County Watch — prairie and community; Olmsteds

county_watchMore than 200 students and adults volunteered this past week to plant 2,500 sets of prairie plants at the intersections of Routes 78 and 17 west of Toulon. I must admit that when Cindy Appenheimer, Jim Alwill and Rick Collins came to me with their idea I was skeptical that sufficient people power could be mustered to accomplish their lofty plans.
Needless to say, I was pleased with the big response from the community to the project.  Thanks go out to many, and if I miss anyone, I will credit them next week.
Stark County High teachers Amy Milroy and Al Curry and principal Mike Domico organized the support of more than 100 high school students. Groups of students and young people who participated included the high school dance team, the cheerleaders, Stark Smart, and the 4-H.
Alice Webster represented the PEO, and Roach Septic and Excavating dug the 3,000 feet or so of trenches for the flowers.
Contributors of labor and/or eats included the Bill Winans extended family, the Barry Dorsey family, Nathan Lane, John Ballentine, Brad Nelson, Fred Sams, Connie’s Country Kitchen, Casey’s, Dad’s Pizza, Toulon Market, and Cakes Et Cetera.
The Wyoming maintenance barn of the Illinois Department of Transportation mowed high grass, cut down dead trees and transported plants to the site.
To all who participated, a big huzzah for a job well done in the spirit of bettering our communities.
See photos from the project on page 11.
Several weeks ago we reported on efforts by Jon and Wanda Olmsted, owners of Martin’s Lodge near Black Hawk East College, to persuade Invenergy wind farm company of Chicago to move its proposed electricity transmission lines and towers from the north and west sides of their 65 acres of lovely wooded grounds.
Well, according to friend Dave Clarke in the Kewanee Star-Courier, the Olmsteds were successful in reaching an agreement with Invenergy that the towers and lines will go along the south side of their property.
The Olmsteds believe this will be farther away from the flight paths of the geese and nests of the blue herons and in other ways reduce the impact on their property.
Jon and Wanda took on a big company and won, following a flurry of meetings with elected officials and the media.  Commendations to the couple for their determined efforts to preserve the beauty of their property.

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