Winter Seed Sowing

Winter seed sowing is a great way to grow most native plants! The seeds of many native species require cold, moist stratification to germinate. This occurs naturally when a seed falls on the soil and goes through an average Illinois winter.

These conditions can be mimicked in the refrigerator with a moist paper towel or a spoonful of sand, planting the seeds after meeting the required time for stratification of a particular species.

Winter sowing is an even simpler option—great for gardeners of all levels of experience. Planting in a milk jug or other recycled container gives seedlings a head start, as the containers create a mini-greenhouse to trap heat, speeding up germination and protecting seedlings during spring cold snaps, and lets nature work its magic! Continue reading “Winter Seed Sowing”

Pollinator Plants for Your Garden — Part 4

This post wraps up our 4 part blog series describing 12 easy-to-grow plants for attracting pollinators (butterflies, bees, etc) to your garden. View earlier blog posts here.

The final three plants described in the post are swamp milkweed, sneezeweed and aromatic aster. All 12 species discussed in the series are available for free (while supplies last!) a locations around Petersburg–see December 12th blog for details. Continue reading “Pollinator Plants for Your Garden — Part 4”

Pollinator Plants for Your Garden — Part 3

yellow coneflower
Black-eyed Susan is a prolific bloomer with showy yellow daisy-like flowers July through September.

This is Part 3 of a 4 part blog series describing 12 easy-to-grow plants for attracting pollinators (butterflies, bees, etc) to your garden. If you missed Parts 1 and 2, you can read Part 1 here;  read Part 2 here. The 12 species discussed in the series are all available for free (while supplies last!) a locations around Petersburg–see December 12th blog, Create Your Own Pollinator Habitat at Home, for details. Continue reading “Pollinator Plants for Your Garden — Part 3”

Pollinator Plants for Your Garden – Part 2

Pollinator Planting on Petersburg Square

This is Part 2 of a 4 part blog series describing 12 easy-to-grow plants for attracting pollinators (butterflies, bees, etc) to your garden. If you missed Part 1 last week, you can read it here. The 12 species discussed in the series are all available for free (while supplies last!)–see December 12th blog, Create Your Own Pollinator Habitat at Home, for details. Continue reading “Pollinator Plants for Your Garden – Part 2”

Pollinator Plants for your Garden – Part 1

This is the first of a 4 part blog series describing 12 easy-to-grow plants for attracting pollinators (butterflies, bees, etc) to your garden. In addition, most of the species provide birds with seed in the winter–so don’t cut back plants until late spring!! The 12 species are all available for free (while supplies last!)–see December 12th blog, Create Your Own Pollinator Habitat at Home, for details.

Each Thursday through January 5th we’ll feature 3 of the 12 plants with detailed descriptions of the plants as well as specific sowing instructions. Note however, for those that say to direct sow in spring, you may actually direct sow them in late fall/winter.  In nature the seeds would go through winter and just come up when they’re ready. If you’re late fall/winter sowing a bunch of plants, it’s kind of convenient to just do them all the same way! Continue reading “Pollinator Plants for your Garden – Part 1”

Create Your Own Pollinator Habitat at Home

Wanting to add more pollinator habitat at home? Look no further: native plant seed packets will be available in Petersburg this week! 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 a dozen colorful species collected primarily from the plantings on Petersburg’s square. 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? Follow along as we highlight these 12 species in upcoming posts!

Wondering how to plant them? Follow the detailed planting instructions on the back of each packet. Plus, a future blog post will focus on sowing native seeds.  Feel free to ask questions here or join us at the winter sowing workshop–registration required–only 4 spots left!

Register Here

Here are the species available this year:

  • Amsonia tabernaemontana, Blue star
  • Asclepias incarnata, Swamp Milkweed
  • Asclepias tuberosa, Butterfly weed
  • Baptisia tinctoria, Small yellow wild indigo
  • Coreopsis lanceolata, Lanceleaf Coreopsis
  • Dalea purpurea, Purple Prairie Clover
  • Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower
  • Eryngium yuccifolium, Rattlesnake Master
  • Helenium autumnale, Sneezeweed
  • Rudbeckia fulgida, Gold coneflower
  • Symphyotrichum oblongifolium, Aromatic Aster
  • Zizia aurea, Golden Alexanders

This is made possible in partnership with Starhill Forest Arboretum and Rudin Printing.

 

Sip n’ Sow Workshop

Sip n’ Sow Seed Sowing Workshop
1st & 3rd Boutique & Wine Bar
January 12th from 5:30 to 7:30

Limited to 30 Registered Participants — Fill Form Below to Register

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!

Cash bar, no fee but donations appreciated!

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

For planning purposes registration is required.

 

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Route 97 Proposed Improvements–Public comments sought

If you were unable to attend last evening’s public informational meeting regarding IDOT’s Proposed Improvements to IL 97 and IL 123, you may submit your comments via snail mail or email. Comments will be accepted until July 5th.

Link to Proposal and Comment Form IL Route 97 Proposal

Your comments should include the following.

Proposed IL Route 97 & IL Route 123 Improvements
Your Name
Address
City
Telephone number
Email address
The best way to contact you (Email, Mail, Both).

Send your comments to:

Jeff Myers, PE
Region 4 Engineer
Illinois Department of Transportation 126 East Ash
Springfield, Illinois 62704-4792

or

Attention: Jay Edwards, PE
Jay.Edwards@illinois.gov

Let Our Voices Be Heard — Build a Dedicated Hike & Bike Path Linking New Salem Historic Site with Petersburg

For years Trails & Greenways has advocated for a safe hike / bike path linking New Salem State Historic Site with Petersburg. The time has arrived to ensure this goal is finally realized.

Next Tuesday, June 21 from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at PORTA high school, the Illinois Department of Transportation will be hosting an open house public meeting about roadway improvements to IL 97 and IL 123 from New Salem through Petersburg.

The meeting will provide exhibits and maps  for viewing, and  IDOT representatives and consultants from the engineering firm of Thouvenot, Wade and Moerchen will be available to answer questions and gather public input about the project. 

It’s important that we show strong public support for a hike / bike path along Rte. 97. Please attend the public information meeting, and encourage your friends, family and neighbors to attend as well.

example crosswalkTrails & Greenways also advocates of a more walkable Petersburg.  We urge the  installation of two pedestrian right-of-way crosswalks along Rte. 97 at Douglas and Jackson Streets (main E/W streets downtown that cross Rte. 97). Having traffic stop for pedestrians in crosswalks will make walking in downtown Petersburg safer and more enjoyable for residents and visitors.

Trash Taskforce: Good Clean Fun

Join the Menard County Trails and Greenways (MCTG) and Petersburg Athletic Association’s (PAA) Trash Taskforce as we clean up litter around Petersburg!  We will pick up litter at several parks and spaces around town on Saturday, April 2, from 9:30 – 11am (Rain Date: April 9 or 10 – TBD).  We need your help!  Meet at Hurie Park (just east of County Market) to register and pick up supplies.  We will be clearing out litter from the parks and surrounding vacant lots.

Whether you have 30 minutes or a full hour, every little bit counts!  To thank you for helping to keep our community clean, and on a first-come, first-serve basis, we will give away a free reusable tote bag to each participating family and a free DQ coupon to every participant (while supplies last). 

With Earth Day approaching on April 22, we encourage everyone to take some time this month to clean up around your neighborhood.  Earth Day was established in 1970 and is an annual, worldwide event to raise awareness about issues affecting our land, air, and water.  

Whether you join us on April 2 or clean up litter on your own, we have some general rules of thumb to share with you:

  • Be safe!  Take precautions, including wearing sturdy gloves and being careful on river banks or near roads. Adults should handle dangerous items, and supervise children closely.
  • Properly dispose of all litter. During the clean-up on April 2, litter collected can be dropped at dumpsters at Hurie Park or the girls ball diamond.  If you clean up around your neighborhood, please dispose of the litter with your household trash.
  • Share the good news by posting a picture of your work or simply talking with friends and family about your efforts.  You may inspire others!  It takes all of us to keep our community clean.