March 04, 2024

Calendar: Preventing spread of spotted lanternfly

URBANA, Ill. — The Everyday Environment Webinar Series program New Invaders: Spotted Lanternfly will be 1 p.m. Jan. 11.

Spotted lanternfly is the newest “unwanted” invasive pest in Illinois. Learn how to identify and report this invasive insect as well as how to manage it and prevent further spread. Tricia Bethke from The Morton Arboretum will explore why monitoring for spotted lanternflies in winter is important and how you can help report invasives with early detection and rapid response.

Register at

Wits Fitness

STERLING, Ill. — Engage in interactive activities designed to enhance cognitive function and memory in Wits Fitness Brain Exercises offered by University of Illinois Extension. The monthly classes are held on Tuesdays at the CGH Health Foundation Community Room, 2600 N. Locust St., Sterling, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Class dates for 2024 are Jan. 9, Feb. 13, Mar. 12, April 9, May 14, June 11, July 9, Aug. 13, Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Nov. 12 and Dec. 10.

Current research indicates that challenging the brain is one of several things you can do to contribute to your own brain health as you age. Join Extension Educator Kara Schweitzer for brain challenges to train your brain and keep your wits fit.

Each monthly class is free and open to the public. Registration is not required but appreciated by calling Beth Sterk at 815-625-4790, ext. 3977, or by emailing Participants are welcome to join the class at any time. For more information, call 815-632-3611.

Macramé Workshop

POCAHONTAS, Ill. — The Macramé Workshop for youths ages 10 to 18 will be 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at the University of Illinois Extension office, 208 Academy St., Pocahontas.

Participants will make a snowflake ornament. Cost is $8. Register at

Take Charge

URBANA, Ill. — The online Take Charge of Your Health series will begin 1 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 10.

Learn to thrive, not just survive with your ongoing health conditions. Discover healthy ways to live with chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease and others. Find practical ways to deal with pain and fatigue, discover better nutrition and exercise choices, understand treatment choices, and learn better ways to talk with your doctors and family about your health.

This six-week virtual series will take place each Wednesday through Feb. 14. Register at

Winter Sowing

ST. CHARLES, Ill. — The Winter Sowing Workshop with Kane County Master Gardeners will be 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 10 at the Kane County Extension office, 535 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

Winter sowing is a cost-effective, low-maintenance way of starting plants outdoors, in winter, for next year’s garden. Seeds are planted in upcycled or recycled containers that act as “mini greenhouses.” Frost-tolerant native plants and perennials are great options to withstand the cold temperatures of early winter. Learn more about this technique, see a demonstration, and create your own sample to take home and get a jump on spring and fight the winter gardening blues.

Cost is $5. Register at

Native Cultivars

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The online program Native Cultivars, Are They All the Same? will be 6 p.m. Jan. 10.

The program is part of the Wilderness Wednesday series that will include Reptiles in Kankakee Jan. 17, Bumble Bees of Illinois Jan. 24, and Storm Waters and Natives Jan. 31.

Register at

Success with Seedlings

HILLSBORO, Ill. — Success with Seedlings will be 10 to 11 a.m. Jan. 11 at the Montgomery County Extension office, 1 Industrial Park Drive, Hillsboro.

Andrew Holsinger, Extension horticulture educator, will discuss successfully starting your own seedlings indoors.

Register at

Sewing Workshop

ST. CHARLES, Ill. — The program Get to Know Your Sewing Machine will be 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Jan. 13 at the Kane County Extension office, 535 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

Participants ages 8 to 18 will learn the names and functions of basic sewing machine parts, and then use the new knowledge and skills to make a simple felt pin cushion. Participants will get to operate a sewing machine, wind a bobbin, sew a straight stitch, backstitch, and more.

Register at

Pajama Project

ST. CHARLES, Ill. — The 4-H youth workshop series Fabric Fanatics: Pajama Bottoms will be 12:30 to 3 p.m. Jan. 13, Jan. 20 and Jan. 27 at the Kane County Extension office, 535 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

Participants ages 8 to 18 will learn how to read pattern instructions, use various tools to transfer guide marks from a pattern to fabric, sew clothing seams, use the zigzag stitch to prevent fraying, and create a casing for an elastic waistband.

Cost is $20. Register at

Fort Wayne Farm Show

FORT WAYNE, Ind. — The Fort Wayne Farm Show will be Jan. 16-18 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum, 4000 Parnell Ave., Fort Wayne.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Jan. 16, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Jan. 17, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 18.

For more details, including a list of exhibitors and educational seminars, visit

ServSafe Training

VERNON, Ind. — The ServSafe Food Manager one-day class and exam will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Jan. 23 at the Jennings County Government Center, 200 E. Brown St., Vernon.

The training satisfies Indiana requirements to become a Certified Food Protection manager and focuses on: Foodborne microorganisms and allergens; personal hygiene; purchasing, receiving and storage; preparing, cooking and serving; and facilities, sanitation and managing pests.

The training includes a manual. Participants must score at least 70% on the exam to earn the certificate. The certification is valid for five years. A photo ID with signature is required to take the exam.

Register at

ServSafe training and exam also will be offered 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Jan. 24 at the Marion County Extension office, 1202 38th St., Indianapolis. Register at