Happy New Year!
Hopefully in 2018, you will have plenty of opportunities to enjoy nature. It is interesting that while we recognize the many positive aspects of nature, there can also be some challenging aspects of dealing with nature, too. Some of each will be the focus of two upcoming programs this winter in January and February.
On the challenging side, many people struggle with controlling invasive non-native plants on their property. On Tuesday, Feb. 20, interested persons can attend the “Identifying and Controlling Invasive Plants in the Home Landscape” program at 7 p.m., at the Yorkville Public Library, 902 Game Farm Road, Yorkville. The program is co-sponsored by The Conservation Foundation, University of Illinois Extension and Yorkville Public Library.
Homeowners with gardens, woods, ponds or other open areas around the home have a high probability that they have been impacted by invasive plants which can be difficult to control and damaging to desirable plants. Several species have caused extensive damage in northeastern Illinois over the past few years, such as garlic mustard, buckthorn, honeysuckle and phragmites.
Program participants will learn about types of invasive plants, the impact of their presence and possible control techniques. One of the main questions for homeowners is when removing invasive plants, what are the preferred plants to use as replacements? Identification of different shrub and tree species will be discussed. Speakers will include Richard Hentschel, Extension horticulture educator, and me, John Church, TCF Kendall County program director.
The many positive aspects of spending time in nature will be presented at this year’s Environmental Summit, “Nature RX: How Spending Time in Nature is Good for Our Mind, Body, and Soul,” to be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Jan. 25, at the NIU Naperville Meeting and Conference Center. Health and environmental professionals will cite new studies supporting nature’s benefits to humans.
The exhibit area will open at 7:30 a.m. and will feature organizations focusing on the benefits of nature to human health. This free seminar is open to community leaders, conservation groups, health professionals, social service agencies, and anyone interested in learning more about how nature has a positive influence on our mental, physical and spiritual well-being.
This program is part of the TCF mission to “improve the health of our communities by preserving and restoring natural areas and open space, protecting rivers and watersheds, and promoting stewardship of our environment.”
For more agenda details and to register, go to the TCF website, theconservationfoundation.org.
• John Church is the Kendall County program director at The Conservation Foundation.