20 / OutdoorIllinois May 2006 May 2006 OutdoorIllinois / 21
Working in concert with The
Nature Conservancy, the
Department of Natural Resources
(DNR) has acquired 320 acres in
Jasper County, creating a larger
and contiguous tract of habitat for
the state-endangered greater
The southeastern Illinois
Prairie Ridge State Natural Area
now consists of nearly 4,100
acres of habitat owned by DNR
and the Illinois Audubon Society.
In addition to providing critical
habitat for the prairie-chicken,
ongoing grassland restoration
and management provides habi-tat
for the state-endangered
northern harrier, Henslow’s spar-row
and short-eared owl.
The Quad Cities will host the
18th National Trails Sympo-sium
Oct. 19-22 at the River-
Center in downtown Davenport.
The symposium provides an
opportunity for greenways and
trail advocates, managers, plan-ners,
users and outdoor product
providers, as well as conserva-tionists,
private landowners and
tourism and business interests,
to come together to communi-cate
and participate in an educa-tional
conference. The sympo-sium
addresses both non-motor-ized
and motorized trails issues.
Presenter forms and submission
instructions, and registration
materials, are available at
Story by Elizabeth Eberlin
he Chicagoland fishing rodeo is
unique in many respects. You
don’t need to bring a rod and reel.
You don’t need tackle or bait. You
don’t even need to be able to cast
a line or drag that trophy fish from
the lake. All participants need is a desire to
spend a day at William W. Powers State
Conservation Area and a fondness for
America’s favorite outdoor activity.
The rodeo, held by the Hegewisch Cham-ber
of Commerce at William W. Powers State
Conservation Area’s Wolf Lake, is open to all
ages of people with special needs. Partici-pants
spend the day fishing at Wolf Lake and
are provided with equipment, lunch and help
from volunteers when needed.
“The participants are so happy they don’t
even want to leave at the end of the day,”
said Saki Villalobos, site superintendent of
the conservation area.
And with good reason. This remarkable
program provides not only a day of fishing at
Wolf Lake, but enough dedicated volunteers
from organizations like the Department of
Natural Resources’ Urban Fishing Program,
Chicago Parks, local sportsmen’s clubs and
the Knights of Columbus for the rodeo partic-ipants
to receive help one on one.
“The Illinois Conservation Foundation (ICF)
is dedicated to the promotion of recreational
programs for all people,” said Jess Hansen,
ICF executive director. “A program that makes
one of Illinois’ favorite outdoor pastimes avail-able
to those with special needs is the perfect
manifestation of the ICF mission.”
Participants, coordinators and volunteers
alike end the day reluctantly and look for-ward
to next year’s event.
“When you see the looks on people’s
faces who usually have no possibility of
going fishing by themselves....when you see
them catch a fish it makes the whole day
worth it,” said Joe Hodges, the coordinator of
the fishing rodeo for the Hegewisch Cham-ber
of Commerce. “You know then that
you’re making a difference.”
The Illinois Conservation Foundation,
an IRS 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit corporation,
has raised more than $20 million to support
the programs of the Department of Natural
Resources. Contributions are tax
deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
For more information, including details on
the grant program, contact Executive Direc-tor
Jess Hansen, Illinois Conservation
Foundation, One Natural Resources Way,
Springfield, IL 62702, phone (217) 785-
2003 or visit www.ilcf.org.
For further information on the
Chicagoland Fishing Rodeo, or to
volunteer, contact Saki Villalobos at
William W. Powers State Recreation
Area at (773) 646-3270.
Elizabeth Eberlin is a high school student
at Brussels High School and worked with
OutdoorIllinois as an Illinois Governmental
Internship Program Intern.
By Kathy Andrews
Winners of OutdoorIllinois’
seventh annual photo contest
will be showcased in the magazine’s
third annual photo issue.
Grab your camera and give
us your best shot. The
Department of Natural
Resources is conducting its sev-enth
annual photo contest, and
winning images will be published
in the third annual photographic
issue of OutdoorIllinois.
The February 2006 pictorial
issue of OutdoorIllinois featured
stunning photographs of people,
places, plants and animals of the
state, and expectations are high
that the collection of photos
appearing in the February 2007
issue will again draw rave
reviews from readers.
The photo contest, “Prairie
State Seasons,” is open to all Illi-nois
residents and entries are
due by 5 p.m. Aug. 4, 2006.
The “Best of Show” winner
will receive a weekday, one-night
lodging package at Rend
Lake Resort and Lodge. The Illi-nois
will provide a custom-framed,
signed and numbered, limited
edition print by John S. Eber-hardt
and two free tickets to the
2007 Illinois Outdoor Hall of
Fame banquet, where the recipi-ent
will be honored and the win-ning
First-, second- and third-place
winners will receive three-year,
two-year and one-year subscrip-tions,
respectively, to OutdoorIlli-nois
and the opportunity to have
their winning photos published in
the February 2007 issue.
Winning entries will be sub-mitted
for consideration as the
cover of the annual Illinois State
Parks guide, a free publication
produced by the American Park
Network with a distribution of
approximately 400,000 copies.
To receive complete contest
guidelines, visit www.dnr.state.il.
us/photos, call (217) 782-7454 or
Categories include wildlife
(including underwater images of
aquatic organisms), backyard/
urban wildlife, scenic/flora, natur-al
resource recreational activities
and young shutterbugs (same
categories but taken by persons
12 years of age or younger).
Photographs must be taken in
Photos of captive and domes-tic
species will not be consid-ered.
Entries are limited to color or
black-and-white slides, prints and
digital images. Print images must
be unmounted and at least 5 x 7
inches but not more than 8 x 10
inches. Slides (35mm) and medi-um
or large transparencies
should be mounted. Digital
images (minimum of 2 megapix-els
or 1600 x 1200 dpi) must be
submitted as a print.
Each entry must be labeled
with the photographer’s name,
address, daytime phone number
and email address (if applicable);
category; and, when and where
the photograph was taken.
A letter must accompany
entries specifying the total num-ber
of slides, prints and/or digital
Photographers of winning
entries must be willing to provide
the original slide, negative or
electronic file for publication pur-poses.
Entries received after 5 p.m.
Aug. 4, 2006 will be disqualified
and not returned.
A panel of photo experts will
review entries. Winners will be
notified after the judging is com-pleted.
The 2005 OutdoorIllinois
photo contest best-of-show con-tributor
may not compete.
DNR employees and mem-bers
of their immediate house-hold
may not participate in the
Send entries to: Photo Con-test,
OutdoorIllinois, One Natural
Resources Way, Springfield, IL
62702-1271. Images will not be
2005 photo contest Best of Show photo, Pelicans in Fog, by Jeff Moore.
Individual fishing buddies help
make the annual Chicagoland
fishing rodeo a success.
The Hegewisch Chamber of Commerce, with the help of
the Illinois Conservation Foundation, makes fishing fun
accessible to those with special needs.
(Photo Courtesy of Hegewisch Chamber of Commerce)
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