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August 2023

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September 29 Birdseed Sale Order Deadline!
Community Solar EventEvent: Perseids Campfire at Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve
Field Trip: Prairie Tour- Park Hills Golf Course
Field Trip: A Night of Exploring the Milky Way
Field Trip: Maquoketa Caves State Park
NIAS Newsletter Deadline

Other/MiscellaneousSeptember 29 Birdseed Sale Order Deadline!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023
Contact: Tim Smith, email

This year’s Bird Seed Sale deadline is September 29. Order pick up will be held October 19-21. Sale fliers should begin arriving in mailboxes sometime in September.

If you can volunteer to help sort orders or deliver seed, please call Mary at 815-938-3204.

Other/MiscellaneousCommunity Solar Event

Saturday, August 12, 2023
11 a.m.
Freeport Public Library, 100 E Douglas St, Freeport, IL

Join us for a presentation on community solar by Matt Harvey from the Citizens Utility Board, a consumer advocacy organization. There will be an opportunity to sign up that day for community solar. If you are interested in signing up at the event, bring a copy of your ComEd bill.

Community solar is a program for people who can’t put solar on their own homes. It allows consumers to save money on their electric bills from energy produced by large, offsite community solar projects, similar to how you would save on your electric bill if you installed panels on your own property. You will still receive your electricity from ComEd, but the electricity will be produced by solar panels rather than by a fossil fuel or nuclear power plant and you will receive a credit for electricity produced on your ComEd bill. This program is available to individuals, businesses, non-profits, and churches. Depending on your income, you could save 20% to 50% on your ComEd bill. This is a great opportunity to save money, encourage renewable energy and help the environment!

EventsEvent: Perseids Campfire at Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve

Saturday, August 12, 2023
7:30 p.m.
Elkhorn Creek Biodiversity Preserve, Forreston, IL (SE corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds)
Coordinator: Mary Blackmore, 815-938-3204

We’ll hope for clear skies for viewing this annual meteor shower. We’ll take a short walk to see what’s in bloom at 7:30 p.m. The campfire will follow at 8:00. S’mores will be provided.

Sorry, but no ATV transportation will be available for this campfire. Bring a lawn chair, insect repellent, flashlight and water. The preserve is located about 3 miles southwest of Forreston in the southeast corner of West Grove and Freeport Rds., with parking off of West Grove Rd. If the weather is questionable call Mary before 6:30 at 815-938-3204.

Field TripsField Trip: Prairie Tour- Park Hills Golf Course

Monday, August 14, 2023
1 p.m.
Park Hills Golf Course, 3240 W Stephenson St, Freeport, IL
Coordinator: Juliet Moderow, 201-233-0946
Tour Guide: Deb Schroeder
RSVP Required
Rain Date: August 21

Please join a tour of the approximately 27 acres of tall-grass prairie found at Park Hills Golf Course. NIAS member Deb Schroeder will lead the tour as she has been a bluebird monitor of the golf course for many years. Every year, she monitors 49 bluebird houses, which you will also see during the tour. You can expect to see many tall-grass prairie species like prairie dock, cup plant, compass plant, rattlesnake master, and others!

The tour will involve pairs driving in golf carts as well as include walking along the mowed trails around the prairie as desired. There are restrooms available at the main building and some around the course.
This is limited to 9 people to allow traveling the golf course easily. Please call Juliet Moderow at 201-233-0946 to register. After 9 people have signed up, we will create a waitlist and will confirm if there will be a second offering of the tour later in the same afternoon.

Field TripsField Trip: A Night of Exploring the Milky Way

Thursday, August 17, 2023
8 p.m.
Doug Firebaugh Observatory, Park Hills Golf Course, 2892 W Stephenson St, Freeport, IL
Coordinator: Chris Kruger, 815-238-9259
Our chapter will host “A Night of Exploring the Milky Way” at the Doug Firebaugh Observatory. The staff of the observatory will lead an introduction and observing session of celestial objects visible in August. Among the objects that you can expect to see (weather permitting) are the major constellations, double stars, star clusters, and planetary nebulae.
This event is open to all ages. In case of inclement weather, the event will still be held, but with a modified program in the observatory.
Please call Chris to register for this event.

Field TripsField Trip: Maquoketa Caves State Park

Tuesday, August 22, 2023
8:30 a.m.
Carpool: Harbor Freight, 1722 S West Ave, Freeport, IL
Coordinator: Richard Benning, 815-865-5279
This park, in Iowa, offers interesting and scenic topography in the midst of a typical mid-west agricultural area. There are over a dozen caves within the park, ranging in size from tiny to fairly large. We will not be doing any spelunking, but we can walk through the largest cave and also see the entrances to most of the smaller caves. Anticipate that some of the trails have steep sections and numerous steps.
Bring a sack lunch and water bottle because we will plan on eating in the park. Estimated return time is 5:00 PM. Please call the trip leader to register so we can plan accordingly.

Other/MiscellaneousNIAS Newsletter Deadline

Monday, August 28, 2023