Meeting New Challenges

By Gary Mechanic, Executive Director 2017 was the worst of years, and the best of years, and I’ve seen a lot of years. I’m 70 and I’ve never seen federal protection of the environment take such giant steps backwards! Since the USEPA was created in 1970, it has dragged it’s feet creating pollution control standards, it’s refused to regulate … Read more

Meet Your Neighbors: The Duck with a Golden Eye

By Jack MacRae Goldeneyes don’t dabble. They are diving ducks with a talent of Olympic proportion. They’re synchronous divers. When feeding, all the birds in one section of a flock may dive at the same time. They swim to the bottom of lakes and rivers in search of crunchy food. Analyses of their stomach contents … Read more

resolutions 2018

Resolution 2018

Resolution 2018: Connect to Nature By Gary Swick It’s in the middle of the Friends of the Fox River’s mission statement; Connecting people to nature is what we do. It initiates a natural wonder within people that brings a sense of joy and a desire to care for what we love. We want people to love … Read more

Kayaking Fox River

Are You a Friend Indeed?

By Gary Swick Everybody is in favor of protecting water quality aren’t they? Clean water ranks in the top 5 most important interests in national citizen surveys. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, most Americans ranked the environment as a top policy issue that President Donald Trump and Congress should tackle this year. … Read more

Meet Your Neighbors: Happy Pines to All

By Jack MacRae December seems like an appropriate time to talk about evergreens. You see them growing on most landscaped properties in the region! Not only are these trees everywhere, this is the month when pines, firs, cedars, and spruce are bedecked as Christmas trees and wreaths. In spite of their ubiquitous nature and celebratory … Read more

Strategic Planning – Retreat to Advance

Strategic Planning Retreat – A Unifying Spirit By Gary Swick We all seem to have different methods of charting our courses. Some of us planetary creatures live our lives by being blown by the winds of fate from one place to another. This may work fine for milkweed seeds, but is risky business for some … Read more

Meet Your Neighbors: “Eat Your Neighbors!”

Eat Your Neighbors! By Jack MacRae Homer Simpson once commented that turkeys are the only animals smarter than man (season 13, episode 3). He was wrong, of course, as there are no doubt others. But people and turkeys do share a special bond, if not an elevated IQ. The wild turkey is a highly recognizable, … Read more

2018 Calendar Cover photo

Winners of the 2017 Photo Contest

GRAND PRIZE WINNER: Bradford Vineyard- Foggy Morning on the Fox River near Saw Wee Kee Park-  $100 Cabela’s Gift Certificate The panel selected this panoramic photo of a gaggle of geese as they lounge on melting ice near the bank of the Fox River. Thick, foggy air mists across the scene and hints at change … Read more

Meet Your Neighbors: “Squirrels, Chucks and Chips”

Squirrels, Chucks and Chips by Jack MacRae Squirrels are the Fox Valley’s original “preppers.” Every autumn, both tree and ground squirrels spend considerable time gathering and stashing their nuts for the months to come. Acorns, nuts, seeds, and corn provide the critical calories necessary for winter survival. Where Did I Leave My Stash? Both fox squirrels … Read more

GS in kayak

Lessons from the Total Eclipse

By Gary Swick Picture yourself standing on the banks of the Fox River 1,000 years ago. Imagine experiencing a total solar eclipse without any knowledge of what is actually occurring, or why it’s happening. It is more likely that it would be regarded as frightening than interesting or exciting. After it passed, you probably would … Read more