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Stewardship DaysStewardship



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Stewardship: Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve
Local Foods Tour
Prairie Tours- Rockford Area

Stewardship DaysStewardship: Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
8 – 10 a.m.
Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Leaf River, IL
Leader: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

Please join us for this stewardship session. Depending upon the site or week, we will be doing a variety of tasks such as removing sweet clover, burdock and wild parsnip, cutting brush, gir­dling saplings or otherwise reducing the competition to our native prairie, woodland and wetland remnants.

You Supply: Wear long pants, long sleeves, socks long enough to tuck your pant legs into (for tick avoidance), a hat and footwear that can get wet (earlier is dewier!). Take along insect repellent and sunscreen.

We Supply: Tools, gloves, water, snacks and directions about our work always will be provided.

The carpool site is the east portion of the Staples parking lot in Freeport along HWY 26 on the south edge of town at 7:15 a.m.

Silver Creek Biodiversity Preserve is about 2 miles south of Leaf River in the southwest corner of the intersection of Leaf River Rd. and West Grove Rd. Parking is off of Leaf River Rd. about ¼ mile south of the intersection (S. Main St. crossing Hwy 72 in Leaf River becomes Leaf River Rd.)

If the weather is questionable or you need more information, contact the listed leader(s).

Field TripsLocal Foods Tour

Tuesday, August 7, 2018
9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Elizabeth and Stockton, IL
Leader: Laura Dufford; 815-947-2720, 815-541-8958,

Local Foods Tour
Arnolds Farm, Groezinger Produce Farm/Clara Joyce flowers, and Willow Garlic Growers

We’ll begin our tour of local Jo Daviess County food and flower producers with a stop at Arnold’s Farm near Elizabeth. Tom Arnold will show us his pastured turkey operation along with his chicken pasturing set-up. Tom will also have some hogs/piglets for viewing and will discuss his marketing process and explain why he farms/markets as he does. Tom does have meat available and suggests you order before the date from his website: He can have your order ready so it will save time the day of the tour. Remember to bring a cooler!

We will lunch in Stockton at Stella’s then will head to Groezinger Produce Farm and Clara Joyce Flowers, south of Stockton. He began his operation in 2009 supplying fresh produce to local farmers markets, restaurants, and through his Community Supported Agriculture program serving Jo Daviess and Stephenson Counties. In 2016 he began Clara Joyce Flowers, a fresh cut flower farm growing specialty blooms for local florists.

Next we will head down the road to Willow Garlic Growers. This farm is run by Dan Metzger and family. Dan grows 20 varieties of organic garlic on 2 acres. He sells his garlic and garlic products locally and at Logan Square Farmer’s Market in Chicago. He will have freshly harvested garlic for sale.

Carpool from Staples parking lot in Freeport at 9:00 a.m. We will return to Freeport around 3:30. Please confirm your attendance with Laura. Arrangements will be made with Stella’s to feed our group.

Field TripsPrairie Tours- Rockford Area

Wednesday, August 29, 2018
7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Rockford, IL
Trip Coordinator: Laura Dufford 815-947-2720 or email:
Leader: Don Miller

Come tour Harlem Hills Prairie near Loves Park, one of the finest gravel hills prairies in the state. Throughout the growing season Harlem Hills is full of blooms; Pasque Flowers, Shooting Stars, and Pale purple Coneflowers lead up to our visit in late summer with a great show of Rough Blazingstars and several species of goldenrods and much more. The view from on top of Harlem Hills is outstanding. We then will cross town to one of the best wet-mesic prairies around, Searls Prairie. Here we find tall wet grass species like Cordgrass and a show of Blazingstars better suited for moist roots. It is a beautiful prairie and a good indication of what Illinois once was. Don Miller will be our guide as we tour these lovely gems. We will have lunch at Toni’s of Winnebago on our way home.

Carpool from the Staples Parking lot at 7:30.  We will return approximately at 2:30 p.m.  Long pants and sturdy footwear are suggested, as well as a water bottle.  Please contact Laura Dufford if you plan to attend.