April 16, 2021

Calendar: Get to know prairie chickens

The program Get to Know Prairie Chickens will be at 10 a.m. April 2.

The greater prairie chicken is a grassland bird noted for its unique spring courtship ritual. This program will discuss the life history of prairie chickens and the work that has maintained populations in Illinois. Greater prairie chickens are state endangered and therefore critically imperiled in the state. Grassland Ecologist Bob Gillespie will examine what that means for species recovery and how managers enhance and develop grassland habitats for this rarest of species.

The program is hosted by University of Illinois Extension, Kankakee County, and the Kankakee River Valley Forest Preserve District.

Register by March 30 by visiting web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23049.

For more information, contact Master Gardener Coordinator Holly Froning at froning@illinois.edu.

Desirable native trees

This program Native Trees will be at 1:30 p.m. March 30. University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger will discuss a number of desirable native trees, including information about their characteristics and site preferences. Discover the value of native woody plants and the beauty they can add to your landscape.

You will receive a free copy in the mail of Under the Canopy: Creating Personal Green Space — A Guide to Selecting, Planting and Caring for Trees in Illinois.

Register by visiting https://web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23201.

Rural pond management

Rural Pond Management will be presented from 7 to 8:30 p.m. March 30

Owning a lush and scenic country pond is a point of pride for many rural landowners, but over time ponds need a hand to stay clean and healthy.

Illinois pond owners can prevent problems like fish kills and low water volume and get a jump start on spring upkeep with this free webinar.

With more than 40 years of natural resources and water management experience between them, Extension educators Duane Friend and Jay Solomon will cover how to keep ponds healthy and beautiful. Topics include outside influences, water supply and quality, maintenance, weed and algae management, control of tree and brush on dams, sediment build-up and more.

Guest presenter Blake Ruebush, a fisheries biologist with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, will discuss how to best manage fish populations including when and how to stock fish in new or existing ponds.

Those with ponds will learn how to overcome existing problems and prevent problems and anyone looking to build a pond will learn how to avoid many common problems.

Register online at go.illinois.edu/farmpond.

Abriendo Caminos volunteer training

University of Illinois Extension is joining with the Family Resiliency Center to offer the Abriendo Caminos Program. Hispanic families will learn about the pathway to Hispanic health with Dr. Margarita Teran-Garcia. Other guests will include Illinois Extension staff and current volunteer leaders. The virtual volunteer training will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 30 and April 13.

As an Abriendo Caminos volunteer, you will learn to teach about healthy cooking, family mealtime, and the benefits of physical activity. Trained, bilingual volunteers will teach weekly sessions and work with Hispanic families. Abriendo Caminos sessions for the public will be offered on Mondays, April 19-May 24, from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. via Zoom.

To participate, register online at web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23239, or contact Erica Escatel at 815-200-5751 or eescatel@illinois.edu.

For more information, call Susan Glassman, Extension nutrition and wellness educator, at 815-224-0889.

Managing stress during peak seasons

The Illinois AgrAbility program Managing Stress During Peak Seasons will be at noon April 1.

The only certainty during spring planting is uncertainty. Farmers face many challenge: too much rain, too little rain, long hours, machinery breakdowns.

Most farm injuries occur during the spring and the fall. Stress and mental health conditions are risk factors for agricultural injury. Managing stress is an important component to injury prevention, health and safety.

Josie Rudolphi, University of Illinois Extension specialist, will discuss the signs and symptoms of stress and offer methods to cope with the season’s stressors. Rudolphi says using the four A’s — avoid, adapt, alter, and accept — may help farmers manage the stress of long hours and unpredictability of planting season.

Register online at illinois.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctcOGoqzgiE9N0AsjAZPTRx8_wctXsEeMl.

Cooking in an instant

The program Cookin’ in an Instant: Introduction to Electric Pressure Cookers will be at noon April 1.

The program is part of the DeWitt, Macon and Piatt counties Extension Lunch and Learn Series on Thursdays, April 1-May 6.

Each week features a different recipe to try at home and discuss the following week. Participants must supply their own equipment and food. This series is led by Nutrition and Wellness Extension Educator Caitlin Mellendorf.

Other electric pressure cooker topics in the series include:

  • Using the Sauté Feature (homework: Pulled pork)
  • HI and LOW Pressure (homework: Hard-boiled eggs)
  • Automated Buttons (homework: Rice)
  • Recipe Brainstorming (homework: Self-selected recipes)

Register by visiting web.extension.illinois.edu/registration/?RegistrationID=23289.

For more information, contact Mellendorf at chuth2@illinois.edu or 217-877-6042.

Keys for embracing aging

The program Keys for Embracing Aging: Eating Smart will be from 10 to 11 a.m. April 1. Eating right can help prevent illness and chronic disease while providing you with more energy. Your diet influences cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure, and more.

The program is the first in the 12-part Keys for Embracing Aging series designed to help aging adults develop strategies for taking care of themselves through the years. Attend all 12 sessions, or drop in on the sessions that fit your schedule.

Each of sessions will be from 10 to 11 a.m. You will receive an email after you complete your registration with information on how to join each session. Register at forms.illinois.edu/sec/1406318960.

Other topics in the series include: April 8, Physical Activity; April 15, Brain Activity; April 22, Social Activity; April 29, Tuning in to the Times; Sept. 2, Safety; Sept. 9; Know Your Health Numbers; Sept. 16, Stress Management; Sept. 23, Financial Affairs; Sept. 30, Sleep; Oct. 7, Taking Time for You.

If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any of these programs, contact Chelsey Byers at clbyers@illinois.edu.

Women in Entrepreneurship series

The Women in Entrepreneurship Lunch & Learn Seminar with Afenya Pongo Montgomery will be from noon to 1 p.m. April 2.

Montgomery, founder & CEO of The iCAN Collective, will present Creating an Engaged Community and Getting Brand Buy-In.

Register at forms.illinois.edu/sec/1025669723.

Upcoming Women in Entrepreneurship series sessions include:

  • April 16: Brooke Elliott, associate dean of Online Programs & EY distinguished professor in accounting, will moderate a fireside chat with special guest Deborah Quazzo, managing partner at GSV Ventures and co-founder at ASU+GSV Summit.
  • April 23: Guest speaker Dr. Esther Ngumbi, assistant professor of Entomology & African American Studies, will present Daring in Entrepreneurship with Little Resources: Lessons from Building a Sustainable Community Rooted in Agriculture 8,000 Miles Away.

The Women in Entrepreneurship series is provided by University of Illinois Gies College of Business. For more information, contact Valeri Werpetinski, 217-333-7158 or werpetin@illinois.edu.