National Monument, speaking on “Fertile Ground […] Read More

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Popcorn & Program: FIRE, the Science of Prairie Restoration Burns

March 18 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Learn about the important role fire plays in the prairie ecosystem from our own Director of Land Stewardship, Ryan Getz. This “Popcorn & Program” is at the Galena Territory Association on Saturday, March 18 at 6:30 PM with the program beginning at 7:00 PM. As a follow up, all are welcome to come out in April […] Read More

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JDCF Annual Meeting

April 1 @ 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm

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.

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Calling All Volunteers – River Clean Up

April 22 @ 8:00 am - 3:30 pm

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 […] Read More

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