• Conservation,  Middle Sangamon

    City of Decatur Seeks Proposals for Lake Decatur Watershed Management Plan

    The City of Decatur, Illinois, requests 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 must be received by the City prior to 4:00 p.m., local time, October 9, 2019. Download the complete Notice and Instructions here.

  • 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…

  • 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…