Environment & Weather
Governor Quinn Launches Sister Rivers/Lakes Website to Celebrate World Water Day 2013 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Erin Wilson   
Friday, 22 March 2013 14:17

Illinois Partners with Six Nations to Share Best Practices, Stimulate Exports and Promote Tourism 

CHICAGO – Governor Pat Quinn today unveiled a website highlighting the Illinois Sister Rivers/Lakes Initiative today in honor of United Nations World Water Day 2013, whose theme is “International Year of Water Cooperation.” The website is part of Governor Quinn’s commitment to protecting our natural resources and driving Illinois’ economy forward. This is the 20th Anniversary of World Water Day, which highlights sustainable management of freshwater resources. Illinois has built partnerships with officials in six nations to share creative solutions to common problems, such as run-off, silt and invasive species.

“The Illinois Sisters Rivers/Lakes Initiative celebrates the spirit of ‘water cooperation,’ as we share our successes with and learn from our partners across the world,” Governor Quinn said. “Each nation has unique challenges, but we have common priorities: clean and healthy waterways, improved commercial and recreational opportunities, and we all are working hard to leave a better watershed than we inherited.”

The goals of UN World Water Day’s “Year of International Water Cooperation” are to spark concrete, innovative action and foster partnerships and dialogue around water. Dozens of events have been organized worldwide, such as 6,000 students in 21 nations who will walk six kilometers (3.7 miles) while carrying a water-filled backpack to dramatize the inaccessibility of fresh water for many of the world’s children.

Governor Quinn has crafted Lake Michigan and Illinois River “sisterships” with Brazil’s Capibaribe River, China’s Huangpu River, Ireland’s River Lee, Israel’s Lake Kinneret, Poland’s Vistula River and South Korea’s Han River.

The new Illinois Sister Rivers/Lakes website (SisterRivers.Illinois.gov) is designed to share best practices with not only our partners, but advocates for waterways worldwide. The website details successful initiatives such as Governor Quinn’s innovative Mud-to-Parks project, Dam Removal and Safety Initiatives and the Clean Water Initiative to modernize drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. The new site will also help boost tourism and export opportunities among the Sister Rivers/Lakes partners.

The website also helps Illinois residents planning a trip abroad with information on Illinois’ Sister Waterways. For example, you can fish for salmon in Ireland’s Lee River, pedal along Seoul’s Han River or Israel’s “Jesus Trail,” or kayak on Poland’s Vistula River. The skylines of Shanghai and Recife, Brazil, may best be seen from a boat on the Huangpu or Capibaribe Rivers.

Governor Quinn also invited tourists in China, Israel, Poland, South Korea, Brazil and Ireland to enjoy all that Illinois waterways have to offer.  For tourism information, visit EnjoyIllinois.com. For information about fishing, boating, paddling and birding, visit dnr.illinois.gov.


Take the DriveLessLiveMore Challenge for Earth Day PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Ethan Spotts   
Friday, 22 March 2013 13:34
Track trips online, win prizes

CHICAGO – The Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and the Active Transportation Alliance will launch the Earth Day Rideshare Challenge next month to increase awareness and appreciation by encouraging commuters to consider an alternative form of transit.

The new challenge encourages companies and their staff to participate in a free, team-based carpooling and vanpooling competition for Chicago-area employers by logging on to www.drivelesslivemore.com and tracking their trips. The website features a unique, interactive trip-tracking calendar, which can rank competitors and display statistics, such as greenhouse gases prevented, fuel and money saved, and calories burned. The Earth Day Rideshare Challenge begins April 8 and runs through Earth Day, April 22.

“Ridesharing is a great option for commuters who don’t have easy access to transit or safe cycling routes to their job,” said Richard Kwasneski, Chairman of the Pace Board of Directors. “Getting involved in ridesharing saves commuters money and is easy to do using our free, online matching service at www.PaceRideShare.com.”

The Earth Day RideShare challenge will offer employers the tools to organize their workforce and participate in a fun competition that can encourage environmental and social change.

“Drive Less Live More has proven to be a groundbreaking program for the Chicago region,” said Joe Costello, RTA Executive Director. “We’re very excited how this contest has engaged our transit riders, companies and their employees to leave their cars at home and choose an alternative form of transportation,”

Challenge participants must register at drivelesslivemore.com, and then either create a team or join an existing team for their employer. Each team competes for the highest percentage of carpoolers and vanpoolers among similar-sized organizations.

Teams will find everything they need at the website to prepare their teams including: easy sign-up process, automated trip logging and team ranking, posters, and online resources. Team members can also choose to sign up as an individual participant, track their trips and be eligible to win prizes.

The companies with the highest percentage of employees who log rideshare trips at the website during the challenge win—and all teams will be publicly recognized!

A company wins if it has the highest percentage of employees logging an eligible commute to work in its category during the challenge time-frame. The winning team receives public recognition, a virtual winner’s certificate, and the satisfaction of being the healthiest and greenest workplace in northeastern Illinois.

The RTA’s transit system makes a significant impact on the region’s environment by saving approximately 150 million gallons of gas annually. And as saving money continues to be on everyone’s mind in this economic climate, the drive less live more challenge is another means to encourage travelers to see the value in public transportation and other alternative methods of greener travel.

Learn more by visiting www.drivelesslivemore.com. For all your travel plans, visit www.RTAchicago.com.

The RTA provides financial oversight, funding and regional planning for the three public transit operations in Northeastern Illinois: The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus and train, Metra commuter rail and Pace suburban bus and paratransit.  For more information, visit www.RTAchicago.com.

The Active Transportation Alliance is a non-profit, member-based advocacy organization that works to make bicycling, walking and public transit safe, convenient and enjoyable. We advocate for transportation that encourages and promotes safety, physical activity, health, recreation, social interaction, equity, and resource conservation. The Active Transportation Alliance is supported by more than 7,000 members, 1,000 volunteers and 35 full-time staff. For more information on the Active Transportation Alliance, visit www.activetrans.org or call 312.427.3325.


The Best Internship on Earth PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Sierra Club   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 09:10
Do you have a passion for the environment? Love spending time outside? Enjoy telling your friends about your adventures? Do you want to have the Best Internship on Earth?

This summer, two young adults will travel around the country with the Sierra Club's activist and outings programs and video blog their experiences. They'll also receive $1,000 gift cards from primary sponsor The North Face.

Submit your video application by April 9, then share it with your friends and family. The top five videos with the most comments will receive a Sierra Club swag bag with a surprise from The North Face.

Volunteers Needed to Wrap Trees for LL&W’s MillionTrees Project PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Natalie Linville-Mass   
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 08:14
Davenport, IA/March 19, 2013 - Chad Pregracke’s Quad Cities-based environmental group needs volunteers for the MillionTrees project which improves the health of rivers in the Midwest, by re-establishing hardwoods that have been depleted by over-harvesting, flooding and disease. Living Lands & Waters, an East Moline, Illinois non-profit organization is planning to distribute its 500,000th tree this spring.

Volunteers will be asked to help with the following:  bundling trees in newspaper, dipping roots in water, placing trees in bags, and/or tying. Participating children must be supervised.  Volunteers are asked to wear warm and comfortable clothes that can get dirty.  Trees will be distributed in April to individuals, families, schools, park districts, businesses and organizations throughout 10 states.  The goal of the MillionTrees Project is to grow and plant 1 MILLION trees.

Tree wrapping events will take place from 9am to 5pm Thursday, March 28th through Sunday, March 31st in the North Hall of the QCCA Expo Center in Rock Island. The QCCA Expo Center is located at 2621 4th Avenue, Rock Island. Registration is not required, but recommended, especially for groups of 10 or more.  Volunteers can come and go as you please; stay for one hour, a couple hours or all day.

Volunteers, including families with children, are invited to take part in the tree wrapping event. “Wrapping 100,000 trees takes a lot of work” said Chad Pregracke, founder and President of Living Lands & Waters.  Pregracke adds, “It’s a great venue to help the community and educate people on why trees are important.”

Trees provide shelter and nut-bearing hardwoods are a viable food source for wildlife and migratory birds.  Slow-growing hardwoods like oaks have a harder time re-establishing themselves without help, and are often crowded out by faster growing species, like cottonwoods, willow and silver maples. Re-establishing hardwoods helps increase biodiversity, reduce erosion and run-off and improve water and air quality.

Anyone interested in volunteering may contact MillionTrees Project Coordinator, Ashley Stover at Ashley@livinglandsandwaters.org or at 309.737.5913. More information on the MillionTrees Project can be found at www.livinglandsandwaters.org/get-involved/million-trees


Fairmount Branch Library Starts Garden Club & Needs Your Input PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Steve Hart   
Thursday, 14 March 2013 15:05

Saturday, March 16th, 11:00 AM in the Brooke Room

Come help lay the groundwork for growing something new.  A garden club at Fairmount.

Please come join a planning session for the Margaret Z. Henry Memorial Garden. This is located at the front of the Fairmount Street Library, a very important part of our Building. It is in need of loving hands and some garden expertise.  The goal of this first meeting is to create a group of concerned and helpful gardeners and gardeners-to-be who can create an inviting, attractive garden and then be able to spend a few hours through the growing season to help maintain it. We have a start, but too little experience. The Library can provide the materials and tools, if you can provide the knowledge and/or time, please come help with the plans

Can we solve this puzzle together?

Please email Sue at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text90163 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for more information.

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