Bruegala Beer Fest (recycling volunteers needed)

The Ecology Action Center is excited to be a benefactor of the 20th annual Bruegala event to be held on August 16 and 17 at the Corn Crib in Normal. Bruegala is a charity beer and wine festival run by the Bloomington-Normal Jaycees that offers over 100 craft beers for sampling, more than 50 wines, a variety of food vendors, music and more throughout the two-day event. The EAC is one of four local non-profits that will receive a portion of the money raised as a charity partner for this year’s event.

In 2018, the EAC partnered with the Jaycees for the first time to coordinate a large-scale recycling initiative at the annual event. Twenty-five volunteers and five EAC staff members worked over the two-day event and diverted 3,962 total pounds of recyclable material from the landfill. A majority of the recycled materials included glass bottles, metal cans and cardboard boxes. The EAC needs your help to make this a successful effort again.  If you are interested in volunteering, please sign up using the form below; all volunteers must be at least 21 years old and must be able to stand on their feet for at least a three-hour shift. For more information on the Bruegala event, visit Bruegala.com.

 


Rain Barrel Workshop

Join us at our upcoming rain barrel workshop on Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 6:00 p.m., where YOU build your own water-saving rain water collection and storage container.

Workshop prices are $45 ($35 EAC member price).

  • A reused, 55-gallon, food-grade, heavy-gauge plastic barrel (non-food-grade)
  • A flexible plastic elbow to direct rain water from your downspout to your rain barrel. Fits 3″ downspouts.
  • A 6″ heavy duty screen to prevent entry of mosquitoes and leaves
  • High-quality fittings for long life
  • Overflow hose and fittings with mosquito barrier
  • Instruction and use of all tools needed for the project
  • Workshop excludes installation materials for your specific home which may include concrete blocks, hacksaw, screwdriver, sheet metal screws, etc

The fine print: The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. The barrels measure 25″ x 35″ and weigh 25 pounds. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your barrel home. There is a limit of one rain barrel per household per workshop. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

Pre-2011 EAC rain barrels:

If you built or bought an EAC rain barrel during or prior to 2011, please check to see if the lid of your barrel fits properly and there are nor holes or gaps that would allow mosquitoes inside the barrel; they can fit through very small gaps or cracks. If your rain barrel seals poorly or has noticeable cracks/gaps – you can attend a new workshop and replace your old barrel for a new one with a secure lid at a reduced price (see that option on the registration form below)

Mega Rain Harvester

275gal mega rain harvester

*Note: If you are interested in a 275 gallon mega rain harvester (measure about 4′ x 4′ x 4′ and weigh 50 pounds), we are not building 275-gallon mega rain harvesters in this workshop, but they are available for purchase and delivery. They are $100 or $90 for EAC supporters plus tax. We can also deliver in Bloomington-Normal for $25 and in the rest of McLean County for $50. Please contact the Ecology Action Center if you are interested in a mega rain harvester 309-454-3169.

Yard Smart: Eco-Friendly Yard Maintenance

Learn how using Yard Smart gardening and lawn care practices can reduce negative impacts on the environment and produce beautiful and bountiful gardens that work with instead of against nature. Yard Smart is part of the Ecology Action Center’s Clean Water Program and recognizes local homeowners who use ecologically–sustainable practices in their yard to the benefit of the whole community.

Presenter Bio:
Larissa Armstrong has worked for the Ecology Action Center since the fall of 2010 when she was hired to provide part-time assistance with a wide variety of programs. She started working for the EAC full-time in 2016. Beginning in 2018, Larissa was promoted to Assistant Director. She coordinates the BN Energy Bright energy efficiency program, Yard Smart, Solar Bloomington-Normal, and annual giving and fundraising in addition to other responsibilities. Larissa has a Bachelor’s Degree from Illinois State University in Politics and Government, and a Master’s Degree from Rutgers University in Global Affairs with a research focus on Global Environmental Issues.

Compost Bin Workshop

Join us on Wednesday, July 31, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. to build your own composter!  Backyard composting is an easy way to reduce waste and create rich soil nutrients to enrich your garden at the same time. Taking advantage of natural processes, composting minimizes land-filled residential waste and produces a valuable organic fertilizer.

The composting workshop includes everything you need to successfully begin home composting. We’ll discuss various types of compost systems and techniques in addition to troubleshooting tips to avoid potential problems.

Workshop price is $60 ($50 EAC member price).

These bins are constructed with two pieces that can detach for easy transportation and relocation.

Workshop space is limited and pre-registration is required. This workshop runs rain or shine. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your compost bin home. These are two part bins that can fit in an SUV or van.

Workshop location and other pertinent details will be sent out prior to the workshop.

Food Forest Workday!

The Refuge Food Forest is a 1-acre organic planting of nuts, berries, fruit trees, and more! The food is free and available for all, but it does take quite a bit of volunteer work to keep the site in good condition. Work will include weeding, mulching, pruning, and more! Tools are available, and we have some gloves, but you are strongly encouraged to bring your own gloves just in case. And if you have a weeding tool that you love, bring that as well. There is a water fountain on the site. Thanks in advance for your help!

Rain Barrel Workshop

Join us at our upcoming rain barrel workshop on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 at 6:00 p.m., where YOU build your own water-saving rain water collection and storage container.

Workshop prices are $45 ($35 EAC member price).

  • A reused, 55-gallon, food-grade, heavy-gauge plastic barrel (non-food-grade)
  • A flexible plastic elbow to direct rain water from your downspout to your rain barrel. Fits 3″ downspouts.
  • A 6″ heavy duty screen to prevent entry of mosquitoes and leaves
  • High-quality fittings for long life
  • Overflow hose and fittings with mosquito barrier
  • Instruction and use of all tools needed for the project
  • Workshop excludes installation materials for your specific home which may include concrete blocks, hacksaw, screwdriver, sheet metal screws, etc

The fine print: The construction process can get a bit messy so wear clothes that can get dirty. The barrels measure 25″ x 35″ and weigh 25 pounds. Bring an appropriate vehicle to transport your barrel home. There is a limit of one rain barrel per household per workshop. For safety reasons, all participants must be 18 years or older.

Pre-2011 EAC rain barrels:

If you built or bought an EAC rain barrel during or prior to 2011, please check to see if the lid of your barrel fits properly and there are nor holes or gaps that would allow mosquitoes inside the barrel; they can fit through very small gaps or cracks. If your rain barrel seals poorly or has noticeable cracks/gaps – you can attend a new workshop and replace your old barrel for a new one with a secure lid at a reduced price (see that option on the registration form below)

Mega Rain Harvester

275gal mega rain harvester

*Note: If you are interested in a 275 gallon mega rain harvester (measure about 4′ x 4′ x 4′ and weigh 50 pounds), we are not building 275-gallon mega rain harvesters in this workshop, but they are available for purchase and delivery. They are $100 or $90 for EAC supporters plus tax. We can also deliver in Bloomington-Normal for $25 and in the rest of McLean County for $50. Please contact the Ecology Action Center if you are interested in a mega rain harvester 309-454-3169.

Food Forest Workday!

The Refuge Food Forest is a 1-acre organic planting of nuts, berries, fruit trees, and more! The food is free and available for all, but it does take quite a bit of volunteer work to keep the site in good condition. Work will include weeding, mulching, pruning, and more! Tools are available, and we have some gloves, but you are strongly encouraged to bring your own gloves just in case. And if you have a weeding tool that you love, bring that as well. There is a water fountain on the site. Thanks in advance for your help!

Native Plant Identification

Learning and understanding more about native plants and plant communities starts with proper identification. This program will guide you through the process of identifying a plant, from a nameless unknown entity to something that has value and meaning in our natural world. We will not only discuss traditional plant identification resources but also some new (modern?) methods using social media and various apps. Time will be allotted at the end of the program for identification of unknowns brought in by the audience.

Presenter Bio:
Paul Marcum is the Assistant Project Leader for Botany with the Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS) Wetland Science Program. In this capacity, he co-coordinates activities within the group and conducts environmental surveys for potential Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) projects. Paul has been fortunate to research and publish numerous manuscripts and technical reports on Illinois natural areas and rare species. He has worked widely throughout the United States and abroad, and has collected and identified thousands of plant specimens. He especially loves sedges in the genus Carex. Paul is a life member and past President of the Illinois Native Plant Society (INPS) and founder and administrator for the Facebook group, Midwest Graminoids.