Reconnecting
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2016 Accomplishments

January 3—Earth Purpose, Our Purpose was the theme of the Perihelion Celebration. Participants enjoyed an afternoon of informative and reflective activities. Feathers, stones, bones and other natural items helped to link the ways of nature with our personal goals. The event closed with a heartfelt dedication ceremony around an outdoor fire.

January 11—Greg Rajsky taught a class in Winter Oak Identification at Loyola University Retreat and Ecology Center.

February 6—Judy Speer represented Small Waters Education as a delegate to the first Conservation Congress convened by McHenry County Conservation District, contributing ideas for the future, and signing the Declaration of Fundamental Conservation Principles.

February 27—Small Waters directors reached out to the community by staffing an information table at the Native Landscaping Conference organized by the Wildflower Preservation and Propagation Committee at McHenry County College.

March 6—Small Waters directors staffed an information table at a screening of Inhabit—A Permaculture Perspective at the College of Lake County.

March 14—Judy Speer taught an Introduction to Permaculture class at McHenry County College.

March 24—Judy and Jack Speer taught an Introduction to Permaculture class for students of George Williams College Dept. of Environmental Science and Sustainability

April 1—Margaret Fox-Hawthorne taught a class on Raising Backyard Chickens at McHenry County College.

April 8—Jack Speer taught a class at McHenry County College on Backyard Habitat, with information on how to attract beneficial wildlife to your yard.

April 9—Judy Speer led a presentation and discussion on Creating Butterfly Gardens with Native Plants for a private group.

April 15—Margaret Fox-Hawthorne taught a class on Raising Goats at McHenry County College

April 16Our third Annual Gathering drew 35 friends and supporters. It included a tour of the oak savanna and permaculture gardens, home-cooked food, music by Kendra Swanson, and a hoop performance by Meghan Moonshine. Everyday Superhero Awards went to Karen Lundell for cultivating the conservation community and culture, to Jeff Schumacher for outstanding volunteer work in ecological restoration, and Nancy and Randy Schietzelt for their leadership in numerous environmental and conservation efforts.

April 22-24—Greg Rajsky helped plan and lead the Weekend of Restoration for McHenry County Conservation District.

May 17 & 21—Greg Rajsky taught a class on Spring Woodland Ecology for Morton Arboretum.

June 15—Margaret Fox-Hawthorne taught a class on Raising Goats at McHenry County College.

June 22—Margaret Fox-Hawthorne taught a class on Raising Backyard Chickens at McHenry County College.

July 2—The Small Waters community celebrated the Aphelion with a sacred fire ceremony, community drumming, and walking the story of the universe.

August 20—Jack and Judy Speer led two workshops at the Illinois Renewable Energy Fair: Practical Permaculture for Everyone and Bring Your Yard to Life!

August 28—Judy and Jack Speer participated in the Monarch Mania Fun Fair at Crystal Lake beach, offering a jigsaw puzzle activity to teach kids and adults about butterflies and host plants.

September 6—Judy Speer presented Get More from Your Native Landscape with Permaculture for the Lake-to-Prairie chapter of the Wild Ones at Fremont Public Library in Mundelein.

September 8, 11, & 18—Greg Rajsky taught a class in Natural Areas Management for the Morton Arboretum.

September 17—100 native wildflowers and grasses were added to the Richmond Grade School butterfly garden. Girl Scout Troop 181 provided volunteers and Small Waters Education provided plants, guidance, and ongoing maintenance.

September 18—Small Waters Education hosted a screening of the documentary film Hometown Habitat: Stories of Bringing Nature Home, showing how and why native plants are critical to the survival and vitality of local ecosystems.

September 23-25—Greg Rajsky helped to plan and lead the Weekend of Restoration for the McHenry County Conservation District.

September 24—Jack and Judy Speer hosted a field trip for the Permaculture class from College of Lake County, which included sheet-mulch planting of understory native plants in the demonstration food forest.

November 15-21---Jack Speer provided information and guidance on creating a butterfly garden to St. Theresa Catholic School, Palatine.

December 15—Greg Rajsky, Judy and Jack Speer met with members of McHenry County School Environmental Education Program and Friends of Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge to begin a Pollinator Garden grant application to obtain funding for a native plant habitat and learning landscape at Johnsburg Jr. High and Elementary School campus.

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