• Conservation,  Middle Sangamon

    Message from James Farris, Chair of the Community Environmental Council Membership Committee

    If you are a member of the Community Environmental Council, have been in the past, or perhaps have given some thought to becoming a member, I must remind you that membership dues of $20 per person are now due.  I encourage you to send your dues to: % Melody ArnoldCommunity Environmental Council3939 Nearing LaneDecatur, IL 62521 All members of CEC may attend CEC board meetings.   Board Meetings are the first Wednesday of each month, 4:00 PM, at Rock Springs Nature Center. Other meetings’ times, dates and location will be provided via email as well as all other communications.  It is therefore imperative that we have your current email address to…

  • Conservation,  Middle Sangamon

    City of Decatur Sought Proposals for Lake Decatur Watershed Management Plan

    The City of Decatur, Illinois, requested sealed statements of qualifications and proposals from interested, qualified firms to provide the following professional services to the City of Decatur: Develop a long term Lake Decatur Watershed Management Plan to significantly reduce the amount of sediment and nitrate nitrogen entering Lake Decatur. All proposals were received by the City prior to the deadline–4:00 p.m., local time, October 9, 2019. Click here to learn more about what the proposals included.

  • Conservation,  Middle Sangamon,  Restoration,  Stewardship

    Friends Restoration Work Days

    The Friends’ next Restoration Day is September 7, 2019 from 8:30 AM – 11:00 AM.  A very successful day of cutting bush honeysuckle took place August 23rd.  With the help of Friends of the park and Ameren employees who took part in the annual Day of Action of the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois, a large amount of bush honeysuckle was removed.  We are so grateful for those who worked so hard that day.  However, there is still much more to be removed.  Please consider coming out to the park on September 7th and giving us a hand in removing this invasive species–see details here.

  • Agriculture,  Conservation

    Multifunctional Agriculture: A New Paradigm of Mixed Cropping

    The dominant agricultural paradigm in prime cropland areas of the American Midwest are farms producing corn and soybeans. Within this region, some states in the Mississippi River Basin have developed nutrient loss reduction strategies aimed at decreasing nutrient loading in rivers that contributes to the hypoxic “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. While several conventional conservation practices applied to corn-soybean fields can reduce nutrient loss, converting annual crop acreage to perennial biomass crops would be far more effective. New and expanded uses and markets for perennial biomass crops are needed in order for them to gain wide adoption. Bioenergy grasses can be used for various bio-based products and for…