March 20, 2023

Calendar: Attracting bats to your backyard

It is time to think outside the cave! When people think about bats, they often think of the cave dwellers. There are 13 species of bats native to Illinois, many of which never use a cave — or may use a cave only for part of the year.

Join University of Illinois Extension Specialist Joyce O’Keefe for an informative Zoom program on bats and how to attract them to your backyard at 6 p.m. Sept. 9.

Register at Contact University of Illinois Extension Kankakee Master Naturalist Program coordinator if you have any questions at 815-933-8337 or email

Plant propagation workshop

HILLSBORO, Ill. — Join Andrew Holsinger, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, for a class about plant propagation from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 7 at the Montgomery County Extension office, #1 Industrial Park Drive, Hillsboro,

You will learn about techniques to multiply plants successfully, including how to propagate from cuttings and leaves.

Register at

Corn Belt ports preview

The value of waterborne commerce in the tri-state region of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri in immense. The heart of the Corn Belt handles enough freight tonnage to be ranked as the equivalent of the largest inland port in the nation.

In a free online webinar will discuss the establishment of the Illinois Waterway, which handles more than 34 million tons of freighter each year, as an integrated U.S. Port Statistical Area by the U.S. Waterborne Commerce Statistics Center.

By getting Global Trade Magazine to recognize the Illinois Waterway as a Top 50 Power Port, the Heart of the Corn Belt ports may be collectively recognized as the largest inland port in the nation, handling more than 47 millions tons of freight annually. The recognition will allow rural downstate Illinois to be more competitive for direct and indirect investment opportunities.

The webinar begins at noon Sept. 9. Register at

Tree ID Walk

CHARLESTON, Ill. — Join Horticulture and Natural Resources Educator Sarah Vogel for a Tree ID Walk from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 8 at Lake Charleston Pavilion, Charleston. You will learn about tree characteristics and improve your tree identification skills.

Future walks will take place at 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 29 at General Dacey Trail in Forest Park in Shelbyville, and 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 14 at Walnut Point State Park in Oakland.

Register at or call 217-345-7034.

Be sure to dress for the weather, as this is an outdoor event. Wear sturdy shoes or boots, and bring a walking stick. In case of severe weather, this event will be canceled.

Mulching workshop

STERLING, Ill. — Join Whiteside County master gardeners and discover the secrets to mulching, including the reasons to mulch in the fall, how much mulch to apply, the different types of mulch and which is best for your garden.

The workshop will be from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 8 at the Whiteside County Extension office, 12923 Lawrence Road, Sterling.

Social distancing guidelines will be followed, and masking is required for the program. Register at or call Mary Nelson at 815-632-3611.

Soils, climate and carbon

The online program Soils, Climate and Carbon will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 9. Carbon storage is a hot topic. Some soils contain huge amounts of carbon, mostly in the form of organic matter. Soils also have the ability to store additional amounts of carbon quickly, but can just as easily lose it.

Extension Educator Duane Friend discusses why Midwest soils contain large amounts of organic matter, changes that have occurred over the last 150 years, and ways that carbon, in the form of organic matter, can be increased in these soils.

Register at

Tips from the field for a safe harvest

Harvest is a busy time for agricultural producers in Illinois. Risk for injury, burnout, and stress are increased during the busy season. Join Illinois AgrAbility and Illinois Farm Bureau at noon Sept. 9 in an online webinar to learn about important considerations for safety and health during harvest.

Register at For more information, contact Josie Rudolphi at