MCTG Comments on State Water Plan

kayaking on sangamon river

Last month we posted Public Access to Illinois Waterways, that the Illinois Department of Natural Resources was working on the development of a revised State Water Plan, and announced the opportunity for the public to review the recommendations and provide feedback.

Menard County Trails & Greenways provided the following comments. (see below). Public feedback will be used to further develop a State Water Plan Draft Report, and public outreach meetings will be held in November 2021 to allow input to the report. We’ll keep you posted.

Dear Illinois State Water Plan Task Force,

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input on the revised water plan for the State of Illinois. To this end, Menard County Trails and Greenways (MCTG) submits the following key priorities for consideration by the Illinois State Water Plan Task Force. MCTG is a nonprofit organization in central Illinois that promotes the development and use of a network of land and water trails that connect people to natural and cultural resources, encourages recreation, and advances the conservation of the county’s unique natural and cultural resources for the benefit of all. One important water source that our group works to protect is the Sangamon River, which flows through Menard County.

Key water plan priorities:

    • Water quality: Strengthen efforts to reduce runoff of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers and road salt, which may cause significant environmental damage when found in rivers and lakes; enforce anti-littering laws.
    • Access to waterways: Support and promote the use of rivers by non consumptive and low-impact craft such as canoes, kayaks, and stand up paddleboards. There are many not-for-profit organizations in our state that are working on creating water trails, which by definition, require access/egress points within reasonable distances for paddlers to launch and exit. Such sites do not need much infrastructure, but most importantly, permission to access the waterway.
    • Low-head dam removal: Fund low-head dam removal projects to eliminate “drowning machines” and improve the free flow of rivers, fish habitat and connected ecosystems, as well as recreational opportunities for individuals using the river to fish, paddle, boat, or simply enjoy nature.

Thank you again for the opportunity to provide input on the revised water plan. Please reach out with any questions. We look forward to learning more about the final water plan.

Jennifer Satorius
Vice President, Menard County Trails & Greenways

Public access to Illinois waterways

Illinois Department of Natural Resources working on the development of a revised State Water Plan.  The public is invited to review the recommendations by the Task Force of each critical issue and provide feedback to ensure that the project is addressing everybody’s most important water-related needs in IL. Virtual public hearings (identical) were held May 25-27 by IDNR at

https://www2.illinois.gov/dnr/WaterResources/Pages/StateWaterPlanTaskForce.aspx

Prior to the Live Meetings, DNR suggest that you listen to the Recorded Summary to obtain a brief overview about each of the 13 identified critical issues. The presentation has been provided in both a video or slideshow format to allow viewing options.

Recorded Summary Video Link:  View  Download

Recorded Summary Slideshow Link:  Link

 

Eric Freyfogle, Research Professor of Law, Swanlund Chair Emeritus, University of Illinois College of Law at Champaign, IL has offered his public comments for viewing. Download his comments here.

You can use the following public survey links to provide comments and input into the State Water Plan development. Public comments can be submitted through June 18, 2021 using the survey platform or by sending comments or survey responses to the email address below. 

Public Survey: link

Email link for any comments:  dnr.owrplanning@illinois.gov

Petersburg Mayor Signs Earth Day Proclamation 

Earth Day was established in 1970, and is an annual, worldwide event to raise awareness about issues affecting our land, air, and water.  On April 2nd, Petersburg Mayor Rick Snyder signed a proclamation encouraging businesses, organizations, and individuals to participate in a city-wide litter clean-up on Earth Day, April 22, 2021, and throughout the year, to make Petersburg and Menard County Communities healthy and environmentally friendly. Continue reading “Petersburg Mayor Signs Earth Day Proclamation “

Congratulations Menard Animal Protection

MENARD ANIMAL PROTECTION AWARDED GRANT TO FUND A PETERSBURG DOG PARK

Menard Animal Protection (MAP), a local non profit, has been awarded funds by the Sedlak Vaughan Charitable Trust to construct a dog park and install pet waste stations in Petersburg. MAP is excited about the opportunity to partner with the City of Petersburg and local businesses to find suitable locations for these much-needed improvements. They will provide recreational opportunities for dog owners and their 4-legged friends.

Three pet waste stations will be installed in dog walking areas when weather and soil conditions permit. The dog park will be a 100 X 75′ chain link fence enclosure and will include separate sections for large and small dogs, a water source, a pet waste station, benches, a double gated entry area and access gates for maintenance. The dog park will be installed in City park property at the east end of town, north side of Route 123, and south of the current girls’ ball diamonds. The site provides shade and parking. The project should begin in 6 to 8 weeks, depending on the contractor being able to avoid weather and other delays.

Earth Day 2021 — Pitch In for Petersburg!

Tired of seeing litter — cans, bottles, fast food wrappers, and more — strewn along our river front, in our parks, and along our streets and ditches?

If everyone pitches in we can make a big difference in the appearance of our beautiful little city and health of our environment.

Ways to Help

  1. Sign in at Hurie Park after work or school starting at 4:00 PM (or whenever you can get there) to get a trash bag, your free tote (while they last), and DQ cone coupon (while they last). We’ll assign you a location or you can tell us where you plan to pick up.
  2. Pick up around your own neighborhood or other locations you regularly see litter. Bring your bag(s) to Hurie before 6:00 PM to claim your free tote (while they last), and DQ cone coupon (while they last).  Or take a selfie with your team and your trash bags to claim your tote and DQ cone. If possible please email us in advance to tell us where you’ll be working.
  3. If you’ve been contacted by an organization or employer to help out, then there’s no need to sign in with us at Hurie. We’ll make sure you get your tote and cone.

How can we give away totes and cones???

This year Menard County Trails & Greenways is able to offer free reusable shopping totes and DQ cones  to Earth Day participants because of the very generous donations of our fantastic sponsors.  Please help us let them know how much they are appreciated for supporting this important cause!

Alliance Community Bank
Blane Real Estate: Judy and Peter Olesen–217-632-7521
Broadgauge
CAPCIL
County Market
Dairy Queen
Damon Priddy State Farm Springfield
Edgar Lee Masters Memorial Museum
Edward Jones-Financial Advisor: Julie Wankel
Hello Sunshine Makery & Marketplace LLC
Hand of Fate Brewery
HR Full Circle
Marbold Farmstead
Menard Animal Protection
Menard County Rotary Club
Menard County Tourism
Ozella Construction, Inc.
Petefish Skiles & Co.
Petersburg Jaycees
Petersburg Pharmacy
Petersburg Veterans Memorial Park
PORTA Bluejays
R&H Farm and Home
RiverBank Lodge
Rudin Printing Company
The Crazy Daisy
Three Pines Petersburg

Stay Safe

Wear a mask within 6 feet
Sanitize & wash hands
Gloves available

More Information

menardctg@gmail.com
Download (and share) the flyer here!
Check back here or Facebook for updates.
Rain Date:  In case of rain, we’ll reschedule.

What is the meaning of Sangamon?

In 1721, a small group of Frenchmen paddled canoes from the confluence of the Theakiki (Kankakee) and the “River of the Illinois (tribe)” to the Mississippi River. They were on their way to French settlements in Louisiana. Among the group was Pierre-Francois Xavier de Charlevoix, a Jesuit priest. Charlevoix documented the voyage in a series of letters that include descriptions of the landscape and Native American residents of the river valley. Continue reading “What is the meaning of Sangamon?”

Native American Trails

Shickshack Hill

Native Americans were the only human beings in Menard County for more than 10,000 years. Traces of their way of life in the form of stone tools and pottery sherds continue to be found throughout the county. Their legacy is also documented by trails—a path or track worn by the passages of persons traveling.

Identifying ancient Native American trails is difficult at best. Some Native American trail maps survive, such as the 1837 Ioway map, but they are extremely rare. Continue reading “Native American Trails”

Lincoln Highway Bike Route

Bicycling Menard County backroads can be fun and rewarding. You can take in pleasant rural scenery and often spot some interesting wildlife.  My personal preference when riding country roads is to avoid state highways and even county highways, and stick to the more rural road district-maintained roads.  I also gravitate towards the northern and western side of the county as it seems the vehicle traffic is lowest in these areas.

Many Central Illinois roads are laid out in a grid fashion following section and township lines.  Occasionally, roads still exist that do not follow the boring N-S, E-W grid. These are often the oldest roads, and have stretches that follow old wagon trails used by early settlers. Some of these old wagon trails likely even follow trails that were used by native American inhabitants prior to the arrival of settlers of European descent.  “Crooked” roads in Menard County that fit this description include the Lincoln Trail in northern Menard County, and Peoria Road in the eastern part of the county. Continue reading “Lincoln Highway Bike Route”

Grist Mill on the Sangamon prints available online

Looking for a unique gift for someone special as well as a way to support a not-for-profit? Just in time for the holidays prints of the Grist Mill on the Sangamon River, at New Salem by Etta Ackerman are now available on our website. Check it out: https://menardcountytrailsandgreenways.org/grist-mill-on-the-sangamon-river/

You can pay via credit card or PayPal. Prices include shipping, but if you prefer you may pick prints up in Petersburg and save 30%. (Email me if you choose to pick up your order or have any questions or issues with the online process.)

Many of you are familiar with the Grist Mill prints, but for those who are not….

The artist who created this painting titled “The Grist Mill on the Sangamon River, New Salem” is Etta Ackerman who lived from 1882-1938. She was the daughter of John Ackerman and Narcissus Atterberry. Etta studied art at college in Mt. Pleasant Iowa and then for 3 years in Germany. Her family lived west of Petersburg in the Little Grove community and then in the Bethel neighborhood south of Tallula.

New Salem was one of her favorite spots for painting.

Etta established a studio in Springfield and taught art there for many hears. She was a founding member of the Springfield Art Association.

This reproduction of an oil on canvas reflects the mill at New Salem. The mill was originally build in 1828-29 by James Rutledge and James Camron. It was later acquired by the Bale family and updated in 1853 to the appearance in this painting.

The dam in the painting is the structure that would have caused the flat boat Lincoln and his companions were piloting to get stuck. This led to Lincoln’s discovery and eventual return to the New Salem community.

The original painting, which is 47″ x 28″ was part of a retrospective 1996 exhibit of 9 Menard County artists. It is owned by private collectors Dave and Pam Williams who generously agreed to its reproduction to benefit the work of Menard County Trails & Greenways.