The 2008 winter sessions of "4 Seasons Gardening" will be held at the U of I Extension office at 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville. Programs are geared to the interests of homeowner's and seasonal gardening.
Dates and topics are:
February 12, 1:00 p.m.
Carnivorous Plants is a topic not often offered at your local gardening events. Most people are only familiar with Venus Fly Trap, but did you know that the Venus Fly Trap is only one of over six-hundred species of carnivorous plants? Do you know why these plants have a unique appetite for bugs? Have you really looked at these plants and realized their beauty as well as their function in our environment?
February 26, 1:00 p.m. &
February 28, 7:00 p.m.
Vines offer exciting diversity to the garden with their leaves, flowers, fruit and structure that can add another dimension to the garden. These versatile plants can add a whole different look to even small space gardens. You'll leave knowing what to look for in vines, how to care for them and most of all take a look at some interesting choices that you can add to your garden this spring. Both perennial and annual vines will be discussed.
Please call 287-7246 a few days in advance of the specific presentations you would like to attend.
A registration fee of $1 will be assessed for printed handout materials.
It's all the STUFF–papers, bills and receipts, snapshots, magazine clippings, kids stuff, clothes... I spend half my time piling, sorting and moving it from one place to another.
Is all the STUFF in your life driving you crazy? The Christian County office of University of Illinois Extension is offering a unique workshop that may help you find the answer.
Finding Sanity in Today's World: De-Cluttering Your Life will help you develop a personalized plan of attack to clear the clutter. You'll learn how to reduce paper and clutter, easily locate those important notes and phone numbers, and create storage systems that work.
Jennifer Hunt, Consumer and Family Economics Educator, from University of Illinois Extension East Peoria Center, will give you easy-to-do tips to get started de-cluttering.
The workshop will be held on Thursday, February 21, at 9:30 a.m. in the U of I Extension Christian County auditorium.
Call 287-7246 to register by February 20.
Want to improve the quality of images captured with your digital camera? Extension will provide a workshop for beginners on Saturday, February 23 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. to help you learn some of the basic manipulation tools available in imaging software.
Overcoming the barriers of using a new technology begins by looking at practical examples of putting new knowledge to work.
If you are using a digital camera and image software, or just need help understanding basic digital imagery altering functions, then plan on attending.
This class will be held in the U of I Extension Christian County auditorium, 1120 N. Webster St. in Taylorville. Call 287-7246 to register or go online at www.extension.uiuc.edu/christian.
Registration fee of $5. Class size will be limited to the first 20 people. Registration must be made and paid for in advance. The last day to register will be Thursday, February 21. The program will start promptly at 9:00 a.m.
The Local Government program entitled "Bringing Energy Independence Home" will be held on Thursday, February 28, from 3:00–5:00 p.m. at the U of I Extension Christian County office at 1120 N. Webster St., Taylorville, IL.
This program will focus on increasing energy independence for communities, its impact, and the related policy and funding issues.
The program qualifies for 2 hours of Certified County Officials (CCO) credit.
The public is invited to attend and there is no charge. For more information or to make a reservation, please call 287-7246.
If you're an expectant parent or the parent of a toddler, you won't want to miss this opportunity to learn more about the exciting and yet, difficult job of being a parent.
The Special Delivery: Parent and Child Health and Safety Fair will be held on Friday, April 4, 2008 in the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auditorium from 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
Over 25 agencies and organizations will have displays and share information about products and services they are offering to parents.
"Think First: Safety At Home and on the Road." will be presented by this year's keynote speaker Mary Kay Reed, from the SIU School of Medicine.
Taylorville Memorial Hospital is providing a free lunch to all those registering for the health fair before noon on Monday, March 31.
To register, please call 287-7246.
The health fair is open to anyone and is free of charge. Doors open at 11:00 a.m. and the fair will continue through 1:00 p.m. with continuous door prizes donated by many local businesses. Sponsored by agencies serving Christian County.
Volunteer: Become an Everyday Hero
If you have the desire to volunteer, whether it's one hour a week or a few hours a month, plan on attending the first Christian County Volunteer Connection on Tuesday, April 29, 2008 from 3:00–7:00 p.m. in the Taylorville Memorial Hospital Auditorium.
This event will showcase over 20 organizations with opportunities for volunteering, so bring a friend along and find the best match for you time and talents.
Local senior transportation will be available by calling 824-4263 and refreshments will be served throughout the event.
You can't see or smell radon, but it may be in your home, posing a health risk to you and your family. The natural breakdown of uranium in the rocks and soil gives off a radioactive gas called radon that can enter homes, polluting the air. At elevated concentrations and prolonged exposure, radon can cause lung cancer, leading to approximately 22,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer for smokers and the first leading cause of lung cancer for non-smokers.
University of Illinois Extension encourages homeowners to test their homes for radon. High radon levels have been found in every county in Illinois. Testing is the only way to know how much radon is in your home.
Homes can be tested for radon at any time of the year, and the UI Extension Christian County office is offering a free radon test kit to the first 90 people requesting them.
Radon detectors are also available by going online to: www.radon.illinois.gov or call IEMA at 1-800-325- 1245 to request the free radon test kit directly from IEMA. Radon detectors may be purchased at many hardware stores and some county health departments. Radon detectors are easy to use and low-cost, and homes with high radon levels can be fixed.
For more information about how to test your home for radon, visit the radon web site:
Radon information is also available at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Radon Program at 800-325-1245.
Do you want to become more active, improve your health and reduce the stress in your life? Maybe all you need is a little motivation. Walking is an ideal low impact aerobic exercise that, if done regularly, it can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, lower total cholesterol, raise healthy HDL cholesterol and lower blood pressure. It can help maintain healthy bones and muscles, stabilize blood sugar, improve immunity and relieve some of the stress in your life.
With all those great reasons, why not get started now? The University of Illinois Extension Christian County office will kick off a new walking program: "Step It Up", the week of February 10, 2008.
For the nominal fee of $5, you will receive an easy-to-use pedometer to monitor your own progress, monthly wellness newsletters designed just for this program, a walking log, maps of local walking routes and much more. To join, simply drop by the Extension Office anytime and fill out the registration form. We are offering free and optional testing during our kickoff week at several different locations.
So fit walking into your life and join us for a healthier you. This will be an ongoing program, but why not begin now and get a jump start on spring.
All participants should check with their physician regarding any health condition(s) that might prevent them from participating in this wellness program.
Three steps can make a huge difference in safeguarding lives and protecting the environment:
1.DO NOT FLUSH unused medications, except when expressly instructed by the labels. Some medications have a high abuse potential and flushing is the only way to discard them.
2.When tossing unused medications, ensure children and pet protection by crushing or dissolving medications in water (same applies to liquid) and mixing with kitty litter or a solid kitchen substance, then placing in a sealed plastic bag to reduce the risk of potential poisoning. Also, remove and destroy ALL identifying personal information (prescription label) from the medication container. Another alternative is to check for approved state and local collection programs or with area hazardous waste facilities. In certain states, you may be able to take your unused medications to your community pharmacy.
3.And consult your pharmacist with any questions.
uSource: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service & American Pharmacists Association
The new agricultural specialty plate for cars and pickup trucks is currently in the design and production stage with the Secretary of State's office.
Register now with the Secretary of State's office and they will contact you by letter when the plate is ready in April or May 2008 to tell you how to apply.
The agriculture specialty plate will have a higher fee than regular plates, with the additional fee going to the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom fund.
The base cost of a license plate in Illinois is $78. For the first year of the ag specialty plate's availability, the extra cost will be $40 (total cost of plate $118), with $15 (transfer fee) of the $40 going to the Secretary of State's Office, and $25 of the $40 going to the Illinois Agriculture in the Classroom fund.
After the first year there will be a $27 renewal fee ($103 total cost), with $2 going to the Secretary of State's Office, and $25 going to the IL Agriculture in the Classroom fund.
To get on the Secretary of State's list, complete the form below and send it to:
MAIL: Karla Voahovich
Secretary of State
501 S. Second St, Rm. 312
Springfield, IL 62756
Or FAX: the form to Karla Voahovich at 217.785.4727
Or E-MAIL: the information on the form to :
Your Phone Number with Area Code ___________________________
Your Current License Plate Number ____________________________
Type of Plate You Are Requesting _X_New Specialty Plate that Salutes Agriculture
The University of Illinois Extension Christian County website located at www.extension.uiuc.edu/christian is a quick pathway to research-based facts and other information available from the University of Illinois. Click on the "Local Links" tab on the "home page" for new information.
A new website that allows home gardeners and professional horticulturists to gain information about plant pests, diseases, and performance in the USDA's hardiness zones 4, 5, and 6 has been launched by UI Extension.
"Hortanswers" (http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/hortanswers/) is designed to provide basic information about the disease and pest problems of plants plus determine the right plant for the right place in the garden, said Greg Stack, U of I Extension Horticulture Educator and one of the designers of the website.
"Because of it complexity, it took several years to develop," said Stack, "but the result is an extremely valuable site."
Users may access the information they seek by a variety of routes. One approach is to search plant and the categories include annuals, groundcover, ornamental grass, perennials, roses, shrubs, small fruits, trees, tree fruits, turf, vegetables, and vines.
If a particular problem is affecting your garden, try to search by problem feature and initiate a search by the problem or pest or by the plant affected, with categories for common and scientific names.