Category: Champaign-Urbana

Fishes of Boneyard Creek

Boneyard Creek is a tributary that flows into the Saline branch of the Vermillion River. The Creek runs through the center of the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana campus and is 3.3 miles (5.3km) long. Beautification efforts to improve the overall appearance and prevent flooding during the summer months have resulted in landscaped stonework around the creek.

Boneyard Creek is home to a variety of fishes.  Look at the FISH LIST to learn more about each fish species, or use the FISH KEY to identify the fish species.

The website is updated and maintained as part of the University of Illinois’ Ichthyology class (IB 463).

University of Illinois YMCA launches community vermicomposting program

The University YMCA is launching a community vermicomposting program.

If you’re interested in participating or learning more, fill out the interest form. They’re also looking for volunteers.

For more information, look them up on social media or contact Stuart Seputro ( at the University YMCA.

Plant yourself a great home garden with the Urbana Free Library’s Seed Library

If you live in the Champaign-Urbana area and want to improve your home garden, you can borrow seeds from the Urbana Free Library’s Seed Library.

A seed library is a place where you can “check out” seeds and bring back new seeds from your harvest. You take seeds from the lending library, plant them, grow the plants, let some go to seed, and then return some of these next-generation seeds for others to borrow. They also accept store bought seeds.

For more information, including a list of currently available seeds and instructions for “returning” or donating seeds, visit the Library’s web site.

Artist builds Christmas tree out of glass; needs help collecting materials

Read the full story at WCIA.

A local artist is building the world’s largest glass Christmas tree and he needs your help to make it happen.

Artist Jason Mack will build the tree at 502 North Neil Street in Champaign. He said he will work every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until December 20. The public is invited to watch him build the tree.

Clear and green bottles, jars and vases will be collected between December 5-20. You can bring your donations to 502 N. Neil St. There will be a collection bin on-site. You are asked to not bring any window glass.

Webinar: Solar Urbana-Champaign – Everything You Wanted To Know About Solar But Were Too Afraid To Ask

Sep 17, 2020, 5 pm CDT
Register here.

Do you have a nagging question about solar, but have never had a good opportunity to ask it? You’re not alone!

Like you, there are tons of solar owners and would-be solar owners that have great questions about the complex topic of solar.

In order to finally get you the answers you deserve, we’ve put together a panel of solar experts for a special session on Thursday, September 17 at 5:00 p.m. – “Everything you wanted to know about solar but were too afraid to ask.”

So grab a cup of tea or your favorite adult beverage and join in on this interactive one-of-kind solar session!

Webinar: The Idea Store: Lessons in Creative Reuse

Oct 8, 2020   12:00 – 1:00 pm CDT
Register here.

Abstract: The Idea Store celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall, proving that creative reuse efforts can garner solid community support.  We’ve learned, through trial and error, what works and what doesn’t, with still much potential for improvement and growth.  Carol Jo will share lessons learned, success stories, nuts and bolts, goals reached, and plans to move forward. Every community can benefit from a well-organized creative reuse center!

Biography: Carol Jo Morgan, MSW, MS, is a co-founder of The Idea Store, a non-profit creative reuse center in Urbana, Illinois.  Her desire is that consumers understand and practice daily diversion of reusable items    and materials from the waste stream.  She was the store’s first educator and has done countless hours of sorting donations, recycling/hauling, volunteer training, public speaking, coordination of its major fundraising events, and serves on the board of directors.

Youth Climate Justice Forum launches new podcast

Via Smile Politely.

Champaign-Urbana’s Youth Climate Justice Forum is a youth-led group of climate activists from schools around Champaign-Urbana working to collectively create change by empowering and inspiring their peers and their community, particularly through raising awareness about the harmful effects of climate change and steps we can all take towards a solution. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they’ve sought to answer how we can ensure that climate activism is strengthened, and not undermined, by these uncertain times. To that effect, they’ve begun a podcast series in collaboration with radio station WRFU in which they interview local legislative leaders and activists to learn their opinions on the coronavirus, climate change, and what we as community members can do. 

Listen to their first three episodes, with interviewees including Urbana Sustainability and Resilience Officer Scott Tess, Illinois State Representative Carol Ammons, and Prairie Rivers Network water resources engineer Andrew Rehn on their website, and tune in to WRFU 104.5 at 5 p.m. this Friday to hear their fourth episode, featuring Traci Barkley, Director of Sola Gratia Farm.

CUMTD finalizes the first order for articulated hydrogen buses in the US

Read the full story at Sustainable Bus.

The first hydrogen articulated buses in the US goes to… MTD. New Flyer has secured an order for two sixty-foot Xcelsior CHARGE H2, powered via Ballard Power Systems fuel cell modules. The buses will be in operation in Illinois for Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, whose fleet is 85% hybrid.

Plotting a new course: Developer says plans for Stone Creek will ‘broaden the appeal’ of subdivision

Read the full story in the News-Gazette.

Steve Apfelbaum heard the complaints from the neighbors of the former Decatur Lake Golf Course in Brodhead, Wis., when it closed down last year, suffering the same fate as 18 other struggling courses.

After buying the land with a few partners, Apfelbaum had big plans. His group would create an ecological reserve, as Apfelbaum’s company, Applied Ecological Services, has done to golf courses and open spaces across the country. They’d plant local plants and grasses to form landscape made up of prairie and savanna.

In the meantime, last year, they planted fields of sunflowers as a transitional crop to prepare the soil for its new use.

Landowners were initially skeptical.

Champaign County Grows Green Weekend October 17th to 19th

Starting this year, Midwest Grows Green, the Urbana Park District and the Urbana, Illinois – City Government will manage healthy, biodiverse and pesticide-free soils at the Urbana City Building and Canaday Park Ball Field by incorporating compost topdressing. See how we do it and commit to the natural lawn care approach by attending the multiple tutorials, demos and fun activities offered by CCGG Weekend. The events include:

Thursday October 17th
Compost Topdressing Lunch & Learn: Experience the steps and benefits of using compost to fertilize your lawn. During this CCNet brownbag, the Urbana, Illinois – City Government demos compost topdressing on their organic south lawn of the Urbana City Building, Noon – 1 pm.

Natural Lawn Care Green Drinks: Network and learn how to implement NLC and compost topdressing at a large scale with representatives of MGG, the Landscape Recycling Center in Urbana, the Urbana Park District and more. Location at Broadway Food Hall in Urbana, 5:30 – 7:30pm.

Saturday October 19th
Urbana’s Market at the Square: Visit MGG’s Ryan Anderson, ask questions about natural lawn care and take the pledge at Urbana’s Farmer’s Market.

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