education

The Mourning Cloak By Pavel Kirillov from St. Petersburg Russia

Meet Your Morning Cloak Neighbors

By Jack MacRae The perennial winner for the Longest Life Span Award in the North American Butterfly Category is our old friend the mourning cloak. This is one of the few local butterflies that hibernates as an adult. They have a sweet trick that extends their life span to an impressive 11 months! Sweet, Deep … Read more

Lilium bulb iferum flower top

Spring and Friends of the Fox River Are Ready to Bloom

By Gary Swick, FOFR President Spring emergence During a Midwestern winter, nature is not dead but merely conserving energy. It is challenging for humans experiencing frigid temperatures and deep snow cover to understand that soon signs of life will vigorously emerge from the roots of plants and the insect eggs lying in the soil. Likewise, … Read more

Nitrogen_Cycle

Together, We Can Rebuild the Fox River Ecosystem

By Gary Swick, President Restoring the Systems Working with unified efforts and a sense of collaboration, we can move forward together while we navigate a global pandemic, overcome our national social injustices, and address climate change on all levels. We have challenges ahead but our own successes with the Fox River watershed’s protection and restoration … Read more

Toilet tissue paper roll

The Issue With Tissue

By Pat Brady, DivvyBack Managing Partner “Figures don’t lie but liars figure” is a piece of modern wisdom passed on through the pen of Mark Twain. I wonder what he would say about our modern world today? There is no lack of ironies so I suppose he would have a great time. Let’s see if … Read more

The Resilience of Rivers

By Gary Swick, President 2020 has been a spectrum of angst ranging from a dumpster fire, to a period of darkness, to great hope bestowed upon 2021 as the light. The holiday season is a festival of light from many different cultures’ traditions. All these traditions symbolize getting through the tough time of short days, … Read more

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

yard sign

Mother’s Day Like No Other

By Gary Swick, President Mother’s Day is approaching but it will surely be another change from the norm. We’re learning that forced change can lead to innovation and wonderful surprises. The optimists and silver-lining folks are looking for the new normal to be a healthier and more just version of the world. Embracing New Traditions … Read more

Gary S w_mask

Responding to New Challenges

We are learning that doing things differently (not necessarily by choice) can yield better results. Friends of the Fox River (FOFR) is meeting new challenges by offering our services of education, restoration, and advocacy in new ways. Everybody is experiencing some loss during this unique period: loss of life, connection to others, work as we … Read more

Kyle Della Fishing by Dan

A Child’s First Teacher

By Jenni Schiavone Dear Caregivers, The Friends of the Fox River (FOFR) Education Design Team and I feel it is important to reach out to all caregivers to acknowledge and celebrate the work that you do without knowing you are doing it.  Let this digital message be the conduit between my heart and all of … Read more