FREP E-Downstream

Wednesday, October 6, 2010                                        Greetings from FREP!

Please visit our Website for additional information and updates on activities shared in this newsletter
FREP ACTIVITIES
FREP Noon Network
Wednesday, October 20, 2010     Noon - 1:30 PM
Program:  Proposed Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
Presenter: Cindy Skrukrud
Location:  Lost Valley Visitor Center, Glacial Park, Rt. 31 & Harts Road, Ringwood, IL   Maplink

The Friends of Hackmatack was formed to facilitate the establishment of the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge in the northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin. The refuge will conserve our area’s unique natural landscapes, plants and wildlife; link existing open space areas; create recreational opportunities and provide long-term economic benefits to the residents of our region.

In April US Fish & Wildlife Service approved the study to determine the feasibility of establishing this new National Wildlife Refuge.

Come to the Noon Network to learn more about this wonderful project within our Fox River Watershed.


Friends of Hackmatack Website         US Fish & Wildlife Service Webpage on Hackmatack
Noon Networks are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required. Bring your lunch to eat during the program.
PLEASE NOTE:  There will also be two open houses in Illinois sponsored by USFWS that we urge you to attend and show your support for Hackmatack:
US Fish and Wildlife Service Open Houses
on proposed Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
       
Tuesday, October 12, 4-8 PM
McHenry County Government Center Administration Building,
   667 Ware St, Woodstock IL
Wednesday, October 13, 4-8 PM
   Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park, Harts Rd. & Rt. 31, Ringwood IL
****If you cannot attend one of the open houses, you can email your support for the refuge****
to the USFWS at:   r3planning@fws.gov
 
FREP Membership Meeting
Wednesday, November 17, 2010     1 PM
Program:  Rain Garden Infiltration Study & Update on Kane County Rain Garden Initiative
Presenter: Deanna Douhaluk, Hey & Associates
Location:  Prisco Center, Fox Valley Park District, 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora   Maplink
               Following the meeting we are invited to go across the street to see the new Fox Valley
               Park District administration facility work being completed, which includes rain gardens,
               rainwater harvesting, and pervious paving.


FREP members, potential members, and the general public are welcome to attend FREP meetings and programs. Learn more about activities in the watershed and network with others.
FREP Meeting Minutes can be found HERE.
Program Presentations Online:  If you missed a recent Noon Network or meeting program, you can find many presentations in pdf form on the FREP Website HERE.
 
New FREP Activity
Watershed Planning
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the delegated authority for the region’s areawide water quality management plan. CMAP recently entered into an agreement with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to complete four watershed-based plans within the Fox River Basin.  Watershed planning commenced in September in Blackberry Creek and Ferson-Otter Creek watersheds (Lower Fox River, Kane and Kendall counties) and in Sleepy Hollow Creek and Silver Creek watersheds (Upper Fox River, McHenry County).  Funding for these projects was provided by the IEPA through Section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA).

Read more about the project and information about each of the four watersheds HERE.
Stakeholder Watershed Planning Meeting Schedule:
Please note: these meetings are open to the public and anyone interested in learning more about this project is welcome to attend and participate.
Blackberry Creek Watershed Meeting 
Monday, October 18, 2 PM
Yorkville/Bristol Sanitary District, 304 River St., Yorkville
For more information, Contact Erin Tuttle at:
etuttle@theconservationfoundation.org  630-428-4500, Ext. 41

Ferson-Otter Creek Watershed Meeting
Wednesday, October 20,  2 PM
St. Charles City Hall/Municipal Center
2 E. Main St., St. Charles
For more information, Contact Erin Tuttle at:
etuttle@theconservationfoundation.org  630-428-4500, Ext. 41

Sleepy Hollow Creek Watershed and Silver Creek Watershed Meetings
Wednesday, October 27,  Time & Location: TBA
check for updates at these links:     Silver     Sleepy Hollow

For more information, Contact Lynn Rotunno at: watershedinfo@mcdefenders.net     815-338-0393
 
FREP's Annual Conversations With Our Legislators
Wednesday, September 15 at Lake Front Park Center, Fox Lake, FREP held its 9th Annual legislative event, co-sponsored this year by Ingrid Danler and the Fox Waterway Agency.
Together our voice will be heard by our legislators in Springfield.  The key is to provide a unified front of all interested stakeholders and to provide a clear message of what needs to be done and why this is important.

Twenty-five people gathered to hear Senator Pam Althoff and Senator Michael Bond remark on the state of affairs in Illinois and more specifically about environmental issues.  The Senators provided their thoughts and more importantly provided insight on how to best influence change and get their attention.

Jack Darin, executive director of Sierra Club of Illinois also participated and shared his insights, as well as a new video about recently passed legislation to control the use of phosphorus in lawn fertilizers that will help protect our water.

Due to the economic conditions facing the State of Illinois, all topics need to be based on financial and economic arguments.  For example, in order to obtain funding for preserving, protecting and restoring the natural environment in our region, we need to show why this is valuable beyond natural ecosystem functions.  Stakeholders ranging from boaters, fisherman, hotel owners, retailers, restaurants, environmentalists, and municipalities to name a few, need to show how they all benefit from the local pristine natural areas.  The benefits include safe, clean drinking water, recreation, sales tax revenue, and more.  Illinois has invested millions of dollars in the area over the years, why would the State now turn it‘s back on an economic engine?

The message needs to be clear and concise and brought in person to the legislators in Springfield.

The audience in attendance was fired up and motivated by the presentations.  The need to be better informed of proposed legislation, to share the victories of passed bills, and to gather support to lobby for specific causes was discussed.  FREP can share information through the Downstream newsletter and/or set up an email blast list for late breaking news.  In order for this to be successful, everyone will have to tune in to the proposed legislation and share the concerns or highlights, and to form partnerships.
***The FREP Government Relations Committee would like feedback and participation from those who would like to participate in organizing a future lobbying day in Springfield, as well as increasing the communications we have with our legislators. FREP is in a unique situation, as we represent a great number of organizations and entities in the Fox Watershed. Our combined voices can help make a difference. Our legislators are encouraging us to do this.***

If you are interested in working on this Government Relations Committee effort, please email Becky at: foxriverinfo@comcast.net.
 
FREP Annual Membership Dues
FREP's new fiscal year began July 1. Dues statements are being sent out this week and are due by the end of November. If you are new to FREP and would like to support us through membership, please use this form:  2010-11 FREP Membership Form.
 
Grant/Funding Opportunities
Park and Recreational Facility Construction Grant Program Accepting Applications
$25 Million Available For Park and Recreation Projects Through Illinois Jobs Now! Capital Program. For the current Fiscal Year (FY) 2011, a total of $25 million in grants are available through funding provided by the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program.  The maximum grant award for qualifying projects for FY11 is $2.5 million.

The IDNR will accept applications from qualifying units of local government from Oct. 15 through 5 p.m. on Mon., Nov. 29, 2010.    DETAILS
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack today (10-6-10) announced that Illinois has been awarded a $525,250 federal grant for the new Illinois Recreational Access Program.

The Conservation Congress made this one of its priority recommendations, the development of a new access program to make more land and water available for hunting, trapping, fishing and other recreational purposes.  Governor Quinn – in his Executive Order last spring – called for the creation of programming to increase access that meets the growing demand for outdoor recreation. This program will help accomplish those goals.

 A news release with the announcement and some program details can be found  HERE
 
Other Activities & News of Interest
If you have an activity or event you'd like FREP to share on our Website or in the Downstream, please email the information to Becky at: foxriverinfo@comcast.net
Thursday,
October 7,  7-9  PM
Fox River-Jelke Creek Watershed Stakeholder Planning Meeting
Location:
Sleepy Hollow Village Hall 1Thorobred Ln. Sleepy Hollow, IL 60118
Tuesday & Wednesday
Oct 12 & 13
US Fish and Wildlife Service Open Houses
on proposed Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge
      Website
Tuesday, October 12, 4-8 PM
McHenry County Government Center Administration Building,
   667 Ware St, Woodstock IL
Wednesday, October 13, 4-8 PM
  Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park
  Harts Rd. & Rt. 31, Ringwood IL
Wednesday
October 13
10:30 AM - 1 PM
CMAP Go to 2040 Comprehensive Regional Planning
Launch of the Implementation Phase

Rooftop of the Harris Theater at Millennium Park, Chicago
Weblink       RSVP to:  info@cmap.illinois.gov
Tuesday, October 19
11:30 AM - 2 PM
The Conservation Foundation's Fall Luncheon
Le Jardin, Cantigny, Wheaton            Website
Building Green Tollways, Kristi Lafleur, Executive Director, Illinois Tollway   Fee    Reservations Required
Fridays,
Oct 22 & Nov. 5
8 AM - 3:30 PM
Winter Snow & Ice Workshop     Fee   Flyer & Registration Form
Location: TBA
Thursday,
October 28
9:30 AM - Noon
Fox River Study Group Annual Meeting
Batavia City Hall, 100 N. Island Avenue
Presentations: 10 - 11:30 AM    Displays  9:30 AM - Noon
If your agency or group has a project underway in the Fox River Watershed which protects water quality and you would like to bring a display about it to the annual meeting, contact cskrukrud@foxriverstudygroup.org
Thursday, Nov. 4
9 AM - 6 PM
Chicago Wilderness Congress 2010
7th Biennial Congress of the Chicago Wilderness Alliance
University of Illinois at Chicago    Fee     Register Here
   
Becky Hoag, Communications Manager, Fox River Ecosystem Partnership    630-482-9157
foxriverinfo@comcast.net   Please Email me if you have an Email to add to our mailing list.
FREP WEBSITE: 
foxriverecosystem.org