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 Thursday, June 27, 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.

Compost Bin Workshop

Join us on Wednesday, June 26 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.

 

 

Sugar Creek Stewards Workday

Come join us for our June 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.

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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Details on worksite 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!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Ecology Action Center launches HHW Fund Campaign for a fall 2019 McLean County Household Hazardous Waste Collection; private donations needed to reach goal

PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Michael Brown, (309) 454-3169 x.11
For immediate release: June 17, 2019

With early support from numerous local partners and sponsors, the Ecology Action Center (EAC) is optimistic about a local hazardous waste collection in the near future. Illinois Farm Bureau® (IFB), Compeer Financial, Rivian Automotive, Republic Services, Henson Disposal and Recycling, and Area Disposal Services have all pledged their support for the tentative fall 2019 McLean County Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) collection event. These entities join the City of Bloomington, McLean County, and the Town of Normal as part of a unique public-private partnership led by the EAC.

“We are one of only a handful of Illinois communities stepping up to provide for HHW collection in the absence of reliable Illinois EPA funding and the only community anywhere that I am aware of that provides this service through a combination of public and private funding,” said Michael Brown, Executive Director of the Ecology Action Center. “We encourage all local residents to donate to the McLean County HHW Fund and support this important effort.”

As the solid waste agency for McLean County, Bloomington, and Normal, the EAC is responsible for coordinating Household Hazardous Waste Collection for the community. However, the traditional funding for these events through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) has become very irregular and infrequent. The McLean County HHW Fund was created to meet the need and has provided for three successful local HHW collections and nearly 75,000 gallons of hazardous wastes collected for safe disposal.

The EAC has set a fund raising goal for the 2019 HHW Fund of $35,000 to allow for a growing awareness of the need for proper hazardous waste disposal and related increases in attendance at the fall HHW collection. The EAC asks local residents to make tax-deductible donations at HHWmclean.org; businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities can contact Michael Brown at [email protected] or 309-454-3169 x.11.

Improper disposal of household hazardous wastes pollutes local water supplies and the environment. Whether it is thrown out with regular trash going to a municipal waste landfill, dumped illegally down the drain, storm sewer, or in a ditch, these actions compromise the safety of drinking water thereby threatening the health and well-being of area residents.
More information on hazardous waste disposal and nonhazardous waste disposal are available at HHWmclean.org or by calling 309-454-3169. Free resources include a notification email list for HHW updates, instructions on disposal of nonhazardous latex paint, suggestions on alternative (non-hazardous) products, and information on the EAC’s Yard Smart program, promoting sustainable landscaping and gardening with less synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.

The Ecology Action Center is a not-for-profit environmental agency with a mission to inspire and assist local residents in creating, strengthening and preserving a healthy environment. The EAC acts as a central resource for environmental education, information, outreach, and technical assistance in McLean County.

EAC seeks proposals for hazardous waste collection and disposal

The Ecology Action Center of Normal, Illinois, is soliciting proposals for a fall 2019 Household Hazardous Waste collection event for the residents of McLean County, Illinois.  Please download the full Request For Proposals (pdf) and bid sheet for completion.  Sealed proposals are due to Executive Director Michael Brown by 2 p.m. (CST) on Friday, July 12, 2019.

The Ecology Action Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit environmental agency in McLean County, Illinois. Among other roles, the EAC acts as the community solid waste agency for the City of Bloomington, Town of Normal, and McLean County.

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!