Sugar Creek Stewards Workday

Come join us for our May workday along Sugar Creek! We need help improving Sugar Creek in designated areas throughout Bloomington and Normal, by clearing invasive plant species and managing the non-invasive plants.

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COVID-19 Protocol: All volunteers are required to wear masks when standing within 10 feet of EAC staff or other volunteers. This work can be largely independent, so there might be opportunities for volunteers to take their masks off if working in a spot far from other people, but be prepared to wear a mask as the default. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own tools, gloves, and reusable water bottle. 

Volunteers must be 18 years old or older (or 14 and accompanied by a parent or guardian) and be able to hike along uneven terrain and safely use basic hand tools such as loppers and bow saws.

The Sugar Creek Stewards is part of the Ecology Action Center’s Clean Water programming, and is supported by the City of Bloomington and the Town of Normal. For more information, contact us.

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May Sugar Creek Stewards Registration!

Participants will be emailed confirmation and workday information the Friday before the workday.

 

 

Dr. Sandra Steingraber – Toward the Fossil-Free Future: Food, Farming, Fracking, Climate, & Justice

 

Internationally Renowned Environmental Scientist and Author
Central Illinois Native
Illinois Wesleyan University Alumna

Dr. Sandra Steingraber “returns” to Bloomington-Normal in this online program as part of the Ecology Action Center’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

American agriculture rides a tandem bicycle with the fossil fuel industry—with natural gas-derived anhydrous ammonia used to fertilize crops and petroleum-derived pesticides sprayed to protect them. At the same time, exposure to air pollution from burning gas, oil, and coal is responsible for more than 8 million deaths around the world each year.  The result of the fossil fuel era is both a public health crisis and a climate crisis that threatens the future of food production.

Meanwhile, U.S. oil and gas extraction activities are expanding into agricultural lands, contaminating soil, introducing invasive weed species, and diverting water for irrigation and livestock to fracking operations to blast even more fossil fuels out of the ground. Black, Latino, and Indigenous communities, as well as impoverished, rural white communities are disproportionately targeted by the fossil fuel industry to serve as the industrial parks for its infrastructure—from gas wells and flare stacks to pipelines and power plants. Fossil fuels are a form of systemic racism.

Biologist Sandra Steingraber brings a human rights and environmental justice approach to all these disparate issues, exploring how we can, in the language of farmer and author Wendell Berry, solve for pattern rather than single outcomes and put in motion a ramifying set of solutions.

This event is free and open to the public but advanced registration is required.  A Zoom webinar link will be shared prior to the event; please makes sure you have Zoom installed on your preferred device.  Following Dr. Steingraber’s presentation, a brief question and answer session will be held.

Registration closes on Tuesday, April 11 at 5 p.m.

REGISTER NOW

Wild Ones Native Plant Sale

The Illinois Prairie chapter of Wild Ones is holding our annual native plant sale via an online store this year. Ordering will be open to the public May 4 to May 10. Orders must be picked up in Carlock on May 15. Information on accessing the general public sale will be posted on our website, https://illinoisprairie.wildones.org/nativeplantsale/ and our Facebook page the morning of May 4th.

Ewing Park Bird Walk

Free bird walk led by local guides from JWP Audubon. Beginners to advanced welcome. Bring binoculars. Park at the Ethel Pkwy entrance (off Emerson) lot. No dogs allowed according to park rules. It’s spring migration!!

Earth Day Trail Clean Up

Let the Earth Day celebrations continue by helping the Ecology Action Center clean up the Constitution Trail and Sugar Creek at our annual clean-up event on Saturday, April 24, 2021 from 9 a.m. to noon!

The EAC and our community partners Friends of the Constitution Trail need help cleaning up the trail from Tipton Park west to the Chateau, and from the Chateau west to Audubon Gardens,  and east and west of the trail by the Habitat ReStore in historic West Bloomington.

Since the coronavirus is still prevalent in our community, we are capping volunteers at 30 per site. All volunteers are required to wear masks. A parent or guardian must accompany minors. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own work gloves if possible. Trash bags and trash grabbers will be provided.  Pre-registration REQUIRED – sign up at one of the links below.

If you are not available to join us for this workday, but still want to help, you can create your own clean-up crew with your family pod. Reach out to the EAC about borrowing trash grabbers, safety vests, and other supplies!

Tipton Park Trail area

The Chateau Trail area

Westside Washington Trail area (Home Sweet Home Ministries Warehouse)

More Mohr Trees! Earth Day Planting Workday

Earth Day tree planting! ParkLands partnered with the Ecology Action Center to plant 5,000 trees at Mohr Preserve in early April as part of EAC’s initiative to plant 100,000 in McLean County over the next decade. The event was cut short by rain, so nearly 1,000 trees still need to be planted before they dry out. Two shifts are available next Friday, 4/23; 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm:

Friday, April 23, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Friday, April 23, 1:00pm – 4:00pm

Directions to Mohr Tract. Tools and heavy equipment will be in use and all volunteers must be able to safely use hand tools as well as follow all prescribed COVID-19 safety protocols including wearing face masks and keeping appropriate distances from other volunteers. Each shift is limited to 45 volunteers. More details, such as parking, will be sent to registrants prior to the workday

Earth Day 2021 Live!

Join us for our second annual online family-friendly celebration of Earth Day!

Earth Day Live (EDL) is a fun and entertaining event featuring local music, educational segments, stories, and more featuring the staff of the Ecology Action Center plus friends and special guests! Free and appropriate for all ages.

EDL will also mark the launch of our celebration of the 50th anniversary of our founding in 1971.

Watch for free via Facebook Live or YouTube.

Virtual Home, Lawn, & Garden Day

This is the year of the gardener- 2021! Join fellow nature-lovers and learn all things gardening
this spring at the 19th annual Home, Lawn and Garden Day sponsored by McLean County
Master Gardeners, a program of University of Illinois Extension.

Participants will attend six live workshops on trending horticulture topics, from growing
tomatoes to designing stunning container gardens. Master Gardeners featured on the popular
WJBC Radio will host a question and answer segment—your chance to ask that gardening
question you have been pondering all winter. Researched-based solutions will be presented by
the panel, as well as fun and practical advice! In addition to the live presentations, participants
will also receive links to 10 pre-recorded sessions that will be available to you to watch at your
leisure and comfort of your home. Learn how to make a succulent wreath, get tips for designing
(or re-designing!) your landscape, be inspired to try new annual vines or groundcovers in your
garden, and more!

A $10 registration fee includes 5 live workshops, Q & A session with the Master Gardeners, and
10 pre-recorded presentations to watch in your free time. For more information and to register
online, visit go.illinois.edu/HLGD. Registration is open January 12 through March 3!
For more information about the event, please contact us at the McLean County Extension
Office at (309) 663-8306.