Blog

Friends of the Fox River Highlights and News

walnut tree

Meet your Tall Neighbor

By Black Jack MacRae When I think of black walnuts, I think of their abscission layer.  Abscission is a botanical term used to describe the highly complex separation of leaves, flowers, and fruits from their respective plants at the end of the growing season. In a nutshell, our deciduous trees produce hormones to inhibit growth and … Read more

The Fox River Needs You

Who Represents You?

By Gary Swick, President We are very fortunate that in this watershed we are governed by a democratic system. The decisions that are made that influence the health of the Fox River and its tributaries come from research, discussion, and policy enacted by elected representatives. From the board members of the Friends of the Fox … Read more

taking a dive

Keeping the Fun in Fixin’ the Fox

By Gary Swick, President When COVID-19 came to town in March, countless routines got turned upside down. Friends of the Fox River (FOFR) considers Fox River protection an essential business, so we, like so many others, have to adapt our operations to continue to provide our services. Throughout our journey, we are keeping fun front … Read more

joe pye flowers

Meet your Eponymous Neighbor

By Jack MacRae One of the great mysteries of American wildflower lore may have been solved. Joe Pye – the eponym for Joe Pye weed – appears to have been identified!  This is according to a fascinating article from the 2017 issue of The Great Lakes Botanist (Volume 56, Issue 3-4, July), by veteran Canadian botanist … Read more

drought map

How are you handling the drought?

If you look at the lawn, you probably see evidence of drought conditions; brown and brittle leaves. The grass is probably not native to this region, so it goes into a dormant state when conditions are too arid. Intervening with watering can actually make things worse for the plants. Native plants are drought adapted and … Read more

Liquid-Pipelines-map

Currently Affecting Our Fox

By Gary Swick, FOFR President Advocacy and giving the Fox River a voice were the founding principles of Friends of the Fox River. Sometimes this concerns local issues, like the current public comment period for Lake County’s stormwater ordinance. Others are national in scope like the current White House rollback of 50 years of environmental … Read more

Northwind 16

Why You Should Be In This Canoe

By Gary Swick The debate over whether to choose a plastic or paper bag is pretty even when comparing their environmental footprints. However, in considering a few particular situations like holding wet items for example, or the bag’s likelihood to become long term litter, the choice is a different story. The choice of canoe or … Read more

River Rally 2020

By Gary Swick, President Reflections River Network‘s annual River Rally is a national conference that brings together river advocates from agencies, municipalities, non-profits, industry innovators, philanthropists, academics and community leaders to learn and exchange contemporary information. I usually attend River Rally every other year. I always return excited and carrying new tools, information, ideas and new … Read more

American_Lotus_(Nelumbo_lutea)_By Altairisfar - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Meet Your Fabled Lotus Neighbors!

By Jack MacRae I once read that the American Lotus, Nelumbo lutea, “will make the soul forget the woes of the Earth”.  Sounds wonderful to me. With its soft-scented, butter colored flowers and colossal green leaves, the lotus has inspired artists, poets, and spiritualists for centuries. The Google Machine tells us there are endless narratives of these … Read more