Protect · Educate · Engage
Thanks to all of our Partners who helped us put on a great BioBlitz!
See the Banner: BioBlitz_Sponsor_Banner
Wheelan Pressly Funeral Home.
Quad City Audubon Society
Rock Island Conservation Club
Illinois Nature Preserves Commission
Prairie Rivers Network
Army Corps of Engineers
IDNR (Illinois Dept of Natural Resources)
U.S. Fish & Wildlife
Illinois Native Plant Society – QC Chapter
Rebecca & Brian Becker
George & Linda Kutsunis
Theo’s Java Club.
A great effort from volunteers and scientists at the Milan Bottoms this weekend as they were able to identify 740 unique species in a 24 hour period. Many more samples and photos are being analyzed over the next couple months along with some additional sampling this Summer and we will be sharing all of this as we put it together. Look for posts and slide shows to be popping up on this site over the next few days.
If you are interested in membership – here is a brochure you can print or just contact us and we will send one to you.
There were three goals for this BioBlitz. First is the scientific goal – to identify species living in a specific location. For 24 hours about 50 experts and citizen scientists will be collecting and identifying what lives there. The work will go on after as collections are taken and thanks to about 20 local nature photographers documenting nearly everything, there will be plenty of identification going on for weeks. Scientists and Naturalists can use this information to better understand the health of an ecosystem and how best to use resources when improving habitats. The Milan Bottoms is a very special habitat and this study has been a priority for a long time.
Another Goal was Awareness. We wanted people to know that this incredible nature preserve was in our backyard. With this event, we hope to show the public what a wetlands is and why we need them. The crowd of 50-60 people that came for the night hike had an amazing opportunity to walk into the woods and hear owls, frogs, insects, and see bats and birds and many plants. It is hard to describe how distant you are from the city when you are here. It seems this is the last special wild land in our area.
Finally we wanted to tell the world we were here. Though many of our volunteers have been doing work in the area for 20 years or more, River Bend Wildland Trust is brand new. We are a land trust – that is new. Our goal is to preserve – forever – places like this for the public to enjoy and to allow nature to do its thing. We need these places and a land trust for the QC has been needed for a long time. We also steward the land. Basically that means we plant trees and prairies, perform prescribed burns, remove invasive species, rehabilitate wildlife, and so on. And we educate the public – like this event – but much more. We need your support and would love to have you join us.
So all these things are happening and this has been an exhausting and exciting night. Some of us are going to bed, some continue to work and others are just starting! We are very pleased with the response so far and hope many more of you will join us tomorrow. As you see in the attached image, the insect guys have been stealing the show by wowing the kids and adults alike. They have identified over 130 species in the past 9 hours and have thousands of samples to examine – they are very passionate!
Thanks to all of you who have volunteered or sponsored this event.Read More
Looking like we may have a little weather this weekend, but that’s not going to slow us down. The water levels have fallen enough that we can hike and get back into the woods. Although our River Cruise spots have filled up already, we have many experts and naturalists on hand for hikes and activities. You won’t want to miss this event.
Make sure you Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter to keep up with what is going on during the weekend. It’s easy to do if you have an account – just click on the icon at the top of this page!Read More
Garlic Mustard is an invasive species brought to our region as a food source by colonists in the 1860′s. This invasive plant spreads fast and has no predator. The problem with Garlic Mustard is that it adds chemicals to the soil that prevent the growth of other plant species which allows it to carpet the forest floor. Garlic Mustard can lead to erosion and is tough to eliminate as its’ seeds can live in soil for up to ten years.
Please join us Wednesday, May 22nd from 3:30 to 5:30 at Singing Bird Lodge, Blackhawk State Historical Site, in Rock Island as we pull and bag as much of this plant as we can! For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.orgRead More
On Tuesday, May 13 a group of about 50 Rock Island High School Students spent their day at Prairie Rose Acres overlooking the Mississippi near Illinois City. The students explored prairies and learned about nature, played with baby raccoons that had been rescued by our Stewards, and had a lunch cooked over the fire. Thanks to all of our volunteers who came out to teach learning stations, drive the tractor (hayrack rides) and organize the event! Thanks to the students for coming out – You were a great group!Read More
Thanks for visiting our site. Interstate RC&D is in a transition phase, making for very exciting times within our organization! About two years ago, Interstate began working with a group of volunteers whose mission was to protect and steward ecologically important lands and to provide education. This group called themselves the River Bend Wildland Stewards and they’ve been growing and making big plans. Soon they will split off from Interstate as their own charitable organization (as a Land Trust). This will leave both organizations stronger and more focused on their primary missions.
Currently the River Bend Wildland Trust is in an approval stage, and operates under Interstate RC&D. Over the next few weeks and months we invite you to join with us by becoming a charter member/volunteer. Email us at email@example.com for more information.