Sip n’ Sow Seed Sowing Workshop

Sip n’ Sow Seed Sowing Workshop
1st & 3rd Boutique & Wine Bar
January 12th from 6:00 to 8:00

1st & 3rd Boutique & Wine Bar has generously donated their event space. Please show your support — come early to shop, get a beverage & maybe a charcuterie board!

Event Limited to 30 Registered Participants — Fill Out  Form at Bottom of Page

It’s never too soon to think of spring! Join some adult-only fun at the Sip n’ Sow Workshop! Sip a glass of wine and sow some native flower seeds for your summer garden.  Native plants attract pollinators and serve as butterfly host plants, including many species growing on the square in Petersburg. 

The evening will kick off with a slide presentation with photos and discussion of some of the species that will be available. Participants will then use the winter sowing technique to plant native species of their choosing. Seeds, soil, tools, and some containers provided. Participants are encouraged to bring additional CLEAN plastic milk jugs if you wish to plant multiple containers. 

Alana McKean (Starhill Forest Arboretum), Cindy Andreasen (Illinois Extension Master Gardener), and Terri Treacy (Menard County Trails & Greenways) will be leading the workshop. Bring your questions about gardening with native plants and any native seeds you wish to share!

No fee but donations appreciated! And, please support 1st & 3rd — come early, shop, grab a beverage and even a bite to eat!

Questions? Email Cindy at event@menardcountytrailsandgreenways.org;   (Please don’t contact 1st & 3rd — use the email provided!)

For planning purposes registration is required.

Form submission is now closed.

Plant pollinator habitat at home

Wanting to add more pollinator habitat at home? Look no further: native plant seed packets are available again in Petersburg! You can find displays at the Petersburg Public Library, 1st and 3rd Boutique, the Talisman, and the Crazy Daisy Gift Shop. This year we are offering 13 colorful species collected from the plantings on Petersburg’s square, Historic Wayside Park and our members’ own gardens and prairies. The packets are free, but we welcome donations that support Menard County Trails & Greenways. The displays will be restocked until we run out!

Wondering how to choose? 

Check out blog posts highlighting the available species:

Lanceleaf Coreopsis, Purple Prairie Clover, Golden Alexanders

Small Yellow Wild Indigo, Butterfly Milkweed, Blue Star

Black-eyed Susan, Rattlesnake Master, Purple Coneflower

Swamp Milkweed, Sneezeweed, Aromatic aster

We’ve added one new species to the mix this year: Wild quinine. More on that species soon!

Wondering how to plant them? 

Follow the detailed planting instructions on the back of each packet, and check out this blog post with instructions on the winter sowing method. Also– watch for an announcement about upcoming winter sowing workshops where we’ll have these species and many more to share!

Scary Invasive Plants in Your Landscape

Scarier than goblins, witches and ghosts are all the invasive plants we have planted in our yards and gardens! This Halloween we bring you a post about the horrors of invasive plants in your landscape.

Some of our Menard County Trails & Greenways members have already been hard at work on the restoration efforts at New Salem in recent weeks. With the arrival of cooler temperatures, we’ll be scheduling volunteer work days soon! Be watching our Facebook page or your email if you’re an MCTG member for those dates. If you’d like to contribute to our forest restoration efforts at New Salem, but you can’t make it to our work days, there is still something you can do to help: remove invasive garden plants in your own yard!

There are many problematic plants still being sold in garden centers for use as landscape plants and seeds from those plants end up growing at New Salem and in other natural areas. Here are some of the worst offenders: Continue reading “Scary Invasive Plants in Your Landscape”

2023 Annual Fall Float

It was a beautiful day for a float on the Sangamon River!

This past Saturday, Menard County Trails & Greenways (MCTG) hosted its Annual Sangamon River Fall Float from Gudgel Bridge to New Salem.

Approximately 30 paddlers launched their canoes and kayaks in the afternoon and wound their way down five miles of river, taking in blue skies, crisp air, the beginnings of changing leaves, and even a bald eagle!

The river was a little low, but we managed to navigate around those really low spots.

Immediately following the paddle, everyone enjoyed a toasty campfire complete with hotdogs and s’mores.

The float would not have been possible without the help of many, including: Gudgel Bridge property owner, MCTG volunteers, the PORTA school district (who kindly provided our shuttle bus), our bus driver Tiffany, the New Salem State Historic Site staff for cleaning up the shelter before our event, and the American Canoe Association. A special thank you to Dave Hedrick for setting up the campfire and making the roasting sticks!

We hope everyone had a great time! See you next year!






MCTG provides public comment on City of Springfield’s amended Supplemental Water Supply Project

On July 1, 2021 the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a Public Notice addressing the City of Springfield’s amended Supplemental Water Supply Project. MCTG submitted the following public comment letter.

The project’s initial proposal was to build Hunter Lake Reservoir to the southeast of Springfield Lake as an auxiliary water supply. Springfield subsequently requested an additional Purpose & Need of the project to include Aquatic Recreation. Per National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) requirements a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) is being prepared to address the addition of Purpose and Need of Aquatic Resources. Under NEPA, the SEIS must evaluate all appropriate and reasonable alternatives, including, among other things, “Use of other existing surface water reservoirs for water supply and aquatic recreation opportunities.”

When considering existing aquatic recreation opportunities, the Sangamon River should be included as an appropriate and reasonable alternative to provide aquatic recreation in central Illinois.

August 4, 2021

Regulatory Division – Mr. James Kelley
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Rock Island District
Clock Tower Building
PO Box 2004
Rock Island, IL 61204-2004
 
Re: CWLP – City of Springfield
CEMVR-OD-P-2016-0095

Dear Mr. Kelly:
Menard County Trails & Greenways (MCTG) is responding to the public notice regarding the proposed Hunter Lake and the project specified above. MCTG is a non-profit organization in central Illinois that promotes the development and use of a network of land and water trails, such as the Sangamon River, for recreational purposes. 

MCTG supports the improvement of existing resources, including the Sangamon River, for local residents to participate in outdoor aquatic activities. Designated in part as the Lincoln Heritage Canoe Trail by former Governor Otto Kerner in 1965, the Sangamon is a rich historical and cultural asset to the communities in central IL. Despite its designation as the state’s first water trail, public access to the river – and its use – remains limited. Between Decatur and Oakford, IL, an approximate 100+ mile reach of river, only a handful of public access points exist. Compounding poor access are a number of unsafe low-head dams that impede recreation.
 
People want to be on the Sangamon River, evidenced by well-attended events that MCTG and other local organizations have held over the years, with permission from private landowners to access the river. MCTG hosts an annual fall paddle on the Sangamon and prior to this, the Lincoln Heritage Water Trail Association hosted an annual canoe/kayak race that drew participants from across the state. Improved and new public access points along the stretch of Sangamon that flows within the 50-mile radius anticipated to draw users to the proposed Hunter Lake would facilitate additional recreating on the Sangamon River, whether through organized events or private paddling. Enhanced public access, adequately funded and supported, would also facilitate wider appreciation of the river, thereby encouraging the conservation and sustainability of this historic river for the recreational enjoyment of generations to follow.
 
Jennifer Satorius
Vice President, Menard County Trails & Greenways