Please join us for the 10th Annual Meeting of the Illinois Forestry Association, September 25th at the Ballard Nature Center, just east of Altamont. It will be followed on Saturday by the 2015 Tree Farm Field Day, an annual event organized by the IL Tree Farm Committee. The field day will take place on Tony and Jill Kreke's Tree Farm a few miles south of Effingham.
Those participating on Friday have a few different options to consider. Two concurrent Pre-Tours will be offered before the main event registration opens at 12:30 p.m. - or you can register for the afternoon/evening program only, to be held inside the Ballard Nature Center.
Pre-Tour #1 begins at 9:30 a.m. at Heartland Hardwoods, located about 6 miles north of Effingham, near Sigel. Heartland Hardwoods, Inc. is a family owned sawmill that offers it all: logging, mulch, green lumber, pallet lumber and assembled pallets, kiln dried lumber, custom interior millwork, and hardwood flooring. IFA member Craig Willenborg will be our host, and John Phelps - also on the afternoon program speaking about wood - will be our tour leader, participating in the discussion and getting everyone back to the Ballard Center in time for a boxed lunch at noon.
Pre-Tour #2 begins at 10 a.m. in front of the Ballard Center. This is a walking tour focused on Tree Identification as well as some of the prairie plants and wildflowers found in the area. Whether participating as a refresher, or learning for the first time, you will enjoy the good company and wisdom of Dan Schmoker, Carol Bryant, and other seasoned veterans who will help lead small groups on a mini adventure across the Center's grounds. Participants will gather back at the Ballard Center for a boxed lunch, included in the All Day package.
The Friday afternoon/evening session will feature four presentations related to this year's theme - Woods, Wildlife, and Wildflowers. First up is Michael Reichenbach, a former Illinoisan, now Associate Extension Professor at the University of Minnestota. Mike will share his experiences with large scale ecological restoration and how landowners with 1/4 acre to 500 acres are engaging with natural resource managers and each other to affect positive changes at the landscape level. Then Tom Micetich, IDNR's point man on whitetail deer in Illinois, will talk about deer population trends and how regulations are are used to strike a balance between herd maintenance, hunter success, and public safety. Next we have John Phelps, retired SIU Dept. of Forestry Chair and all-around wood products expert, facing the ultimate challenge of covering basic wood identification and fun facts - in 45 minutes or less. Finally, we have John Marlin, our "before-dinner" speaker, covering the very cool topic of woodland wildflower propagation. Imagine putting your child through college, or better yet, getting them involved in raising that money through a family-friendly enterprise like growing and selling wild plants. John has many years of experience to share that will help us better understand some of the interesting plants found on the forest floor.
A short annual business meeting will follow dinner. Click here for an overview document that includes candidates for office and proposed bylaws changes.
Those who wish to unwind with a little friendly social time are invited to join us after the business meeting in the lounge at the Knights of Columbus Hall, located across the street from the Comfort Suites on Fayette Ave. in Effingham. They have a new outdoor patio, and a band will be playing that night.
The traditional silent auction will be held on Friday only this year. Several breaks are scheduled throughout the afternoon to allow time to view and bid on items. This is our biggest fundraiser of the year, so bid early and bid often!
Perhaps you will consider donating an item for the Silent Auction. Handmade wood crafts, wildlife prints, gift baskets, and tools have all been popular with attendees in the past. Contact Stan Sipp in advance so he can prepare the bid sheet, then bring your item to the meeting. Cash donations are also welcome, and go to support our charitable mission. Send the name and/or short description of the item, name of the donor, and suggested minimum bid (if desired) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Many thanks!
A block of rooms has been reserved for Friday night at Comfort Suites, 1310 W. Fayette Rd., Effingham, IL 62401. Call 217/342-3151, Mon-Fri, between 7a and 3p, and request the IFA/Tree Farm group rate of $89, plus tax. Comfort Suites is located near Exit 159 off I-57/I-70. Driving east on Fayette Ave., it will be on your left, just past Niemerg’s Steak House.
IFA Annual Meeting Registration Fees
Friday All Day (includes a.m. Pre-Tour) plus Saturday:
- IFA member - $40
- IFA member & guest - $75
- non-member - $60
Friday Afternoon/Evening Only plus Saturday:
- IFA member - $30
- IFA member & guest - $55
- non-member - $50
Saturday Only - FREE!
2015 Tree Farm Field Day
Tony and Jill Kreke, 2014 Illinois Tree Farmers of the Year, are hosting this year's signature event of the Illinois Tree Farm Committee on Saturday, September 26th. Registration starts at 8 a.m., activities begin at 9 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. There will be coffee and doughnuts offered at registration, but lunch will be on your own. A local food vendor will be selling hamburgers, pork burgers, and other items at reasonable prices.
Field Day presentations include timber stand improvement, prescribed burning, quail habitat establishment, professional timber buyers and loggers, white oak regeneration, deer habitat and food plots, and invasive species control. There will also be a portable sawmill demonstration, along with a home tour of some of the hardwood flooring, trim, and furniture that the Kreke's have produced with their own timber cut off the farm.
To Register for the IFA Annual Meeting:
Mail a check, payable to the “Illinois Forestry Association” to: IFA - Annual Meeting, P.O. Box 224, Chatham, IL 62629, OR click on the REGISTER button on the left. Checks must arrive before Friday, September 18, 2015. Registrations received after September 18th may be charged an additional $10 at the door.
For more information about this event, or to indicate special dietary limitations, or to handle registrations of groups larger than two individuals, please contact one of the following:
Stephanie Brown (618) 949-3699
Dave Gillespie (217) 494-6982
Kurt Bobsin (217) 840-1527
Stan Sipp (Silent Auction questions only) 217/714-1855
Tony and Jill Kreke (Saturday Field Day questions and RSVPs only) 217/536-5601 or 217/821-1644