Congratulations to Friends of the Oblates Nature Preserves for receiving a well-deserved “Volunteers of the Year” award from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at the State Fair in Springfield, IL!
In collaboration with La Vista Ecological Learning Center, these faithful workers from O’Fallon, Waterloo, Edwardsville, Godfrey, and Elsah Illinois, collectively contributed 930 hours in monthly workdays. Their efforts in removing invasive species like bush honeysuckle, winter creeper and oriental bittersweet contribute to the preservation of biodiversity by allowing native species to thrive again. In addition they are helping to preserve an ecologically sensitive habitat where threatened and endangered species live or pass through during migration.
Sixteen acres of land at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Novitiate in Godfrey, Illinois were officially preserved in the Illinois Nature Preserve System in 1993. The first priority in preserving land is to protect biodiversity which is necessary for the continuation of life in our common home.
- The Illinois State Fair is an annual 11-day festival celebrating agriculture, farmers and related industries
- First celebrated in 1853 in Chicago, IL, the fair is now in its 158th year.
- The fair has moved to Springfield, IL and is held nearly every year with few exceptions (it was canceled in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic)
- Average attendance is around half a million, climbing to nearly 1 million in 2012 and 2013 and dropping back down to about 500,000 in 2019.
- Corn-dogs-on-sticks, a popular edible treat at U.S. fairs is said to have originated at the Illinois State Fair