Sugar Creek Stewards Workday

Volunteer registration for the March workday is closed.  Please join us for our April workday on the 14th (Registration coming soon)!

Come join us for our March 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. scs logo

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. Please dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own work gloves and (reusable) bottle of water. We typically have scheduled work days the 3rd Saturday of the month throughout the year – invasive species never sleep, so neither can we!

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.



Details on worksite and meeting location will be provided to registered volunteers prior to the workday. To become a regular EAC volunteer and be automatically contacted for future Sugar Creek Steward workdays and other volunteer opportunities, register at EAC-Volunteer. Otherwise, please fill out the registration form below!



Landscape Design Using Native Plants

There are basic principles and “rules” artists follow no matter what their media…paint, clay, metal, furniture or plants!

Using native plants to create aesthetically pleasing spaces presents special challenges. They are alive and constantly change their characteristics like size, shape, color and texture. In this program Cathy Bilow will present design principles and practical ideas for you to use in your home landscape and native plant garden. She has created and will share her garden templates that can be adapted to just about any home or public garden.

Presenter Bio:

Cathy Bilow is a horticulturist and landscape designer. She has been designing gardens throughout IL for over 30 years. She and her husband Ken are co-owners of Accent Nature LLC. They provide environmentally friendly lawn and landscape care services as well as landscape design and construction management in Central Illinois. The Ecology Action Center in Uptown Normal and the First Presbyterian Church, Bloomington have native plant gardens designed by Cathy and both organizations have received support from Wild Ones to help with the installation of native plants in these two gardens.

The Colorado (a movie screening)

Come watch the movie The Colorado at the Illinois Wesleyan University Hansen Student Center on March 6 at 7:00 pm.  Murat Eyuboglu, the project’s director, will introduce the film, and will answer audience questions following the film.

 The Colorado, is a feature documentary film that presents a crossroads between art, ecology and regional history in the Colorado River region.  Narrated by Oscar-nominee Mark Rylance, The Colorado explores topics ranging from the prehistoric settlements of the region to the current plight of the river’s delta region, as well as the impact of climate change. 

The Colorado premiered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in May 2016 and has been screened at many national and international film festivals.


 The event is free and open to the public.


BPI Building Analyst & Envelope Professional Certification


Earn the Building Analyst & Envelope Professional certifications through the Building Performance Institute.  This is an exam preparation course that will prepare you to take the written (online) and field exams for certification.  This training is 28 hours of classroom time and 12 hours of field training for the week.

BPI BA and ENV Flyer – March 2018

Home, Lawn and Garden Day 2018

Home, Lawn and Garden Day 2018

Turn March into magic with educational classes, inspirational speakers, and horticulture treasures from a variety of exceptional businesses and artisans at the 16th Annual Home, Lawn and Garden Day sponsored by University of Illinois Extension McLean County Master Gardeners. This event will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, March 3 at Central Catholic High School, Bloomington. Pre-registration is required before February 21.

Attendees select four workshops from 38 trending horticulture topics and also attend the welcome and keynote sessions. University of Illinois Extension Master Gardner Coordinator, Sandy Mason, will open the morning by motivating us all with “High Impact: Low Work Shrubs for you Flower Garden” through planting more perennials for less maintenance. Susan Martin, keynote speaker, garden communicator and consultant, will talk on “Gold Standard Perennials” and how to choose the best perennials for your garden. A $50 registration fee includes workshops, vendors and exhibitors, lunch, door prizes, and silent auction. For more information and to register online, please visit

Registration is open January 8 through February 21. For more information about the program, please contact us at University of Illinois Extension McLean County Office at (309) 663-8306.

Winter Bike Movie

Even if you can’t ride your bike in the winter, you can watch movies about bikes! Thus, every year the Town and Bike BloNo team up to bring some bicycling joy during the depths of winter despair. This year’s movie is the classic, “Breaking Away.” Made in 1979, this comedy-drama won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. Join us at the Normal Theater!

Regulation and Human Health: An IWU Alum’s Experience at the EPA

Former Illinois Wesleyan University student Joe Daniels will speak at 7pm on Monday, February 5 at IWU in State Farm Hall Room 102. 

Joe Daniels ’13, Risk Manager for the Office of Pesticide Programs in the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is returning to campus and will talk about the EPA and his work there, including a recent mission with FEMA doing hurricane relief work in Puerto Rico. Based in Washington DC, Joe’s responsibilities in his role as Risk Manager for EPA include reviewing microbial pesticide labels to ensure they adhere to current federal regulations. He acts as a liaison between EPA’s science teams and companies when any scientific study is submitted to support what is on the labels. Additionally he works on several interdisciplinary teams within the Office of Pesticide Programs related to pesticide labeling. 

An IWU alum, Joe majored in Environmental Studies (International Environmental Sustainability) and minored in Anthropology. He is also a returned Peace Corps Volunteer, having served in Nicaragua for 27 months post graduation from IWU. This event is free and open to all at IWU and the public. Sponsored by the IWU Environmental Studies Program.

Slice of Lifelong Learning

The Ecology Action Center is presenting on “Energy Efficiency for Homeowners” as part of the Heartland Community College Continuing Education Slice of Lifelong Learning free event!

Come sample a variety of  courses offered through Continuing Education, visit the booths of a variety of community organizations, and sit in on presentations like the EAC’s!