Blog Banner

An Illinois River Almanac

Jason Haupt's Energy and Environment Blog
 MG 4028
click image to view 4 more

Birds Bees and Wild Things: Feathered Friends

Attracting wildlife to your yard is something in which everyone seems to be interested. But knowing how to do this is what many people lack.  As you think about attracting wildlife to your yard, the first step is to start looking at your yard as a habitat. All habitats have four elements: water, shelter, food, and space. To attract and keep wildlife coming back all four elements must be readily...

Read More >

Radon Testing

Posted by Jason Haupt - Air Quality

It is that time of the year again - time to think about radon in your home. January is Radon Action Month, and is one of the best times to test your home for radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization both classify radon as a "Known Human Carcinogen." The U.S. EPA estimates that 21,000 lung cancer deaths...

Read More >

Trench Composting

Trench, Keyhole and Mound Gardening reuses plant materials. By Kelly Allsup

Guest author Kelly Allsup   Start your gardening endeavors this fall by using plant materials (organic matter) that you would normally put on the curb for pick-up. Whether you use the trench, keyhole, mound (also known as Hugelkultur) gardening methods, you will be creating a growing environment that requires no fertilizer, little irrigation and ideal for root growth. Fr...

Read More >

20150921 135533

Happy Halloween

Historically nature was a dangerous place. The wild areas were where "evil" lived. Just take a look at the many fairy tales. The witch lived in the deep woods, the wolf was the bad guy and the vampire turns into a bat. So often the unknown turns into the aspects that need to be feared. But as I have written before, much of the "scary" parts of nature are also some of the most interesting....

Read More >

Perilous Pears

In recent years, one of the most popular trees planted in yards and by cities has been Callery Pear. These trees are cultivars of the Bradford Pear ( Pyrus calleryana) . They cannot self-pollinate, so it was thought this would be a good thing, preventing the rapid spread of these trees. This was meant to prevent them from becoming a problem like some of the other trees and shrubs that ha...

Read More >

Bush Honeysuckle Bark
click image to view 3 more

Controlling the Uncontrolled- Bush Honeysuckle

If you have read some of my previous article or blogs, you will know that invasive species pose a problem in Illinois, particularly in restoration projects. I have given a lot of information about different species in the past, but have given very little information on some of the control methods for some of the most pervasive species that are found in Illinois. Today, I am going to focus on Bu...

Read More >

 MG 2228

Beautiful Bats

One of the most misunderstood animals found in Illinois is the bat. There are many persistent, false rumors and legends that have given bats a bad name. Many of these stories have been created out of a lack of understanding and outright fear. But bats are far from being something to be feared. They are highly beneficial. If you are sitting out on your porch, patio, or deck at dusk, you might ju...

Read More >