September 26, 2021

Calendar: Macon County Monarch Madness 2021

DECATUR, Ill. — Macon County Monarch Madness 2021 will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 12 at Rock Springs Conservation Area, 3939 Nearing Ln., Decatur,

Monarch Madness is an event created to highlight the habitat, life cycle, and importance of the monarch butterfly. The event will include educational topics and crafts as you expand your knowledge of this pollinator. Try your hand at catching a monarch on one of the guided trail tours, and learn about the monarch migration during the tagging of the butterflies.

Register for this free event by visiting For more information, email Julia Duncan at or call 217-877-6042.

Butterfly Festival

WATERLOO, Ill. — The Butterfly Festival will be from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 12 at Baebler Educatonal Farm, 4022 JJ Road, Waterloo. Events include monarch butterfly tagging, scavenger hunt, games and activities, and vendor booths. Win a prize in the photo or coloring contest.

For more information, visit

Clark County 4-H BBQ

MARTINSVILLE, Ill. — The 2021 Clark County 4-H BBQ will be from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Martinsville Fairgrounds, 620 S. York St., Martinsville. Two drive-through lanes will be available for pickup. Everyone is welcome to use the grandstands and other fairgrounds areas as a picnic site or take your meal to Linn Park to enjoy the festivities at the downtown Elevate Martinsville event.

Cost is $7 for a pulled pork sandwich or grilled chicken breast sandwich, chips, Roosters Market cookie, and bottled water.

Tickets can be purchased from any Clark County 4-H’er or the Clark County Extension office, 15493 N. State Hwy 1, Marshall. For more information, call 217-826-5422.

Cook County Farm Crawl

MATTESON, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension Cook County is joining the Cook County Farm Bureau for its fifth annual Farm Crawl from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 11.

The Illinois Extension Demonstration Farm will be open for informal tours along with 22 other farm stands, farms, greenhouses, garden centers and feed stores.

The Demonstration Farm is located at 4821 Southwick Drive, Matteson, at Prairie State College’s Matteson Area Center. Wear sturdy closed toe shoes and dress for the weather.

Check out the Farm Bureau website at for list of other locations.

Mental Health First Aid for the Ag Community

We see them every day, America’s farm families dealing with uncertainties of weather, cost of inputs, growing season risks, and long hours. As their neighbors, customers, business partners, and clients, you may feel helpless, but Illinois Extension can provide the tools to identify mental health issues and communication skills to support and save lives in the agricultural community.

A gap exists between farm families and the resources they need to keep them safe. That’s where you come in. Stand in the gap and help farm families get the support they need by becoming more aware of where helping resources are.

You’ll complete a two-hour self-paced online course before joining the the video conference Mental Health First Aid for the Ag Community from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sept. 13. The conference will cover:

  • Mental illness symptoms.
  • Substance use signs and addiction.
  • Crisis interaction.
  • Trauma.
  • Self care.

University of Illinois Extension educators will lead the training. The work is supported by Illinois Extension specialists Josie Rudolphi and Courtney Cuthbertson as part of the North Central Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Center, funded by USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

Register at

Garden tool maintenance

The Four Seasons Gardening webinar Garden Tool Maintenance will be at 1:30 p.m. Sept. 14. Make gardening less of a chore by maintaining your equipment. Sharp, rust-free tools are easier on the body and make whatever task is at hand quicker to finish. Horticulture Educator Richard Hentschel will cover care for hand tools and small engine equipment commonly used in the garden and home landscape.

Other webinars in this series include The Nuts and Boles of Tree Identification Oct. 19, and Tree Root Collar Disorders Nov. 30.

Register at

Bioreactor installation field day

HILLSDALE, Ill. — Rock Island County Soil & Water Conservation District, in partnership with University of Illinois Extension, will host a bioreactor installation field day demonstration and program from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sept. 14 at Drew Hohenboken’s farm, 10414 317th Street N, Hillsdale. The event is free and open to the public and includes a complimentary boxed lunch.

Subsurface agricultural drainage can allow large gains in productivity, however there are concerns about the amount of pollutants and nutrients moving and exiting from these systems, including nitrates. The water quality of our local streams and rivers can be negatively impacted by nitrate in tile drainage. Edge-of-field practices, like bioreactors, are one key way landowners can reduce nitrate loss from agricultural land. Woodchip bioreactors remove nitrate from subsurface (i.e., tile) drainage water without significantly impacting production ground or crop yield.

What to expect:

  • See a portion of the bioreactor being installed on-site during the visit.
  • Dr. Bryan Maxwell from University of Illinois will discuss the basics of woodchip bioreactors.
  • Joe Gates from Rock Island County SWCD will present cost-share programs and opportunities.
  • Reid Christianson from University of Illinois and Rachel Curry from Illinois Extension will discuss the Illinois Nutrient Loss Reduction Strategy.
  • All presenters and staff will be available for questions and input.

The site will be marked with a field day sign. Reservations are suggested to ensure adequate space and food. To RSVP, contact Joey Deloian at 309-581-3002 or or call Rock Island Soil and Water Conservation District office at 309-762-1486, Ext. 3.

Beginning beekeeping

JACKSONVILLE, Ill. — Are you interested in becoming a beekeeper? The five-part Beginning Beekeeping course will be from 6 to 8 p.m. on Wednesdays, Sept. 15, 22, 29, and Oct. 6 at the Morgan County Extension office, 104 N. Westgate Ave., Jacksonville.

Learn the basics of beekeeping, including:

  • Honey bee biology.
  • Beekeeping equipment.
  • Beekeeping through the seasons.
  • Working with a honey bee colony.
  • Products from the hive.
  • Registering your hive and apiary inspections.

There also will be a Hive Day from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 25, where participants will learn how to work with the different tools used in beekeeping and observe an active hive.

Cost is $40. Register at

Planning your fruit garden

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — Want to add fruit to your home garden? The program Planning Your Fruit Garden will be at 10 a.m. Sept. 15 at the Macoupin County Extension office, #60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville

,Join Andrew Holsinger, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, as he guides you through the types of fruit, planting site, and soil preparation to lead you to the most fruitful enterprise.

Register at

Southern Illinois Conservation Workshop

ULIN, Ill. — The fourth annual Southern Illinois Conservation Workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Sept. 18 at Shawnee Community College, 8364 Shawnee College Road, Ullin. This workshop brings together professionals with expertise on different aspects of landowner conservation to offer an opportunity for local land managers and landowners to learn, make connections, and ask questions.

Concurrent session topics include native and invasive woodland plant identification and management, how to take care of tree plantings, preparing your land for a burn, erosion control in agricultural lands, bats of southern Illinois, and the latest research on ticks. This year’s workshop includes a panel of landowners sharing their experiences converting lawns and/or old agricultural fields into pollinator habitat.

Event speakers include:

  • Ryan Pankau, Chris Evans, Talon Becker, Kevin Rohling, and Holly Tuten, University of Illinois Extension.
  • Christina Feng, Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
  • Jen Behnken, Missouri Department of Conservation.
  • Mark Vukovich, Shawnee National Forest.
  • Nick Seaton, River to River Cooperative Weed Management Area.
  • Anne Parmley, Illinois master naturalist.

Cost is $20. Lunch will be provided. Register at