Jun
15
4:00 pm16:00

Ecological Restoration in Chicago's Calumet Region: An Open House

  • Bridgeport Coffeehouse
Night-heron.jpg

Share some Bridgeport Coffee and snacks with Wetlands Initiative ecologists working to restore native habitats in Chicago's Calumet region on the city's Southeast Side, and find out how you can be a part of it!

Once one of North America's most biodiverse wetland areas, the Calumet region is now heavily marked by a century of industrial use. 

Join the collaborative effort to bring back Calumet ecosystems where native plants and wildlife can again thrive, along with the Wetlands Initiative, Audubon Great Lakes, and other partners.

You'll also have the chance to enter a free raffle for some fabulous Patagonia gear!

For directions to Bridgeport Coffee at 31st & Morgan in Chicago, including by public transportation and Divvy bike, click here: Bridgeport Coffee

Jun
3
9:00 am09:00

Plug Planting Volunteer Day at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge

Help restore rare prairie and savanna habitats at the Hickory Hollow tract of the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge! Volunteers will plant plugs (seedlings) of a variety of native species such as leadplant, cream gentian, and prairie violets.

Snacks, water, tools, and gloves will be provided. Please wear appropriate clothing for fieldwork (e.g., long pants, closed-toe shoes). Children 16 years old or younger must be accompanied by a parent or other chaperone.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the parking lot by the observation tower. Click here for a map and driving directions.

Please email us at twi@wetlands-initiative.org if you plan to attend.

May
16
5:30 am05:30

2017 Fishing Season Opening Day at the Dixon Refuge

The fishing season at the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes in 2017 will run from Tuesday, May 16, through Monday, September 4. A Dixon Refuge fishing permit is required in addition to an Illinois state fishing license. Permit applications will be available at the kiosk by the boat launch starting on May 16.

For more information on permits and rules, click here.

Sep
26
6:30 pm18:30

Open House #2: Planning the Future of the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes

Location:
A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center
530 Hibbard Road, Winnetka, Illinois

What do you see in the future of the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes?

We hope you’ll drop by this open house and join other Dixon Refuge friends, neighbors, and supporters in this exciting planning led by The Lakota Group.

As TWI plans for the Refuge’s future we want to know what you think about several questions:

  1. How can we increase public access to—and enjoyment of—the Refuge?
  2. What types of public activities are consistent with maintaining the Refuge’s high-quality ecological conditions?
  3. How can we build community and collaborate with interested organizations and individuals to enhance the Refuge, both locally and regionally?
  4. How can we increase public awareness, appreciation, and stewardship of the Refuge?

RSVPs aren’t necessary; come by for as long as you can. For directions to the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center, please click here.

Sep
24
11:30 am11:30

Open House #1: Planning the Future of the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes

Location:
Dixon Refuge Farmhouse
9231 IL Highway 26, Hennepin, Illinois

What do you see in the future of the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes?

We hope you’ll drop by this open house and join other Dixon Refuge friends, neighbors, and supporters in this exciting planning led by The Lakota Group.

As TWI plans for the Refuge’s future we want to know what you think about several questions:

  1. How can we increase public access to—and enjoyment of—the Refuge?
  2. What types of public activities are consistent with maintaining the Refuge’s high-quality ecological conditions?
  3. How can we build community and collaborate with interested organizations and individuals to enhance the Refuge, both locally and regionally?
  4. How can we increase public awareness, appreciation, and stewardship of the Refuge?

RSVPs aren’t necessary; come by for as long as you can. For directions to the Dixon Refuge farmhouse, please click here.

Sep
17
9:00 am09:00

Fall Seed Harvest Volunteer Day

Location: 
Sue and Wes Dixon Waterfowl Refuge at Hennepin & Hopper Lakes
Free lunch provided after

Celebrate fall by helping to collect native seed in the Dixon Refuge’s beautiful restored prairies and wetlands. No experience is needed for this fun and easy volunteer activity!

The seed harvested by volunteers will later be cleaned, sorted, and planted over the winter in less diverse areas of the Refuge. This is an important and easy way you can participate in restoration at this Wetland of International Importance!

Bring a water bottle; snacks, tools, and gloves will be provided. Join us for a picnic lunch at the Refuge farmhouse when you’re done harvesting. Please wear appropriate clothing for fieldwork (e.g., long pants, closed-toe shoes). Children 16 years old or younger must be accompanied by parents or other chaperones.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the parking lot by the observation tower. Click here for a map and driving directions.

Please email us if you plan to attend.

Aug
30
10:00 am10:00

Constructed Wetland Expo & Conservation Day

Bureau County’s second farm-based constructed wetland designed for nutrient removal will be installed during a four-day public expo held August 29 through September 1 at Bonucci Farms in Princeton, Illinois. This event is organized by the Wetlands Initiative, the Illinois Land Improvement Contractors Association, and other partners. Everyone is welcome to attend and view construction of the wetland, which is a voluntary practice under the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy. The expo is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. each day. The expo site is on 1500 N Ave. east of Route 26.

Tuesday, August 30, will be a special Conservation Day with exhibits from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Come hear speakers that day on constructed wetlands, cover crops, pollinator habitat, and other farm-based conservation practices. A Rainfall Simulator Unit will provide a visual demonstration of a storm event and how water moves over and into the soil. Landowners can also bring water samples for testing on Tuesday by the Illinois Council on Best Management Practices (view sampling instructions here).

Food and drink will be available for purchase on Tuesday. For more information on the event and directions to Bonucci Farms, please view the event flyer here

May
14
9:00 am09:00

Plug Planting Volunteer Day at Hickory Hollow

Come experience the new Hickory Hollow tract recently added to the Dixon Waterfowl Refuge while helping to restore rare prairie and savanna habitats! Volunteers will plant plugs (seedlings) of a variety of native prairie and savanna species such as wild strawberry, poke milkweed, and big-leaved aster.

TWI acquired the 283-acre Hickory Hollow parcel in 2014, bringing the total size of the Dixon Refuge to more than 3,000 acres. Last fall, we began restoring its soybean fields back to sand prairie and mesic prairie and some of its woodland areas to sand oak savanna. Now’s your chance to get an early peek at the site while helping with the transformation!

Snacks, water, tools, and gloves will be provided. Please wear appropriate clothing for fieldwork (e.g., long pants, closed-toe shoes). Children 16 years old or younger must be accompanied by parents or other chaperones.

Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the parking lot by the observation tower. We’ll car-pool from there to the entrance road for the Hickory Hollow site, which is not yet open to the public. Click here for a map and driving directions.

Please email us at twi@wetlands-initiative.org if you plan to attend.

Jan
31
9:00 am09:00

Illinois Audubon Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock Day 2

Come visit TWI’s table at the Illinois Audubon Society’s Bald Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock State Park to learn more about our current projects and how you can get involved. We’ll be at Starved Rock Lodge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

Eagle Weekend is held every January as a celebration of nature along the Illinois River and a chance to view the many Bald Eagles that congregate to fish by the lock and dam. A flurry of nature-themed presentations and activities for adults and children are available Saturday and Sunday at Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center, and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center across the river.

Guided eagle watching and hikes are available both days—and after you visit TWI’s table at the lodge, don’t miss the famous birds of prey show!

For more details on the weekend’s schedule, visit Illinois Audubon Society.

Jan
30
9:00 am09:00

Illinois Audubon Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock Day 1

Come visit TWI’s table at the Illinois Audubon Society’s Bald Eagle Watch Weekend at Starved Rock State Park to learn more about our current projects and how you can get involved. We’ll be at Starved Rock Lodge from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days.

Eagle Weekend is held every January as a celebration of nature along the Illinois River and a chance to view the many Bald Eagles that congregate to fish by the lock and dam. A flurry of nature-themed presentations and activities for adults and children are available Saturday and Sunday at Starved Rock Lodge, Starved Rock State Park Visitor Center, and the Illinois Waterway Visitor Center across the river.

Guided eagle watching and hikes are available both days—and after you visit TWI’s table at the lodge, don’t miss the famous birds of prey show!

For more details on the weekend’s schedule, visit Illinois Audubon Society.