• Conservation,  Upper Sangamon

    Charlotte & Dan Brady Nature Preserve

    bluebells in brady woods

    The Land Conservation Foundation has great news to announce! On January 26, the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission gave final approval for the dedication of our Brady Woods property in western Champaign County as a Nature Preserve. Dedicating land as a Nature Preserve is the greatest protection land can be granted in Illinois.  Brady Woods protects a biologically diverse stretch of the Sangamon River and associated forest. The preserve is on the Illinois Natural Areas Inventory for outstanding aquatic resources, especially freshwater mussels. It is now the Charlotte and Dan Brady Woods Nature Preserve. Join us in celebrating this exciting accomplishment.  Brady Woods is a showcase for spring wildflowers—bluebells in particular,…

  • Education,  Upper Sangamon

    Celebrate Mudpuppy Day January 30

    Our popular Mudpuppy Festival is on hold this year, but we’re still honoring the Sangamon River’s coolest creature! The city of Monticello has proclaimed Saturday, January 30, as Mudpuppy Day. To celebrate, our new Kids page offers fun family activities, including Scavenger Hunt Bingo for our Bruce Hannon Levee Trail, and a beautiful coloring book, Mandy’s Prairie Home.

  • Recreation,  River Ramblings,  Upper Sangamon

    USRC Labor Day Float Trip Great Success

    This past Labor Day the Upper Sangamon River Conservancy hosted a group of river lovers on one of my personal favorite float trip routes. Like most of the USRC’s trips, this one was open for all with canoes and kayaks provided free of charge to any participant, first come, first served. We put in at the historic Hazen Bridge in rural Champaign County where County Road 2600N crosses the Sangamon River and ended 5 1/2 miles downriver at Champaign County’s Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve. The Sangamon’s depth at the Fisher NOAA river gage registered 4.5 feet, which is really lower than I would recommend for this route. But…

  • Bicycling,  Recreation,  Upper Sangamon

    Biking in the Upper Sangamon River Watershed

    Originally posted Monday, August 18, 2014 on the River Blog, this excerpt is reprinted here with permission from Scott Hays. As much as I enjoy kayaking and canoeing, I also enjoy cycling the Sangamon Valley’s bike paths and county roads as they weave their way through forests, prairies, cornfields and crisscrossing the Sangamon River all the way. One of my favorite routes picks up the Lake of the Woods Bike Path at its eastern terminus at Prairieview Road and then I ride the trail west. This 3.3 mile trail is, in my humble opinion, one of our Sangamon Valley’s greatest assets. Riding this surprisingly hilly, curvy trail end to end takes me…