February 27, 2024

Calendar: Soup Fest fundraiser

JERSEYVILLE, Ill. — The Jersey County 4-H Soup Fest fundraiser will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Peace United Church of Christ, 23098 Glenda Ave., Jerseyville.

The menu will include chili, vegetable beef soup, carrot and celery sticks, desserts and drinks. Hot dogs will be available for an additional $1.

Cost is $6 for adults, $4 for children, and free for children 3 and under.

There will be a silent auction during the event.

4-H Cookie Decorating

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — Learn basic cookie decorating techniques and make and take some treats to take home at the 4-H Cookie Decorating workshop from 10 to 11 a.m. Feb. 21 at the Macoupin County Extension office, #60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.

Cost is $5. Register at tinyurl.com/2mxd28rb.

Urban tree canopies

Join Ryan Pankau, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, at 7 p.m. Feb. 21 via Zoom to learn about preparing the urban canopy for weather-related disasters.

Extreme weather events are frequently the cause of tree failure in urban areas. However, structural weaknesses in tree canopies can often be identified prior to failure and many practices, such as preventative pruning, can be employed to lessen or eliminate storm damage. Pankau will review common tree disorders that reduce the resiliency of our urban tree canopies, and some of the preventative measures we can do to promote tree health before the next weather-related disaster.

This free program is a presentation of the University of Illinois Extension Master Naturalist program. Register at tinyurl.com/2ueeh756.

Cooking 101 Workshop

MONTICELLO, Ill. — The free youth Cooking 101 Workshop will be from 9:30 to 11 a.m., and 2 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Piatt County Extension office, 210 S. Market St., Monticello.

This workshop is designed for beginner cooks and bakers, and will include:

• Proper handwashing instruction and food safety steps.

• Practicing measuring.

• Making cereal marshmallow bars.

• Completing MyPlate activity so it’s ready for the fair.

Register at tinyurl.com/2p9fvkpd.

Where Does Your Money Go?

Where Does Your Money Go? is a free, two-part virtual lunch-and-learn series from noon to 1 p.m. EST Feb. 22 and Feb. 24. This program is designed to help make your money go further and help you figure out which bills to pay and which ones can wait until another paycheck comes in. With costs increasing for necessary expenses, such as gasoline, utilities, and health care, consumers are finding it harder to make ends meet.

Register by visiting bit.ly/2022ExtensionProgramRegistration.

For questions, contact Susan Peterson at 317-776-0854, speterson@purdue.edu, or Beth Switzer at bswitzer@purdue.edu.

Empower Me to Be Clutter Free

Empower Me to Be Clutter Free is a free virtual lunch-and-learn program from noon to 1 p.m. EST Feb. 23. This program provides de-cluttering strategies and discusses the emotional barriers that often prevents us from letting go of our things.

Register at bit.ly/2022ExtensionProgramRegistration.

For questions, contact Susan Peterson at 317-776-0854, speterson@purdue.edu, or Beth Switzer at bswitzer@purdue.edu.

Youth mental health

MORRISON, Ill. — The Youth Mental Health First Aid Workshop will be from noon to 5 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Whiteside County Extension office, 100 E. Knox St., Morrison.

Youth Mental Health First Aid teaches you how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illness and substance use disorders in youth. This training gives adults who work with youth the skills they need to reach out and provide initial support to children and adolescents.

Cost is $30. Register at tinyurl.com/4mf97dby.

Beginning Farmer Workshop

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Interested in starting a farm but unsure of how to get started or where you can find help? Are you already a farmer but eager to enhance and improve your management practices? Purdue Extension’s Beginning Farmer Workshop can help put you on a path to success.

The series will be from 6 to 7 p.m. EST Wednesdays, Feb. 23 through April 6, at the Allen County Extension office, 4001 Crescent Ave., Fort Wayne.

Cost is $70. For more information and to register, visit cvent.me/gm2aOw.

Success with Seedlings

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The program Success With Seedlings will be from 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Macoupin County Extension office, #60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.

It’s time to get a head start on the upcoming garden season by starting seedlings indoors. Growing quality seedlings indoors requires proper planning for adequate conditions to start seedling off right. University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger will present a variety of techniques for starting seeds indoors.

Register at tinyurl.com/2p9fzktw.

Carbon market opportunities

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — University of Illinois agriculture experts will discuss the latest findings on agricultural precision conservation management and carbon market opportunities for farmers from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 24 at the Holiday Inn, 226 17th St., Rock Island.

Gary Schnitkey, professor of Farm Management and Soybean Industry Chair in Agricultural Strategy at University of Illinois, will examine the economics of various sustainability practices using precision conservation management data. Specifically, the economics of nitrogen application, tillage practices, and cover crops will be evaluated. Nitrogen results support using the Maximum Return to Nitrogen recommendation.

Sarah Sellers, PhD candidate, University of Illinois College of ACES, will discuss the emergence of agricultural carbon market opportunities for farmers. She will give some background on agricultural carbon markets, talk about how agricultural carbon markets work, consider the economics of carbon markets, share some resources for carbon market information, and discuss the policy environment that led to carbon market opportunities.

Cost is $3. Register at go.illinois.edu/CarbonMarkets101.

Starting Seeds Indoors

PORTLAND, Ind. — The program Starting Seeds Indoors will be at 6 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Jay County Public Library, 315 N. Ship St., Portland.

The free event will feature Heather Caldwell, Fayette County Extension educator. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/2p96ar7e.

Happy Hour Hikes

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The East Central Illinois Master Naturalists and Champaign County Climate Coalition invite you to a Happy Hour Hike from 4 to 5 p.m. on the last Friday of the month at natural areas. These meet-ups are designed to be low-key opportunities to enjoy a walk and talk with conservation-minded folks. Whether you are just getting curious about our local environment or it is your full-time job, anyone is welcome to join. You will be in the company of others who enjoy sustainability and climate-related activities and conversation.

Feb. 25 hikers will meet at Kaufman Lake Park boathouse, 2702 W. Springfield Ave., Champaign, then on March 25 at the Homer Lake Interpretive Center, 2573 S. Homer Lake Road, Homer .

No registration necessary, just swing by the meeting location at 4 p.m. Further events and information can be found on the Champaign County Climate Coalition Facebook Page, or contact Amanda at achriste@illinois.edu or 217-333-7672.

Winter wellness event

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — University of Illinois Extension and Citizens to Preserve Black Hawk Park Foundation have teamed up to offer a free winter wellness event from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 26 at the Singing Bird Nature Center, 1510 46th Ave., Rock Island.

Come enjoy family fun for all ages with hands-on activity stations and presentations.

Activity Stations:

• Birds: Learn about Midwestern birds and what you can do to support their life cycle from master gardener and master naturalist volunteers. Make a window cling to use at home to prevent bird collisions.

• Kids Create: 4-H will be offering hands-on nature crafts, a scavenger hunt, and a make and take bird feeder activity. Kids can also learn about winter weather and play with magic SNOW from Mercer County Ag Literacy.

• Warm up with Soup and Hot Cocoa: Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed will offer free soup samples and hot cocoa. They will also have the recipes and many other nutrition and wellness handouts available.

• Explore 8 Dimensions of Wellness: Wellness is multi-dimensional, including physical, financial, emotional, social, spiritual, environmental, vocational, and intellectual. These dimensions should work in harmony to help achieve optimal health and well-being. Get information from Extension on this 8 Dimensions holistic health concept.

• Winter Walk: Head outside and visit the winter wellness signs along the pathways between Singing Bird and Black Hawk State Historic Site for tips on ways to stay active and healthy.

• Museum Visit: Visit the Hauberg Museum which tells the story of the Sauk and Meskwaki through interpretive maps, artifacts, and seasonal dioramas.

Presentation Schedule:

• 9 a.m., Pre-register for a Hand-Knitting Workshop: Knitting is a popular winter art form — and an activity that can lower stress levels and promote mental calmness. In this workshop, you’ll learn a simple hand-knitting process to make your own pillow. There is a $10 supply fee and class size limited to 10. Register in advance at go.illinois.edu/HandKnitting

• 10:30 a.m., Explore Hygge: Winter is a great time to embrace hygge — a Danish and Norwegian word for a mood of coziness with feelings of wellness and contentment. Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator Kristin Bogdonas will share more about the concept and how your health can benefit from having more hygge in your life. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

• 11 a.m., Nature & Wellness: Research shows spending time in nature is not only enjoyable, it has numerous health benefits. Extension Horticulture educator Emily Swihart will share findings on how interacting with nature can help soothe your body, mind and spirit. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information about the event, visit tinyurl.com/5y2pedfb.

Gardening insights

DECATUR, Ill. — Macon County Gardening Insights 2022 will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Shilling Center, Richland Community College, 1 College Park, Decatur.

Join Macon County master gardeners for a day of horticulture classes, hands-on activities, and an opportunity to shop vendors .

Cost is $35. A boxed lunch is included in admission. Register at tinyurl.com/5ausc3j5.

For more information, call 217-877-6042.

Winter trails and tales

PECATONICA, Ill. — Embrace late winter’s beauty through outdoor exploration and indoor inspiration at University of Illinois Extension’s Winter Trails & Naturalist Tales from 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 26 at Torstenson’s Education Center, 13735 Cook Road, Pecatonica.

The first naturalist tale will focus on Birds and Bees: Curious Courtships of Local Critters by Jill Stites. Have you ever wondered what animals have in store? Ever heard of a “nuptial” gift or mating wheel? Learn stranger than truth rituals of the animals of our area and what their plans for courtship are.

The second naturalist tale will focus on Peregrine Falcons: The Rockford Chronciles by Jennifer Kuroda. Kuroda will share the story of Louise and the other falcons who led to Peregrine Falcons being designated as the official bird of Rockford, which has recently earned the designation as a “Bird City.”

The third naturalist tale will focus on Wildlife Nest Boxes by Peggy Doty. Due to habitat loss and/or invasive species, many native wildlife species struggle to find a place to shelter and raise young. You can supplement a habitat for anyone from insects, birds, mammals and other wildlife if you know what they are looking for in a home. Learn what it takes to create prime real estate.

The fourth naturalist tale will concentrate on How Do Animals Find Their Mate? by Jill Stites. Spring is just around the corner and the search for a mate in the animal world is priority. Scents and senses are the most common way of attracting the opposite sex. Learn more about some curious courtships of local animals.

Participants are welcome to to hike and birdwatch after the program.

Cost is $10. Register at tinyurl.com/2p8hhtar.