Topic: Events

January 8, 2014

Prairie Rivers Network to offer Environmental Lobby Training Workshop January 25

Prairie Rivers Network invites members to attend our Environmental Lobby Training workshop and join our River Action Team. We are developing the River Action Team because there are times when we need our members to convey important policy messages to decision makers. In order to fortify our Team and make our members comfortable with responding to our action alerts, this workshop will show how to effectively communicate environmental policy messages to decision makers.

Team members will be placed on our River Action Team communications list and receive action alerts several times a year. If you elect to be on the Team, we ask that you make a commitment to doing your best to respond to these calls-to-action. Rest assured, we do not want to wear you out. We will be reserving these action alerts for our most critical issues where public input can make a difference. If you are interested in learning more, we invite you to our first training session, Saturday, January 25. We hope to see you there!

When: Saturday, January 25, 10am-noon, with free lunch provided at noon

Where: Champaign Public Library, Robeson C

Workshop Agenda:

  1. Welcome and training goals
  2. State legislation – State Representative Naomi Jakobsson
  3. Local government – Champaign City Councilwoman Deborah Feinen
  4. Closing message
  5. Lunch

Click here to register (RSVP required and open to the first 35 people).

November 11, 2013

Art Shows to Benefit Prairie Rivers Network

Two exciting art shows and sales will benefit Prairie Rivers Network in November and December.

Kim Curtis paintingAs part of the Art @ the Y series, painter Kim Curtis will showcase works from her series Thirtyseven, which documents the fascinating wetland area along the San Francisco Bay area’s highway 37.  View these paintings and other works on her website. Please come to the opening reception to chat with the artist and meet Glynnis Collins, Prairie Rivers Network’s director.

Opening Reception: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 7-9 pm

7:30pm: Discussion between the artist and Glynnis Collins, Executive Director of Prairie Rivers Network

Location: Murphy Gallery at the University YMCA, University of Illinois campus,1001 S. Wright St., Champaign, IL

The show will run until January 19, 2014. Ten percent of all sales will go to Prairie Rivers Network.

Read more about Kim Curtis and the Art @ the Y show here.

In the News:

Kim Curtis in collaboration with Prairie Rivers Network (pdf)(Smile Politely) 11/6/2013

Y exhibit a collaboration between artist, Prairie Rivers Network (pdf) (News Gazette) 11/10/2013


Rick Larimore fish

Rick Larimore, Prairie Rivers Network member, will hold  a show and sale of his wood sculptures in December.  Rick has worked in painting and epoxy sculpture, but now focuses on wood sculpture.  See his beautiful sculptures at his website. Much of the wood he sculpts comes from the natural areas and woodlands he manages along the Salt Fork River.  Again, ten percent of all sales will benefit Prairie Rivers Network.

Wood Sculpture Show and Sale: December 8-10, 2013

Location: Urbana Civic Center, 108 Water Street, Urbana, IL

Opening Reception: Sunday, December 8, 2013, 3-8 pm

Music by Celia and the Johnny Bolts. Catering by Piato.

October 22, 2013

Annual Dinner 2013 Roundup

Prairie Rivers Network Annual Dinner

The Prairie Rivers Network staff and board of directors had a wonderful evening visiting with 300 members and friends at our Annual Dinner on October 11th.

Pictures from the Annual Dinner

 

 

 

 

 

View more, full size photos at our Flickr site…

Congratulations to our 2013 River Steward and Outstanding Public Servant

Kevin Cummings received the Outstanding Public Servant award for a distinguished career spent researching and fostering critically important freshwater mussels, often called “the livers of the rivers.” And for her many years of dedicated volunteer work, Suzanne Smith of rural Homer, IL was presented the River Steward award. Smith has been a tireless champion for the Salt Fork and Middle Fork Rivers, organizing river clean ups, taking on drainage issues, and promoting restored wildlife habitat. Read more on our award winners…

Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America

Our keynote speaker, Robert McChesney, discussed his new book, “Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America.” McChesney was the longtime host of “Media Matters” on NPR and is a prolific and well-published writer on the topics of journalism and democracy. McChesney talked about how the challenges we face are daunting—the forces that concentrate wealth and power threaten our very democracy, the democracy that is our best hope of achieving a healthy environment and just society. Despite these challenges, McChesney encouraged us to take an active role in our democracy and grassroots organizations because history has shown that organizations like Prairie Rivers Network and passionate individuals working together can have profoundly positive impacts.

The Annual Dinner was covered in the “On the Town” section of the News-Gazette.

Thank you sponsors

McKenzie-Wagner-Logo
Champaign Surplus Fox Development Corporation
Jupiter's UpClose Marketing and Printing
Marco Technical Documentation, Inc.
Blue Moon Farm
First Mid-Illinois Bank & Trust
Silver Lux Photography
Common Ground Food Co-op
Anderson Farms National Wildlife Foundation
Progressive Asset Management

October 21, 2013

“Troubled Waters” to be shown in Champaign-Urbana

One of the goals of Prairie Rivers Network is to improve the health of Illinois’ rural rivers by reducing farm chemical pollution. The documentary Troubled Waters does a nice job of describing the issue. Thanks to the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center for publicly screening this film on Tuesday, October 22!

The algae in this stream indicate there are too many nutrients in the water.

Troubled Waters: A Mississippi River Story tells the story of the unintended consequences of farming on the health of the Mississippi River. Fertilizers and pesticides leave farm fields during storms and make their way into our river systems. These Midwest rivers then drain into the Mississippi River, which finds its end at the Gulf of Mexico. Every year during the summer, a Dead Zone forms in the Gulf because of this pollution.

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center will be hosting a free showing of this Emmy Award-winning documentary.

Where: Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, 1 E Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL

When: Tuesday, October 22, 2013, 6 – 8:30 pm

After the movie, Dr. George Czapar of the Illinois State Water Survey will give a brief presentation on nutrient pollution and water quality issues in Illinois.

This event is free and open to the public.

One dollar pizza and refreshments will be offered beginning at 6 pm. Please register if you would like pizza.

Free parking is available.

October 7, 2013

Prairie Rivers Network to Honor River Advocates at Annual Dinner

Media scholar Robert McChesney will be keynote speaker

Prairie Rivers Network will honor Kevin Cummings and Suzanne Smith for their work in protecting and promoting the health of Illinois rivers and wildlife at its Annual Dinner on October 11. The event will be held at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S First Street in Champaign IL.

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Kevin Cummings will receive the Outstanding Public Servant award for a distinguished career spent researching and fostering critically important freshwater mussels, often called “the livers of the rivers.” As the Senior Research Scientist and Curator of Mollusks at the Center for Biodiversity, Illinois Natural History Survey, Cummings is a renowned expert on mussels, and their protection and conservation. For decades, he has monitored mussels throughout Illinois, the Midwest, and around the world. Recently, Cummings undertook an effort to reintroduce threatened and endangered mussels to the Middle Fork and Salt Fork rivers, a project that is seeing extraordinary results. Beyond his groundbreaking field work, Cummings has a special talent as an ambassador for these overlooked organisms, continuously engaging in public education regarding the value of mussels as sentinels and indicators of water quality and ecosystem health.

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Sue Smith, right, discusses the threat of Sunrise Coal to water

For her many years of dedicated volunteer work, Suzanne Smith of rural Homer, IL will be presented the River Steward award. Smith has been a tireless champion for the Salt Fork and Middle Fork Rivers, organizing river clean ups, taking on drainage issues, and promoting restored wildlife habitat. Smith was a co-founder of Salt Fork River Partners, a group of area residents dedicated to conservation of the river. Most recently, Smith has been an outstanding leader in the Stand Up to Coal campaign—an effort to protect prime farmland, rural communities, and clean water from the damages of proposed coal mining. She continues to be a powerful spokeswoman for a beloved stretch of river in Illinois and has inspired many others to follow suit.

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The evening’s keynote speaker will be media scholar Robert McChesney, who will discuss his new book, “Dollarocracy: How the Money and Media Election Complex is Destroying America.” Dr. McChesney was the longtime host of “Media Matters” on NPR and is a prolific and well-published writer on the topics of journalism and democracy. He will address the unhealthy influence of money on politics and offer insight on how to overcome this challenge, strengthen democracy, and advance good environmental policy.

The reception begins at 6:00 pm with music by Tom Turino. Dinner follows at 7:30 pm.

Price: $50 per person or $400 for a table of 10

You can RSVP for the Annual Dinner at www.prairierivers.org/dinner or by calling 217-344-2371 x. 200

September 16, 2013

Panel discussion on Champaign County water resources

The Sierra Club Prairie Group will sponsor a panel presentation and discussion titled Champaign County’s Water: Where It Comes From, Where It Goes To, and How We Can Protect It Along the Way to increase local awareness about federal, state and local policies that regulate Champaign County’s water use and quality.

Panelists Robert Hirschfeld and Kim Knowles of Prairie Rivers Network, Dwain Berggren of the Illinois State Geological Survey, and Frank DiNovo, retired Director of Planning and Community Development with the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, will provide information about Champaign County’s ground and surface water and the regulatory bodies and policies that impact them. A facilitated discussion will focus on how community members can support policies that protect local water resources.

Program co-sponsors include: CCNet (Champaign County Sustainable Networking) Channing- Murray Foundation, Faith in Place, Grand Prairie Friends, Izaak Walton League, Prairie Rivers Network, U of I Students for Environmental Concerns, Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign’s Green UU’s and Social Action Committee, Upper Sangamon River Conservancy

For further information contact: Carol Hays cec0127@gmail.com