River funding OK’d
The county boards of both Kankakee and Iroquois counties have agreed to budget $25,000 each for a Kankakee River system flood control study with eight river counties in Indiana.
Kankakee County Board Chairman Andy Wheeler and Iroquois County Board Chairman John Shure were among Illinois officials who attended a meeting last month of Indiana’s Kankakee River Basin Commission to discuss the proposal.
Wheeler said at that time that Kankakee County would participate and the full county board approved the funding unanimously last week.
Shure told the Iroquois County Board last week that an anonymous source has agreed to provide the $25,000, and the county board voted 11-3 to provide the money from the contingency fund if the if the anonymous source doesn’t, The Iroquois County Times Republic newspaper reported. Seven board members were absent.
The plan is to hire Christopher B. Burke Engineering, a multi-state firm that specializes in planning and design of infrastructure projects for stormwater and flood control, among many other activities.
The firm has done many projects in northeast Illinois and has an excellent reputation, said Paul Osman, floodplain management program director with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Greenways, trails council
An Illinois Greenways and Trails Advisory Council will be created under legislation sponsored by State Rep. Tom Bennett, R-Gibson City, and Sen. Chuck Weaver, of Peoria, and signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The council will serve as the state’s advisory council to the federal Recreational Trails Program.
The council will help protect and enhance the outdoors experience of Illinoisans, Bennett noted. It also is intended to be a forum for public discourse and participation on recreational trails in Illinois.
The 11th annual Aukiki River Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday at Baum’s Bridge Road and the Kankakee River, southwest of Kouts, Ind.
Indiana’s Kankakee River Historical Society sponsors the historic event as a fundraiser for its continuing effort to restore the historic Collier Lodge at Baum’s Bridge, one of the few surviving hunting lodge buildings of the now largely vanished Grand Marsh of the Kankakee.
The event will feature historic re-enactments focusing on the Grand Marsh’s historic Native American residents, early European explorers, trappers and settlers, along with muzzleloader gun demonstrations, quilting, music, dance, craft demonstrations and much more, including Native American and Civil War encampments.
Admission will be $3; free for ages 12 and younger. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
The Collier Lodge is on South Baum’s Bridge Road, about two miles south of Indiana Route 8, and about seven miles east of Hebron, Ind. It is about 53 miles from Kankakee through Lowell and Hebron. It also can be reached via Illinois Route 114 east of Momence to Indiana Route 10 to Wheatfield, Ind., then north on county roads to Baum’s Bridge.
For more information, visit kankakeevalleyhistoricalsociety.org or call 219-766-2302.
Pigeon & bantam fair
The Tri-K Pigeon & Bantam Club will hold a bird and animal fair and flea market at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds from 5 a.m. to noon Sept. 2.
For more information, call Brian at 815-697-2980.
Youth deer hunts
Youth deer hunting opportunities will be available in Octobere at Kankakee River State Park and Iroquois County State Wildlife Area, north of Beaverville.
This is the second year for the program and a limited number of positions will be available. but the program may be expanded to additional areas should interest warrant. To apply, please send a card or letter to the Site Superintendent C/O Youth Deer Hunt 5314 W. Illinois Route 102, Bourbonnais, 60103- with the name of hunter, name of guardian/mentor (and hunter customer number) address and phone number. Applications must be at the park office no later than close of business Saturday Sept. 1.
A random drawing for slots will be made. Two slots are available at Kankakee River SP and three at Iroquois County. Successful applicants will be contacted with site rules, permit and maps. They will also be required to purchase a Youth/Apprentice license and Firearm Deer Permit for your county from an over the counter vendor. If using an apprentice license, the mentor must be a licensed hunter.
This hunt will only be open in Day Use Area north of the park office at Kankakee River State Park from designated locations. At Iroquois County, only the agricultural fields and adjacent woods north of the office will be open from designated locations.
This season will only be open during the October portion of the Youth Deer Season which is the Saturday and Sunday of the Columbus day week-end. For more information, contact the site office at Kankakee River State Park at 815-933-1383.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources regional fisheries administrator Rob Miller will present a pond management workshop at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6, at Dale DeYoung’s pond at 3528 E. 3000N Road (Armour Road) east of Bradley.
The program is sponsored by the Kankakee County Soil and Water Conservation District, IDNR and Logan Hollow Fish Farm. Miller will also discuss fish species selection, stocking rates, aquatic plant control and other pond management topics and will answer questions after the demonstration.
Please RSVP by phoning Emily Janes at the SWCD office at 815-937-8940 ext. 3 or email Emilie.Janes@il.nacdnet.net.
SWCD pond fish sale
The Kankakee County Soil and Water Conservation District’s fall pond stocking fish sale is underway, with orders due Sept. 7 and the pick-up day scheduled for 7 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14 at the SWCD office at 685 Larry Power Road, Bourbonnais. Grass carp orders are due by Aug. 24.
For order forms, call the SWCD office at 815-937-8940 ext. 101, or visit the website www.kankakeecountyswcd.org. Pond fish also may be ordered from other area county SWCDs.
Other county SWCDs also offer annual fish sales. For information, call your local SWCD.
Monee I Spy Wildlife
“I Spy Wildlife” events will be held weekly at Monee Reservoir, with next naturalist-led search for wildlife to be held 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30,
Each week the Forest Preserve District of Will County event. Are the turtles sunning, are the frogs croaking, is the heron wading in the shallows? Who knows unless you come out?
The events are open to all ages.
Monee Reservoir is midway between Peotone and Monee and is located on Ridgeland Road, south of Pauling Road, between Illinois Route 50 and I-57.
A free Wednesday Morning Walkers event for ages 13 and older will be held 9-10:30 a.m. Aug. 29 at Thorn Creek Nature Preserve, on Monee Road at Park Forest
Follow the forest’s seasonal changes, enjoy light exercise and experience nature firsthand on two miles of winding trails along Thorn Creek.
Registration is required two days before your first walk by calling 708-747-6320.
Trails may be wet or muddy, so wear sturdy shoes. Hiking is on natural surface trails across uneven terrain. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service to participate in this program should call 708-747-6320.
Nocturnal chorus hikes
A nocturnal chorus hike for families will be held 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, by the Forest Preserve District of Will County at the Four Rivers Environmental Center at Channahon.
The free event is open to all ages.
Study insects inside the center, then head out to hike, seek and discover marvelously loud little critters. This opportunity to travel the preserve after dark could reveal some fantastic finds.
Registration is required by Aug. 27 by phoning 815-722-9470. Phone at least 48 hours in advance if auxiliary aid is needed to participate on outdoors activities on natural surfaces across uneven terrain.
A free nocturnal hike for adults ages 18 and older will be held at the center 6:30-8 p.m. Registration required by Tuesday, Aug. 28 at 815-722-9470.
Fishing Will FPD
A free program on fishing the many lakes, steams and rivers of the Forest Preserve District of Will County will be held 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Isle a la Cache Museum in Romeoville.
Join a naturalist for this program to find fishing hot spots and learn about common sport fish of the county, learn about local fishing ordinances and share fish stories of your own.
The program is for ages 10 and older. Registration required by Aug. 28 at 815-886-1467.
Open space grants
Now through Oct. 1, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for grants through the Open Space Land Acquisition and Development program and the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The programs are for local government acquisition and development of land for open space properties.
Consult the IDNR website at www.dnr.illinois.gov for more information or call the IDNR Grants main line at 217-782-7481.
The Illinois Department of Natural Resources proposing changes in regulations regarding materials that can be used to construct waterfowl hunting blinds at public hunting sites for the 2019-20 period.
The changes are intended to reduce debris in waterways and adjacent property when blinds deteriorate or are destroyed by flood, ice and other natural occurrences.
Materials such as metal and plastic fencing, metal panels, roofing materials, and metal poles can litter waterways and create hazards for boaters, anglers, and other site users that can cause damage or injury.
The proposed challenges have been submitted to the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.
‘Before Lincoln’ tour
Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie will hold an “Illinois Bicentennial Tour — The Land Before Lincoln” 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
The car caravan tour will begin at the Midewin Welcome Center, north of Wilmington on Illinois Route 53.
Other upcoming auto tours, also starting from the Welcome Center will be:
Midewin by Auto: 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. September 1: Midewin by Auto;
Ghosts of the Ammunition Plant Tour, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 8;
Geology of Midewin, 9-noon Sept. 15;
Midewin by Auto, 10 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sept 22.
Registration is required by phone at 815-423-6370 or email at Midewin_RSVP@fs.fed.us.
Fall color hike
A fall color hike at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie will be held from the Welcome Center, on Illinois Route 53 north of Wilmington, from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 15. “A short hike through prairie; great for families who want to see a different face of fall.”
Registration is required by phone at 815-423-6370 or email at Midewin_RSVP@fs.fed.us.
On Sept. 1, the Forest Preserve District of Will County will launch is 2018 “Woods Walk” experience of 10 of the county’s top-rated trails.
Pick up a “Woods Walk” travel log at most Forest Preserve visitor centers to use as a trail log. Complete 7 of the 10 “Woods Walk” trails and receive a 2018 “Woods Walk” hiking medallion.
The top 10 trails are: Messenger Woods, Plum Creek Greenway Trail in Goodnow Grove Nature Preserve; Hickory Creek Junction: Hickory Creek Bikeway; McKinley Woods – Frederick’s Grove; Vermont Cemetery Preserve: Tall Grass Greenway Trail; Isle a la Cache Preserve: I&M Canal Trail; Rock Run Preserve – Black Road Access: Rock Run Greenway Trail; Wauponsee Glacial Trail – Manhattan Road Access; Lake Renwick Preserve – Turtle Lake Access: Lake Renwick Bikeway.
Trails range from 1.5 to 4 miles, and each trail offers its own unique experience. Bring binoculars, field guides and a camera. Select trails offer photo staging areas, adding a fun opportunity to share pictures on social media.
This program runs daily from Sept. 1 to Nov. 30.
Rare Mccaw protection
Blue-throated Macaw numbers only about 300 in the wild – but it’s hoped that the population will increase through acquisition of the new reserve in Bolivia and an ongoing nest box program, the American Bird Conservancy reported Monday.
The largest known group of nesting Blue-throated Macaws is now a protected nature reserve, thanks to a land purchase made by Bolivian conservation organization Asociación Armonía with support from American Bird Conservancy, the International Conservation Fund of Canada, IUCN Netherlands, and World Land Trust.