FREP E-Downstream
Thursday, October 6, 2011                                      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 19, 2011  Noon - 1:30 PM  
Program:     Focus on Ferson-Otter Creek at Watershed at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, St. Charles
Presenter:    Ken Anderson, Manager, Kane County Subdivision & Special Projects Division
Location:      Meet at the LeRoy Oakes picnic shelter #1, 37W370 Dean St. St. Charles, IL     MAP 
                   If it is pouring rain, we will meet at Kane-DuPage Soil & Water Conservation District
                   Office at 2315 Dean St., St. Charles.                

This project represents Phase I of multi-phased program to create uninterrupted fish passage throughout 44 miles of stream habitat in the Ferson-Creek watershed.  Our primary objective for Phase I is to remove the impassable dam at Creek Bend Forest Preserve and to modify one low-water barrier located downstream of Creek Bend, in order to open 6.3 miles of lower Ferson-Otter Creek to the Fox River.  Completion of Phase I will allow us to use these projects as models for low cost stream restoration, and to give examples to present to other private landowners in order to foster cooperation for the watershed wide approach.  Phase one will also include evaluation of the fish community response.

Co-hosted by the Ferson-Otter Creek Watershed Planning Group

Wear comfortable walking shoes for a hiking tour of the area.

Noon Networks are free and open to the public. Reservations are not required.
Bring your lunch to eat during the program.   
 
Our Annual: Conversations About Conservation With Our Legislators
 Summary of our September 23rd event
Twenty-one people gathered to hear Representative Kay Hatcher and Senator Sue Rezin remark on the state of affairs in Illinois and more specifically about environmental issues.  The Legislator’s provided their thoughts and status updates on proposed bills and more importantly provided insight on how the legislative process works.

Representative Hatcher provided insight into several proposed bills that FREP had specifically asked her about before the event.  HB3372 Promote Green Stormwater Infrastructure does not have a senate sponsor at this time therefore will not move forward until there is a sponsor.  SB38 Rainwater Harvesting is sitting in the executive committee of the House and was passed unanimously in the Senate.  SB1617 Perchloroethylene ban for drycleaners is in the House Rules Committee.  HB6099 Phosphorous in Fertilizer was passed with a lot of debate and has become law.  There are not any updates on if this law will be challenged or not.

Jack Darin, Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club, provided an update on the main issues the Sierra Club is actively working on:  Clean Energy, Wild Illinois (habitat), and Clean Water.  Jack suggested local agencies help educate everyone on the phosphorous fertilizer restrictions.  The Department of Agriculture is responsible for education and enforcement of this law; however, they could use assistance with education and outreach.

Joining us for Conversations About Conservation With Our Legislators 2012 was, left to right, Jack Darin, Executive Directof of the Illinois Chapter of Sierra Club; State Representative Kay Hatcher (50th Dist.); and State Senator Sue Rezin (38th Dist.)
 
Senator Rezin noted that fees collected for specific purposes are subject to sweeps to the general fund if the general fund needs more money.  That is the reason why the legislators do not always support fees that should help a specific department (i.e. hunting license fee increase to help support IDNR budget) because there is no guarantee that these funds would be used for that purpose.

The day ended with great networking and everyone inspired to make sure their legislators know what is important when deciding how to vote on proposed bills.
 
Are you interested in participating in our Government Relations Committee and learning more about current environmental legislation?  Please contact Katie Parkhurst at 847-658-4184 or katieparkhurst@algonquin.org.
 
FREP Membership Meeting
Wednesday, November 16, 2011  1 PM  
Program:     Updates on the Watershed Planning for Blackberry, Ferson-Otter, Silver, Sleepy Hollow, and Jelkes Creeks
Presenter:    Tim Loftus, CMAP, and other staff and planning coordinators
Location:      Kane County Government Center, Building A, 4th Floor Conference Room
                   719 Batavia Avenue, Geneva, IL 60134       MAP                 
 
New Invasives Workshop
We had a great turnout of over 35 people at our New Invasives Workshop on September 21, presented by Cathy McGlynn, Coordinator, Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership
Our thanks to St. Charles Park District staff for all of their help with hosting the workshop.

Welcome to the new Downstream readers who have been added from our sign-up list at the workshop!

Cathy is available to present additional workshops. If you have another organzation/group that would like to host a workshop, please contact Cathy directly at:
Cathy McGlynn, Coordinator Northeast Illinois Invasive Plant Partnership
c/o Chicago Botanic Garden 1000 Lake Cook Road | Glencoe, IL 60022    847-242-6423    Website
 
Upcoming Meeting Activites involving a new Illinois EPA 319 Fox Watershed Grant Package for FY13
FREP is planning to organize the submission of a package of grants to EPA 319 Grant Program for FY13.

An informational program will be presented at our Feburary 15, 2012 FREP Noon Network.  Watch for details in our next issue of Downstream, or visit our 319 Grants Webpage and watch for updates.
 
FREP members, potential members, and the general public are welcome to attend the FREP Noon Networks and meetings and programs.

Learn more about activities in the watershed and network with others.   FREP Meeting Minutes can be found HERE.
Program Presentations Online:  Many past Noon Network and meeting program presentations can be found in pdf form on the FREP Website HERE.
 
FREP's Annual Membership Drive
FREP is currently conducting its annual membership drive and collecting annual dues to help support the activities of the Partnership. Dues statements have been sent to exisiting members.

If you did not receive a statement in the mail, and/or are new to FREP membership, please visit our members' page for more information:  FREP Members Page

NEW this year: Pay your FREP Membership Dues online via PayPal. Start with the Online Membership Form HERE,
and after completing the form, you will be taken to the PayPal payment link.

Also new this year, we will be posting our renewing and new members on the FREP Membership Honor Roll on our Website.

Note:  Some of you are requiring a W9 from FREP to make your payment. Please email Becky Hoag at foxriverinfo@comcast.net if you need to be sent one.
 
 Fox River Guide & Website
 
The Citizen's Guide to Preserving the Fox River is now available at more than 100 distribution points along the Fox River and in the watershed. CLICK HERE to find out where you can pick up your FREE copy.

You can also read the online version of The Citizen's Guide on the website HERE.

The companion website preservethefox.org contains many pages of information to help you learn about what people can do in their homes and communities to help preserve and protect the beautiful Fox.

This new publication was produced by The Conservation Foundation and the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership.

 
Watershed Planning
Watershed Planning 
The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP) is the delegated authority for the region’s areawide water quality management plan. CMAP has an agreement with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to complete four watershed-based plans within the Fox River Basin.  Watershed planning commenced Sept. 2010 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.
Watershed Planning Meeting Schedule:  Meetings are open to the public, anyone interested is welcome to attend and participate.
Blackberry Creek Watershed Meeting 
Tuesday, October 18, 2-4 PM
Aurora Public Library - West Branch
233 S. Constitution Ave., Aurora 60506

Contact Tara Neff: 630-428-4500, Ext. 23  tneff@theconservationfoundation.org   Webpage


Ferson-Otter Creek Watershed Meeting
Tuesday, October 25, 2-4 PM
Kane County Farm Bureau
2N710 Randall Road St. Charles, IL 60174

Contact Tara Neff: 630-428-4500, Ext. 23  tneff@theconservationfoundation.org    Webpage


Silver Creek & Sleepy Hollow Creek Watersheds Meeting

Wednesday, October 19, 1:30-3:30 PM
Algonquin Township Office, 3702 U.S. Highway 14, Crystal Lake  MAP
Meeting participants will review and comment on the draft watershed action plan chapters.

If you are interested in learning more about current efforts to establish an ongoing community participation group to support plan implementation and continue watershed planning efforts, please Contact Lynn Rotunno at: watershedinfo@mcdefenders.net or 815-338-0393.        Webpage
 
Additional Watershed Planning Groups
There are other active watershed groups involved with planning and implementation activities. Visit our Subwatersheds page for more information or these specific Websites/Webpages:

Tyler Creek Watershed

Jelkes Creek Watershed  Meeting, Thursday, October 27, 7-9 PM,
Otto Engineering, Large Conference Room, 10 W. Main St. Carpentersville IL

Spring Creek has also begun the planning process. Contact info is on our Subwatersheds page
EPA Website that should be helpful to all the planners:  Healthy Watersheds
 
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 13
8 AM to 12:30 PM
Natural Lawn Care and Sustainable Landscapes Workshop
College of Lake County, Grayslake Campus, Room C005
19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, IL
In partnership with CMAP, the Lawn to Lake program will convene a half-day workshop for landscape companies, turf managers, homeowner associations, and municipalities.
The workshop will include sessions on Introduction to Natural Lawn Care, Implementing a Natural Lawn Care Program, What to Look for in Contracts, Greening Your Ordinances, and Creating a Rain-Friendly Landscape. Cost: $25.
Click for registration details about the workshop. or visit the Website  
Wednesday
October 19
11:30 AM to 2 PM
The Conservation Foundation Fall Membership Luncheon
Program:   Asian Carp Invasion: What Does Science Tell Us?
                Philip Willink, PhD, The Field Museum
Le Jardin Restaurant at Cantigny, 1S151 Winfield Rd. Wheaton,
Fee   Brochure
Thursday
October 20, 7 PM
Learn About Native Landscaping and Water Conservation in Aurora
Customer Service Center, 3770 McCoy Dr., Aurora

The Conservation Foundation’s Jim Kleinwachter presents on the benefits of native landscaping and water conservation for homes and businesses.  In partnership with the City of Aurora, this free presentation includes information about what species of native plants thrive in residential and developed areas, their benefits over traditional landscaping, water conservation strategies such as rain barrels and rainwater harvesting, and a review of city ordinances related to the above. 
RSVP not required but appreciated.  To register for this free workshop, email kzilly@aurora-il.org  or call (630) 256-3323.
Friday, October 21
7 PM
Northern Kane County Wild Ones presents an Evening with Doug Tallmy
Author of Bringing Home Nature

Elgin Academy Rider Center, 350 Park Street, Elgin      Website
Friday, Oct. 21, 7 PM
Saturday, Oct. 22, 1 PM
Film Screening of Green Fire:  Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time
Bartlett Nature Center
2054 W Stearns Road in James "Pate" Philip State Park, Bartlett
A 72 minute film production of the Aldo Leopold Foundation, the US Forest Service and the Center for Humans and Nature.  The film shares highlights from Leopold's life and extraordinary career, explaining how he shaped conservation in the twentieth century and still inspires people today. 
Fee   Weblink    Co-sponsored by The Conservation Foundation
Saturday, October 29
9 AM - 3:30 PM
Hoffman Estates Environmental Commission's 10th Annual Environmental Fair
Hoffman Estates Village Hall, 1300 Hassell Road, Hoffman Estates, IL
Open to the Public
Saturday
November 5
4th Annual Bioneers Conference and Green Living Expo
McHenry Community College
Theme: “Journey to a Greener Tomorrow”
Keynote Speaker:  Bill Wilson, Director of Midwest Permaculture
 
Last year's conference provided an opportunity to share information, develop networks, and learn about new and innovative discoveries and technologies.  Approximately 200 people attended, and an additional 300 people walked through the Expo.

There is a current call for exhibitors.  Details at website:  mcbioneers.com
 
Funding Opportunities
Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program     Application deadline: January 31, 2012
The Illinois Biodiversity Field Trip Grant Program provides funding for teachers to organize field trips to visit the natural wonders of Illinois. Teachers may apply for up to $500 to be used for transportation and substitute teacher costs. Complete instructions and application form are available HERE. 

The IEPA is accepting IGIG Program grant proposals through December 15th, 2011 for the 2011 Illinois Green Infrastructure Grant (IGIG) Program
For the implementation of stormwater management practices or techniques that help preserve, restore, or recreate natural hydrology. These green infrastructure practices include things like bioretention areas, bioswales, green roofs, permeable pavement, and rainwater harvesting systems. Details

Grants from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Division of Education

The IDNR Division of Education is working in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program and the Illinois Conservation Foundation to expand the Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program. The maximum available funds per Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant application increased to $1,000! The Schoolyard Habitat Action Grant program provides funds to establish or enhance wildlife habitat on the school grounds or other public place and is available to teachers, youth group leaders and nature center personnel. Butterfly gardens, rain gardens, prairie plots and wetlands are just some of the projects that qualify.
Click HERE for details     Deadlines in November & January

Illinois Conservation Foundation Offers Conservation Achievement Scholarships for High School Seniors
Application deadline: November 30, 2011

The Illinois Conservation Foundation will honor high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding efforts to preserve, protect, enhance and/or promote Illinois' natural resources with the awarding of three Conservation Achievement Scholarships. One $5,000 scholarship, one $3,000 scholarship and one $2,000 scholarship are available. The applicant must be an Illinois resident and a senior in an Illinois high school during the 2011-2012 school year. Voluntary, effective contributions to Illinois' natural resources throughout the applicant's high school enrollment must be documented. The application form can be accessed HERE. Questions may be addressed to Donna Ferguson at donna.ferguson@illinois.gov or 217-785-2003.

Science Lab Makeover Application due: October 21, 2011
Is Your School Lab in Need of a Makeover? Middle and high school science teachers are invited to apply for a chance to win a $20,000 science lab makeover support package. The Shell Science Lab Challenge, a program of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), invites teachers (grades 6-12) who have found innovative ways to deliver quality science lab instruction utilizing limited laboratory resources and equipment, to share their approaches. Teachers submitting top entries will receive professional development opportunities and additional laboratory tools and resources for their schools. Viable strategies submitted to the Challenge will be published in an online NSTA repository of science lab activities that can be delivered utilizing limited resources. Applications are available 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

This newsletter is posted on the FREP Website on the Downstream Newsletter Archives Page