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Blog Posts

Red male cardinal on grey fence
Read article: A year of discovery: Daily observations in my backyard
A year of discovery: Daily observations in my backyard
Author’s Note:  In January of 2022, I embarked on a year of daily half-hour observations in my backyard.  This essay is a partial accounting of what...
bunch of daffodils
Read article: Springtime gardening trivia
Springtime gardening trivia
It seems like everyone is doing trivia these days. To celebrate the coming spring, I am trying my hand at writing some gardening trivia questions....
Read article: Invasive Species and Birds
Invasive Species and Birds
Nearly every deciduous plant in the Illinois landscape has lost it leaves for the year, except for one standout.  The non-native, invasive shrubs...
Trio of wild turkeys in a snow dusted field
Read article: Let's talk turkey: Fact or fiction
Let's talk turkey: Fact or fiction
From turkey hands made by schoolchildren to presidential pardons at the White House, November is turkey time. And while we may think we know a lot...
plants in winter
Read article: Providing winter hospitality to wildlife
Providing winter hospitality to wildlife
Providing winter hospitality to both vertebrate (birds mammals, lizards, etc.) and invertebrate (insects, spiders, worms, etc) wildlife is an...
a thirteen-lined ground squirrel eating a seed
Read article: Managing thirteen-lined ground squirrel
Managing thirteen-lined ground squirrel
Gnawing Rodents and Landscape Shrubs This past spring, I found myself at a friend’s house enjoying some barbeque on the back deck. He remarked on...
Read article: Labeling is an Important feature of a plant collection
Labeling is an Important feature of a plant collection
When you collect plants, it is rather useful to label and record everything added to the garden. I wish I had started sooner. I did not do this the...
Read article: Conservation Status of the Monarch Butterfly
Conservation Status of the Monarch Butterfly
Earlier this summer the monarch butterfly was in the news as the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) designated the migratory...

News Releases

Coexissssting with snakes in the yard and garden
URBANA, Ill. – As spring progresses, many of us will have our hands in the dirt in our backyards, pulling out weeds and breaking up soil to prepare for the ultimate tomato patch. Coming across a snake in the grass or in the dirt may startle even the bravest person and could result in a failed...
White-tailed deer standing amongst trees in a grassy area.
Researchers seek information on close encounters of the deer kind
Researchers at the University of Illinois are asking adults in Illinois to complete an online survey about their experiences with wild white-tailed deer. The survey is part of a larger effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and...
Extension staff holding deer donation sign
Hunters, meat processors, and food pantries aim to solve hunger
URBANA, Ill. – When food prices are high, everyone takes a hit, including food pantries. But now, a local and widespread source of protein – venison – is making its way from the field onto plates providing 24,500 meals with the help of the...
deer donation program logo in prairie grass
Deer Donation program receives $25,000 to help feed Central Illinois families
URBANA, Ill. – More than a thousand Central Illinois families have been fed this winter thanks to a $25,000 grant from The Lumpkin Family Foundation. The foundation provided the grant to the University of Illinois Extension Deer Donation program in November to help reimburse meat processors....
Share your time and talents and become a Glacier's Edge Master Naturalist
DECATUR, Ill. — Connecting people with nature and encouraging environmental stewardship is essential to becoming a more sustainable society. University of Illinois Extension’s Master Naturalist training program prepares adult volunteers to become environmental stewards. Registration for the...