Environment & Weather
FALL ECOLOGY DAY - Wapsi River EE Center PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Dave Murcia   
Tuesday, 30 September 2014 13:07

Saturday October 4th, 9 A.M. – 5 P.M.

Wapsi River EE Center

31555 52nd Ave. , Dixon, IA 52745

This year’s theme is WOODLAND WONDERS! Events and programs suit all ages. Family fun for everyone. Please call to sign your family up for this fun filled day (563-328-3286).

9:00 A.M. to Noon ~ Woodland Wickiups ~ By using poles, lashings and Cattails, come help us build and learn how our Native Americans created these amazing living structures. Duties will suit all ages including pounding holes, string cutting, lashing poles, covering and decorating.

12:00 – 1:00 ~ L U N C H ~ Lunch will be provided by the Friends of the Wapsi Center, Inc. Please bring a dish to share. Donations are welcome.

1:00 – 2:00 ~ EAB, Coming to an Ash tree near you! ~ Do you have an ash tree? If so, you may want to learn the ABC’s of this invasive insect now known to be in several Iowa counties! The presentation will cover history, identification, biology, and current efforts to stop the spread.

2:00 – 3:00 ~ Paper Making ~ Come learn how to recycle and make your own paper, and then decorate your creation with natural objects.

3:00 – 4:00 ~ Woodland Tree Hike ~ Explore the Wapsi River woodlands with naturalist Mike Granger to learn about our native trees and how to identify them from leaves, buds and seeds.

4:00 – 5:00 ~ Woodland Creatures ~ Come explore the world of woodland creatures found at the Wapsi River Center. The woods provide all of these animals with food and shelter, and learn how they live and thrive in a woodland ecosystem.

Green Roofs are Growing on the WIU-QC Riverfront Campus PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ronna Walker-Johnson   
Thursday, 25 September 2014 07:38

Moline, IL  September 29, 2014 –Western Illinois University - Quad Cities (WIU-QC) 3300 River Drive, Moline is the site of the newest green roof in the Quad Cities area.

In addition to providing many environmental benefits, the green roof will give building occupants a gorgeous view. It features a unique sedum base mixture with a variety of accent plants to add seasonal blooms and interest.  The green roof uses the LiveRoof® Hybrid Standard System with 4.25 inches of soil and totals 9,720 square feet.  The pre-vegetated modules were grown by Roof Top Sedums at their location in Davenport, Iowa and then shipped to the building site and installed by LiveRoof® Certified Installer Heritage Landscape Design, Inc.

Like Building One on the WIU-QC Riverfront campus, Phase II buildings are sustainably constructed and operated.  Green amenities include geothermal heating and cooling, emphasis on the use of daylight, native landscaping, green roof treatments, and an emphasis on energy efficiency.  WIU-QC will pursue LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, which builds on the LEED Silver certification received for Phase 1.

Bill Brewer, WIU Assistant Director of the Physical Plant says, "The green roof system not only assists us in acquiring LEED accreditation for this project, it serves as an ongoing demonstration to our students studying environmental sciences of the importance of storm water management and its effect on our waterways.   We are even planning on coupling an educational kiosk with one of the visible locations of the vegetative roof installation.  Lastly, the green roofs fit very well with the natural beauty of the site and surrounding landscape."

Roxanne Nagel, co-owner of Roof Top Sedums says, “The campus buildings are situated near the Mississippi River and the green roof will act as a sponge to capture and filter the rainwater.  The green roof will help reduce and slow down the storm water runoff from the site.  We are excited to see the sustainable efforts by WIU as well as having another great example of a green roof in the Quad City area.”

To learn more about the LiveRoof® Hybrid Green Roof System, visit our website at www.liveroof.com or members of the press may schedule an appointment by calling or emailing Natalie Linville-Mass at (309) 786-5142 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

About Western Illinois University: Located along the banks of the historic Mississippi river in Moline Illinois; Western Illinois University- Quad Cities offers commitment to traditional core values and expansive teaching opportunities. Western Illinois University- Quad Cities continues to grow and expand; offering facilities and academics focusing on critical thinking, engaged learning, research, and creativity. In 2003, a donation from Deere & Company of 20 acres of land on the Moline riverfront provided the stimulus for an expanded WIU- Quad Cities. In the spring of 2010 the university began Phase I of a well anticipated renovation and expansion to the 60,000-square-foot building, formerly housing the John Deere Tech Center. On September 3rd of this year, Western Illinois formally celebrated the completion of Phase II.  The 94,800 square foot complex now houses academic programs in the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education, Human Services, Fine Arts and Communication, as well as the US Bank Writing Center, a testing center, academic advising and student services.  In addition, Western Illinois has transferred and now houses programs and services from the current WIU 60th Street campus; including the library and classes offered through the Quad Cities Graduate Study Center.


About Roof Top Sedums: Roof Top Sedums was established in 2007 and is a Regional LiveRoof® Licensed Grower servicing Iowa, Western Illinois, Eastern Nebraska, Eastern Kansas, and most of Missouri.  The business is 100% women-owned and certified nationally as a Women’s Business Enterprise, as well as an Iowa Targeted Small Business.  Other projects in the Quad City area include Genesis Medical Center at East Rusholme Street in Davenport, IA, Black Hawk College Sustainable Technologies Building in Moline, IL, and VanderVeer Park Sustainable Demonstration Garden in Davenport, IA.  For more information on projects previously grown by Roof Top Sedums or information about the LiveRoof® System, visit www.rooftopsedums.com.

Loebsack, Blumenauer Introduce Bill to Bring Stability, Certainty to Clean Energy Industry PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Joe Hand   
Monday, 22 September 2014 14:46

Washington, D.C. – Today, Representatives Dave Loebsack (IA-02) and Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), along with 16 other members of Congress, introduced H.R. 5559, the Bridge to a Clean Energy Future Act of 2014. The bill would extend critical incentives to provide market certainty and to strengthen investment in clean energy such as extending Production Tax Credit for wind energy through 2016, offering parity with the Investment Tax Credit enjoyed by solar energy investments, and granting the solar industry the same access to credits at the start of a project’s construction that the wind industry has. For additional information, click here.

Wind and solar energy are clean, renewable, and American.  Creating a tax landscape for renewables that allows them to compete fairly in the market with other energy sources benefits the country by creating a healthier environment and thousands of jobs. It also puts renewable energy on an equal footing with traditional fossil fuels, giving consumers real choice about how they want to power their homes and their lives.

“The Production Tax Credit has helped the still-growing U.S. wind energy industry employ 80,000 Americans, including thousands of Iowans,” said Loebsack. “Like all businesses, the wind energy sector needs stability and predictability so long term investments and business decisions can be made. The continued expiration of the PTC causes slow-downs at manufacturing facilities and could lead to additional lay-offs. For our nation to move towards energy independence and continued job growth, we need to prioritize clean energy like wind and act immediately to pass this extension of the PTC.”

“I’m eager to push this across the finish line this Congress,” said Blumenauer. “My state of Oregon is a leader in renewable energy technologies, and Dave’s state of Iowa is the second largest wind energy producer in the nation, so we understand the importance of stability and security in the clean energy sector. His help will be important in advancing this legislation. Making sure these energy sources are on an even playing field with the fossil fuel industry is essential to lowering carbon emissions, creating a cleaner environment, and creating good, non-exportable American jobs.”

In addition to developing domestic sources of clean energy, strengthening the finance environment for the construction and development of renewable energy installations strengthens the US economy by employing American workers, and supporting American manufacturers. From a strong base at home, American clean energy firms are also able to export this technology around the world, creating new markets for American expertise.


Governor Quinn Proclaims “Sister Rivers and Lakes Week” PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Katie Hickey   
Thursday, 11 September 2014 14:18

New Thompson Center Exhibit to Honor Illinois’ Relationship with

World Waterways

CHICAGO - Governor Pat Quinn today proclaimed September 7-13, 2014 as “Illinois Sister Rivers and Lakes Week” to celebrate the importance of the Illinois River and Lake Michigan, and address the shared challenges of waterways throughout the world. The Governor will salute Illinois’ eight “Sister Rivers and Lakes” partners on four continents with a free exhibit, open to the public this week in the James R. Thompson Center Atrium, 100 W. Randolph, Chicago.

“Illinois was defined geographically, historically and economically by the Illinois River, Lake Michigan and other waterways, which are treasures to be preserved and protected for all time,” Governor Quinn said. “Through such innovative solutions as Mud-to-Parks and the Illinois Clean Water Initiative, we are ensuring that these waterways can be used for recreational and commercial purposes, while protecting the many fish, animals and birds that rely on them.”

Governor Quinn has forged relationships with officials representing Brazil’s Capibaribe River, China’s Huangpu River, Ireland’s River Lee, Israel’s Lake Kinneret, Japan’s Saitama Prefecture, Mexico’s Lake Pátzcuaro, Poland’s Vistula River and South Korea’s Han River.

Inspired by the success of the Sister Cities program, Governor Quinn launched “Illinois Sister Rivers and Lakes” in 2007 when, as Lieutenant Governor, he visited Poland and was struck by the beauty of the Vistula River. Since then, Governor Quinn has led trade missions to Seoul, South Korea; Shanghai, China; Israel; Mexico City; Recife, Brazil; Saitama, Japan; and Cork, Ireland, and has met with local water authorities in each nation to discuss shared challenges.

The exhibit describes each of the “Sisters,” their historical significance and tourism opportunities. Governor Quinn’s solutions to such common problems as aging dams, obsolete water treatment facilities, invasive species and silt are also detailed. The exhibit documents Illinois’ pioneering role in fostering water technology companies, and how the Governor’s $2 billion Clean Water Initiative is helping local governments modernize their water treatment plants and pipelines, some of which date back to the 19th Century.

On his website www.sisterrivers.Illinois.gov, Governor Quinn invites people across Illinois who are considering a trip abroad to consider visiting one of Illinois’ “Sister Rivers and Lakes.” Tourism opportunities include:


·         Enjoying geothermal springs and Marugami Falls in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture.

·         Butterfly-watching near Mexico’s Lake Pátzcuaro.

·         Long-distance swimming in Israel’s Lake Kinneret.

·         Seeing the Moonlight Rainbow Fountain over South Korea’s Han River.

·         Bass-fishing on Ireland’s River Lee.

·         Viewing Shanghai’s skyline from a ferry on China’s Huangpu River.

·         Biking along Brazil’s Capibaribe River.

·         Kayaking past ancient castles on Poland’s Vistula River.

Governor Quinn also encourages people across Illinois to roll up their sleeves and volunteer for one of the many waterway clean-ups scheduled this fall:

·         September 20 - World’s Largest Shoreline Clean-up - Chicago’s Jarvis, Sherwin, Loyola, Hartigan, Pratt, Osterman, Montrose, Belmont, Oak Street, 71st Street, and Rainbow Beaches.

·         September 20 - World’s Largest Shoreline Clean-up - North Chicago’s Foss Beach.

·         September 20 - Somme Woods East, Chicago River, Northbrook.

·         September 21 - Illinois River Sweep, Allen Park, Ottawa.

·         September 21 - Illinois River Sweep, Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria Heights.

·         September 21 - 31st Annual Kankakee Iroquois River Clean-up, Various sites.

·         September 21 - Vermilion River Clean-up, Humiston Woods Nature Center, Pontiac.

·         September 21 - Sangamon River Clean-up, Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, Mahomet.

·         September 21 - Fox River, Cornish Park, Algonquin.

·         September 27 - Blue Star Memorial Woods, Chicago River, Glenview.

·         September 27 - Kickapoo Meadows and Whistler Woods, Lake Calumet, Riverdale.

·         October 4 - LaBagh/Hernandez Woods, Chicago River, Chicago’s North Side.

·         October 15 - World’s Largest Shoreline Clean-up - Chicago’s 12th Street Beach.

·         October 24 - World’s Largest Shoreline Clean-up - Chicago’s 63rd Street Beach.


The Governor’s proclamation is attached.


News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Brad Anderson   
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 12:02
Climate Change Has Led to Increases in Ticks, Mosquitos & Poison Ivy

DES MOINES, Iowa – Today, in a statewide conference call with Iowa media the Iowa Wildlife Federation released a report detailing the increases in ticks, mosquitos, fire ants and poison ivy due to climate change.  The report, titled “Ticked Off – America’s Outdoor Experience and Climate Change,” was produced by the National Wildlife Federation, which includes 49 state affiliates and more than four million members committed to protecting wildlife and connecting Americans with nature.

Leading the call was Joe Wilkinson, past President of the Iowa Wildlife Federation.  Joining Wilkinson was Dr. Yogesh Shah, Associate Dean of the Department of Global Health at Des Moines University, and Frank Szollosi, Regional Outreach Manager for the National Wildlife Federation based in Ann Arbor, MI.

EXCERPT FROM REPORT: “Extreme weather is becoming more common. Droughts and floods are more severe and more frequent. Winter snow is melting away earlier in the spring and fall weather is slower and slower to come about. These and other aspects of climate change are impacting the plants and wildlife that are a central component of the American outdoor experience. We might like an early spring, but so do tiger mosquitoes with their bothersome presence and bites. An Indian summer may be welcomed by us, but it helps winter ticks survive in huge numbers…enough to suck more blood out of a moose than its body contains. Warm winters are a welcome mat for fire ants and deer ticks to expand their range northward where they can inflict pain or disease on unsuspecting people and wildlife. Poison ivy, which we always steer away from, is growing faster and becoming even more toxic, thanks to the rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

“Every increase in temperature by a degree or two increases mosquito populations by eight to tenfold,” said Dr. Yogesh Shah.  “Just like mosquitos, ticks tend to grow faster when it is humid and warm, and last year we had a 40 percent increase in Lyme disease in Iowa compared to the previous year.  If we keep the status quo, climate change will get worse and we will start seeing diseases that we never dreamed about.  If we do what climate scientists recommend to mitigate climate change, mosquito and tick populations will eventually come down.” 

“Climate change is not so subtle anymore,” said Joe Wilkinson on today’s press call.  “Now the question is what are we going to do about it and when.  I hope this report will raise public awareness and make sure Iowans understand the significant impacts of climate change to our wildlife and public health.”


Joe Wilkinson: Joe Wilkinson, President of the Iowa Wildlife Federation, is a lifelong Iowan from Solon, Iowa.  Wilkinson is an avid outdoorsman and a regular contributor to Iowa Outdoors Magazine.

Dr. Yogesh Shah: Dr. Yogesh Shah is the Associate Dean for Global Health at Des Moines University, a position created in 2006 to establish global health experiences that DMU students increasingly seek.  Dr. Shah has been instrumental in establishing the City of Des Moines as a member of the World Health Organization’s network of age-friendly cities.  He also led the creation of the Heartland Global Health Consortium, and the creation of Heartland Climate Health Consortium, a collaborative of Iowa educational institutions to promote the effect of climate change on nutrition and human health.

Frank Szollosi: Frank Szollosi is the Regional Outreach Campaigns Manager for National Wildlife Federation based in Ann Arbor, and works with a team of public policy and advocacy professionals to build the power of the conservation movement to mitigate the risks climate change presents wildlife, habitat and communities.  Frank previously served as a Press Secretary on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, and was elected twice himself to serve as a Toledo City Councilman.   He recently earned a Master's of Science and Master's of Public Policy from the University of Michigan.

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