Sunshine Acre Wraps Up 2017/2018 School Year

This spring, Sunshine Acre students were invited to return to The Field Museum for a backroom tour led by Jim Louderman, and also had some free time to explore the museum exhibits. The students enjoyed seeing the collection room with all the preserved specimens, and had a lot of questions for the scientists they met along the way. They also had a chance to meet the museum’s artist-in-residence, Peggy Macnamara, and admired her beautiful watercolor paintings. One of the students’ most memorable parts of the visit was having Jim’s box turtle, George Burns, wander around the room while they had lunch.

Another highlight this spring, though bittersweet, was saying farewell to the seniors at their graduation ceremony in May. This year, four students graduated and are moving forward into the adult world of jobs and living on their own. One of these graduates will be working with JDCF throughout the summer, so we are glad to stay in touch with him.

Looking forward to next school year, we are excited to expand our educational and stewardship focus to include forest ecology and management. In addition to continuing work on their adopted acre of prairie at Casper Bluff, students will be visiting Schurmeier Teaching Forest to learn about the forest environment, help maintain trails and bridges, and control invasive species.

Upcoming Events

Critters of the Night

October 20 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Join JDCF on Saturday, October 2oth at 10:00 AM to 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 […] Read More

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Keynote Address: Kay Rhoads, Principal Chief of the Sac & Fox Nation

November 2 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

To kick off JDCF’s Voices from the Past: An Archaeological & Cultural Symposium, Kay Rhoads, Principal Chief of the Sac and Fox Nation, will give a keynote speech on Friday evening at 7:00 PM at the Hanover Township Park District Building, 500 Fillmore Street, Hanover, IL.  There is a $10.00/person entrance fee for non-JDCF members.

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Voices from the Past: An Archaeological & Cultural Symposium

November 3 @ 8:30 am - 4:30 pm

JDCF’s Wapello Reserve has many stories to tell about the native people who once inhabited the Mississippi River Driftless area. Exploration of Wapello’s broad terraces show that Paleo, Archaic, Woodland, Mississippian, and Euro-American peoples used the land along the Apple River over many millennia. These occupations left a rich record of artifacts, hearths, storage pits, […] Read More

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Potluck & Program – Citizen Science, Modern Technology & the Conservation of Nature

November 13 @ 5:30 pm - 8:30 pm

Charlie Blake, PhD biologist, will present on Citizen Science, Modern Technology and the Conservation of Nature. Charlie directs RiverWatch, an Illinois statewide citizen science program which monitors stream health. She will be giving an overview of popular phone apps including eBird and iNaturalist and web sites like FieldScope, which allow for far more accurate gathering […] Read More

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