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Master Naturalist

American Badger out in the wild

In search of the American badger

By Carla Rich Montez, Extension Master Naturalist serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell countiesIt’s not easy to examine the life of an animal that is secretive, solitary and nocturnal.Just ask any scientist who has attempted to study the American badger. In fact, details about its...
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Brent Fowler standing in blooming prairie with a corn field in background

Quail comeback

By Carla Rich Montez, Extension Master Naturalist serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties   Almost everywhere you look on Brent Fowler’s farm, a restored habitat is visible. But it hasn’t always been that way. Fowler grew up during the era of farm modernization when...
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Jnnifer Bass and Nancy holding Conservation at Home sign

Conservation@Home Member Spotlight: Jennifer Bass

By Jennifer Bass, Extension Master Gardener and Master Naturalist serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties“It Seemed the Natural Thing to Do!”When I was growing up, I lived on a farm with a large yard and two wonderful timbers. My mother had many flower beds with some natives...
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Ellen Denler standing next to her Conservation at Home sign

Conservation@Home Member Spotlight: Ellen and John Denler

By Ellen Denler, Extension Master Gardener, serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell countiesMy husband John and I live in the house in which I grew up. The original part of the house was built in 1878 and has had five generations of my family living here. Located on a corner lot (105' X 55') in...
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yellow bird in wild flowers

Want to help wildlife in Illinois? Protect their habitat

By Carla Rich Montez, Extension Master Naturalist serving Fulton, Mason, Peoria, and Tazewell counties   “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”  Aldo Leopold, A Sand...
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jumping worm

Invasive Jumping Worms Confirmed in Peoria County

Originally posted April 15, 2021 Jumping worms (Amynthas spp) are an invasive earthworm probably brought into the country as fishing bait. They go by many names, such as crazy worms, Alabama jumpers, or snake worms. These worms are known to change the soil structure, deplete...
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jumping worm

Stop the spread of jumping worms and other invasive species

Thoroughly clean tools, shoes, and vehicles when moving from one site to another. Only purchase compost, mulch, or other organic matter that has been heated to appropriate temperatures and duration to reduce the spread of pathogens, insects, and weeds. Jumping worm egg casings do not survive...
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Communicate Your Garden

Written by Rhonda Ferree, retired horticulture educator Anyone who knows me knows that I love journaling and photography. In recent years I've used those skills as a way to communicate my garden in a different way. By communicating my garden I am able to document its history and share it...
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