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!






Life and Times of the Sangamon River

River valleys have a great many stories to tell. History is revealed in riverbanks all over the world. It is written in sediment, fossils, and artifacts. In some places, rivers expose ancient land and waterscapes created long before the river. Today, many rivers are refuges, tiny bits of what once was a far-reaching ecosystem. Life at the equator, colossal glaciers and the birth of rivers, megafauna, the arrival of people, earthquakes, a profound transformation of the landscape, but no dinosaurs, all these stories and more are told by the Sangamon River as it meanders its way across central Illinois. This video, History of the Sangamon River Valley by Michael Wiant, reveals some of the stories the Sangamon has to tell.

History of the Sangamon River Valley – HD 720p.mov from Treetop Productions on Vimeo.

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”

MCTG 2022 Sangamon River Fall Float

Join Menard County Trails & Greenways on October 15, 2022 as we paddle 5 beautiful miles of the Sangamon River from  Gudgel Bridge to the New Salem riverside picnic area/boat ramp.

Explore on your own or take part in a guided float to learn about the geology, history and nature of the Sangamon River in Menard County. Immediately following the float everyone is invited to socialize around a cozy campfire for a weenie roast (provided with registration).

This stretch of the river has an exceptional natural history story to tell.  Experts will be floating along with the group to answer questions about the geology, geography, fish, birds and other wildlife.

All participants must pre-register! Registration ends October 8th!

EVENT DETAILS & REGISTRATION

 

Menard County Trails & Greenways is a proud affiliate of the American Canoe Association. ACA was founded in 1880 and is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that serves the broader paddling public by providing educational programs, supporting stewardship initiatives that affect paddlers, and offering competition opportunities to athletes of all abilities.

CANCELLED — MCTG Sangamon River Fall Float

The river level is too high to safely hold the float! Sorry for any inconvenience cancellation has caused. Full refunds are being processed.

Join Menard County Trails & Greenways on October 16, 2021 as we paddle 5 beautiful miles of the Sangamon River from the Gudgel Bridge to the New Salem riverside picnic area/boat ramp.

Explore on your own or take part in a guided float to learn about the geology, history and nature of the Sangamon River in Menard County. Immediately following the float everyone is invited to socialize around a cozy campfire for a weenie roast (provided with registration).

This stretch of the river has an exceptional natural history story to tell. Each participant who chooses to partake in the guided tour will receive a points-of-interest location map and corresponding handout with a detailed description of each stop. Experts will be floating along with the group to answer questions.

All participants must pre-register! Registration ends October 10th!

EVENT DETAILS & REGISTRATION

Rain Date – October 17, 2021