View PRN’s Prairie River Notes – Summer 2010 Newsletter (pdf) with the following articles:
- Big Wheels Keep on Rolling – Update on Traveling Science Center
- A Message from our Executive Director
- PRN Annual Dinner – October 29th
- River Steward Nominations
- Helping Champaign Homeowners Manage Stormwater Through Rain Gardens and Rain Barrels
- Illinois Contaminated by Coal Pollution
- How You Can Help Reduce Illinois’ Coal Pollution Problem
- PRN Studying Public Waterway Rights
- Ready to Unveil! Webpages for Watershed Groups
- Thank You Interns and Volunteers
Time spent squishing your boots in mud is time well spent. That is the consensus of participants who attended last Saturday’s River Discovery Program at Kickapoo State Park. Presented by Prairie Rivers Network and the Illinois Natural History Survey, the day’s activities ranged from touring the new Traveling Science Center to sampling for and identifying aquatic insects along the edge of the Middle Fork River. For Saturday’s program, INHS scientists collected turtles, fish, mussels, and crayfish from the river and its tributaries. Displayed in fish tanks, participants got a close-up view of a variety of Middle Fork River residents: the varied shapes and sometimes vibrant colors of fish, including a Rainbow darter and state-endangered Bluebreast darter; mussels burrowed into the sand, filtering the water for food; crayfish scuttling along the edges of their tank, their large claws up as if preparing for battle.
The 40-foot Traveling Science Center was a hit with kids and adults alike. Full of eye-catching information panels and a number of interactive games, the TSC provides basic, but critical, information on Illinois’ biodiversity, river ecosystems and negative impacts to these natural systems from pollution and other activities.
Designated a National Scenic River in 1989, the Middle Fork River is the premier jewel among Illinois’ rivers. The Middle Fork’s clean waters and healthy river habitat support an incredibly diverse number of wildlife, including more than 57 types of fish and 190 different birds. For more information on the Middle Fork River visit http://dnr.state.il.us/lands/landmgt/parks/r3/Natlriv.htm.
Future River Discovery Programs will be scheduled during the summer, additional information on these will be posted on our website.