River Action has launched an interactive Retain the Rain online calculator that helps people find out how to control stormwater runoff from a home or business. They can also calculate the amount of water runoff saved by implementing Retain the Rain projects such as rain gardens, native plantings, prairie restorations, runnels, porous paving, bioswales, and green roofs. To get started, visit RiverAction.org.


Rock Island Mayor Mark Schwiebert has incorporated a new feature into city-council meetings. Called Update Rock Island, the mayor will spend five minutes at the beginning of council meetings to publicize community news. Items could include new programs and initiatives in the city, awards, new businesses and expansions, and community events. A video will be available Tuesdays following council meetings on the city's Web site (RIGov.org) and public-access cable channel 9. A written summary will be available on the Web site and sent to local media. To receive the information via e-mail, sign up at RIGov.org/enews.html.


Based on his latest book The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be, Jack Canfield will present strategies on determining goals, developing necessary tools, shifting attitudes, and mastering key disciplines to use entrepreneurial time effectively. Canfield is the co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. "Success Principles" is sponsored by the St. Ambrose University College of Business Student Advisory Council. Upper-level general seating for the October 28 event at St. Ambrose's Galvin Fine Arts Center is $50, and lower-level preferred seating is $75. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Galvin box office at (563) 333-6251. More information can be found at SAU.edu/news/fall08/Canfieldpresentation.php or JackCanfield.com.


Credit Island Park reopened on Saturday, October 4. The park has been closed most of the season due to flooding. The golf course will remain closed until spring 2009. Traffic limitations are posted, and the lodge is closed until further renovations can be completed. Two park restrooms are open until the arrival of freezing weather, and two playgrounds are renovated and open. Three park shelters may be used but will not be available for rental until next season.


MetroLINK, the mass-transit system for the Illinois Quad Cities, has re-branded itself as "Metro" and is rolling out changes to encourage more Quad Citians to go green. These will include a new slogan, logo, bus-stop signs, graphics for the buses, and an Internet micro-site. Metro offers a green transportation option for the Quad Cities; half of its fleet consists of compressed-natural-gas buses, which reduce emissions of exhaust pollutants by 70 to 85 percent. For more information, call (309) 788-3360 or visit QCMetroLINK.com or the microsite at GoGreenMetro.com.


It's time to celebrate the Main Street Library at "A Ruby Renaissance," the 40th-anniversary party for the Edward Durell Stone Building. Taking place on Sunday, October 5, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., the party will offer something for everyone: numerous children's performers, including magician Rick Eugene; music by Ellis Kell; historic displays, including a photo montage and ephemera; special guests and speakers; and free refreshments. For more information about the anniversary party, contact Angela at (563) 888-3371, or visit DavenportLibrary.com. For more information about library history, visit QCMemory.org, or call (563) 326-7902.


Area residents can safely dispose of old medications, exchange mercury thermometers for a digital, pick up and drop off sharps containers, and have data-sensitive documents shredded free of charge during Operation Medicine Cabinet from September 18 through 20. Operation Medicine Cabinet will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the following locations: Thursday, September 18, Medic EMS Facility, LeClaire Road and Highway 61, Eldridge; Friday, September 19, Bettendorf Fire Station, Middle Road and Crow Creek Road, Bettendorf; Saturday, September 20, Scott Area Recycling Center, 5640 Carey Avenue, Davenport. Residents can call the Waste Commission of Scott County at (563) 381-1300 or visit WasteCom.com for additional information. Last year's event yielded 11,780 pounds of material, which included approximately 1,245 pounds of pharmaceuticals, 660 pounds of sharps, 39 pounds of mercury thermometers, and 9,836 pounds of documents for shredding.


Living Lands & Waters, Chad Pregracke's not-for-profit environmental organization, is gearing up for acorn collection for the MillionTrees Project. The organization is asking community members to collect and donate their acorns to the project with a goal of collecting 300,000 seeds to plant in its nursery this fall. These acorns will grow for one to two years, and the saplings will then be transplanted back into their native communities. The MillionTrees Project was initiated in September 2007 with the goal of growing 1 million native hardwood fruit- and nut-bearing trees over the next five to 10 years. Send seeds to: Living Lands & Waters; c/o MillionTrees Project; 17624 Route 84 N; East Moline IL 61244. If you have specific questions about the MillionTrees Project, contact Denise Mitten at (309) 236-6279 or milliontrees@livinglandsandwaters.org. For more information on other Living Lands & Waters projects, visit LivingLandsAndWaters.org.


Volunteers at the fifth-annual Xstream Cleanup on Saturday, August 16, removed 142,566 pounds of debris from area waterways, illegal dumping sites, and flood-ridden areas. Cleanups were held at 39 locations in Bettendorf, Davenport, and LeClaire, Iowa, and Colona, East Moline, Milan, Moline, Rock Island, and Silvis, Illinois. More than 1,300 volunteers worked nearly 4,200 hours and collectively gathered 2,187 bags of trash, 2,416 tires, 36 appliances, and 54 bicycles. This represented 75,180 pounds of trash, 63,444 pounds of tires, 2,700 pounds of appliances, and 1,242 pounds of bicycles. Full statistics, a list of items removed, and photos of cleanups can be viewed at XstreamCleanup.org.


The Beaux Arts Fair will be held at its new location on the Figge plaza on Saturday, September 6, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, September 7, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair features 73 exhibitors from several states working in painting, drawing, printmaking, weaving, jewelry, and crafts. Admission is free to the fair and to the Figge during that weekend. There will be a children's activities tent, and concessions will be sold. For more information, visit BeauxArtsFair.com.