Community notebook for Jan. 3

Spring Garden Seminar to be held Jan. 24
Purdue University Extension and University of Illinois Extension are collaborating to offer the Bi-State Spring Garden Seminar, a Bi-State Extension program targeted at Extension Master Gardeners and gardening enthusiasts alike.  
The program will be held at the Beef House Restaurant outside Covington, Indiana on Jan. 24.  
Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. Central Standard Time, followed by a buffet dinner at 5 p.m., and the program beginning at 6:45 p.m. The program features James Schmidt, University of Illinois Extension sharing “What’s New for 2013.” Second in the lineup is Sandy Mason, University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator sharing her presentation “Container Gardening.”  The intent of the program is to increase your knowledge of gardening as well as a better understanding of the dynamics of using containers in small spaces.
 For Master Gardeners interested in earning education hours, this program will represent two hours of education time.
The registration for the program is $20, which includes the buffet dinner and any materials.  
Registration is payable at the door.  However, pre-registration is encouraged either by calling Rhonda Walker, Purdue Extension - Montgomery County at (765) 364-6363 or online at  by January 17.  Space for the event is limited and early registration is encouraged.

Pesticide safety education dates
In cooperation with the Illinois Department of Agriculture, University of Illinois Extension is offering Private Applicator training and testing clinics.  Pre-registration is the only way to guarantee a seat.  Walk-ins may not be guaranteed seating due to space restrictions.   
Testing only location options - participants must call to reserve their seat.  There is no charge to test.  
The test will take place on Jan. 8 from 9 a.m to noon at the Vermilion County Extension Office, 3164 N. Vermilion, Danville, IL  61832
Contact Jeanne for more information at 217-442-8628
The test will be offered on Feb. 8,  at 9 a.m. or 1 p.m. at the F-I Farm Bureau
1381 South Crescent St
Gilman, IL  60938-6128
Contact Helen for more information at 815-268-4051.
Training and Testing location options – participants must pre-register at least seven working days before the desired clinic date at .  A $40 fee is being charged for the training.
Check in begins at 7:30 a.m.  Lunch will be on your own.  It is helpful to purchase and review training materials prior to training and testing.  Materials can be ordered on the registration website and are also available at your local Extension Office.
The test will also be offered on Feb. 1 at  8 a.m. at Champaign’s I-Hotel and Conference Center located at  1900 South First Street Champaign, IL  61821
The test will also be offered on Feb. 15 at 8 a.m. at the  Kankakee Riverstone Conference Center
455 Riverstone Parkway
Kankakee, IL  60901
Additional opportunities for training and testing are available at  

Online program for homeowners with wells
Homeowners in small communities and rural areas without a public water supply often don’t fully understand how to manage, operate, and protect their private well.
The Illinois State Water Survey and the Illinois Water Resources Center at the University of Illinois are pleased to announce a new nationwide training initiative funded by the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (RCAP) through a grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Private Well Class is a free, step-by-step education program to help well owners understand groundwater basics, well care best practices, and how to find assistance.
It will also teach well owners how to sample their well, how to interpret sample results, and what they can do to protect their well and source water from contamination.
The program combines a 10-part online class with live, interactive webinar events in which the material will be reinforced and questions answered. Steve Wilson, a groundwater hydrologist with the Illinois State Water Survey with over 20 years of experience working with private well owners, will serve as the primary instructor for The Private Well Class.
University of Illinois Extension Unit 13 will be a host site for the Jan. 16, Feb. 6 and Feb. 27 webinars.  
Webinars will be held from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at your local Extension Office:  Champaign, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign, 217.333.7672; Ford-Iroquois, 912 W. Seminary Avenue, Onarga, 815.268.4051; and Vermilion, 3164 N.  Vermilion, Danville, 217.442.8615.  
Contact your local Extension Office before Jan. 10 to make your reservation.
Please visit The Private Well Class website ( or contact for more information.
Or contact Steve Ayers, University of Illinois Extension Educator, Unit 13:  217.333.7672 or

Prince of Peace to offer “Let. It. Go.”
Get out of control in the New Year!  The Women’s Bible Study group of  Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in St. Joseph invites all interested women to   a Bible study based on the book,  “Let. It. Go.”, by Christian author and  speaker, Karen Ehman.  
Subtitled “How to Stop Running the Show and Start  Walking in Faith”, “Let. It. Go.” offers doable ideas and tools to help you  let go of your need to control.
This five week study will meet Wednesdays,  from 6:45 p.m. to 7:45 p.m., beginning Jan. 9.  Cost is $10.  To register  please contact Vicky at Prince of Peace; 469-7422 by noon on January 2nd.

FAFSA Completion Night to be held at SJO
St. Joseph-Ogden High School will host a FAFSA Completion session for parents at the high school library computer lab on Feb. 6, 6:30-8 p.m. The FAFSA is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid and is the first step for families seeking financial aid for a student planning to attend any level of higher education for the 2013-2014 school year. Parents/students may come anytime between 6:30 and 8. It takes approximately one hour to submit the  FAFSA worksheet. Each family receives a pin number so work can be completed at a later time, if necessary. The completion night has been an invaluable tool for parents.  
Representatives from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission, ISAC, will direct parents through the process. High school counselors will be on hand to help. ISAC is an agency of the State of Illinois and serves as a one-stop source for college information. They can help individuals plan for, find and apply to, and finance a college education. (
Following is a list of information parents and students need to bring to the Completion Night:
-social security numbers
-dates of birth
-month and year of marriage, separation, divorce, or other change of marital status
-driver’s license number
-records of income, such as income earned from work and business, child support paid or received, and any other untaxed income. Bring W-2 forms and Federal Income Tax Return IRS 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ
-information about assets--such as savings, investment real estate, business and farms, bonds, stocks, etc.
-alien registration number, if the student is not a US citizen
**parents may bring their 2011 taxes to fill out the FAFSA if 2012 taxes have not been filed
Call Terri Rein for further information at 469-7321. Another completion work session, Parkland College Goal, is offered at Parkland College on Saturday, Feb. 23rd, 10am-1pm.

Toy show to be held in January in Urbana
The Illini Farm Toy Show will once again feature a large number of exhibitors showing and selling their toy collections to young and old alike. This year’s show – January 4-6, 2013 – will be the ninth annual event sponsored by the Illinois Farm Bureau District 12 Young Leaders and Young Farmers Committees from Vermilion, Douglas, Edgar and Champaign Counties.
The show will again be held at the Urbana Holiday Inn, just off I-74 at the Lincoln Avenue exit in Urbana, Illinois.
Around forty exhibitors from across Illinois – as well as neighboring states – will be displaying and selling farm toys.
Times for the toy show are:  Friday 5:00 – 9:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., and Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.  Trading in individual exhibitor hotel rooms will likely continue after hours on both Friday and Saturday. 
Admission to the show is $3 for adults, $2 ages 6-12, and under 6 free, and is good for both Friday and Saturday.  Sunday admission is free, with donations for the Ag in the Classroom program being accepted.
Tickets are purchased at the door.
There will also be a live Farm Toy Consignment Auction again this year, starting at 10:30 am on Saturday, January 5. 
Others besides exhibitors are invited to consign a toy.  Those wishing to enter toys in the auction should contact Steve Huls at 217-202-4657, or bring their toy to the hotel Friday evening between 6:30 – 8:30 pm.
For more information, contact Toy Show Chairman Kurt Wolken at (217) 202-2730.

Forest preserve accepting old trees
The Champaign County Forest Preserve District will again accept used Christmas trees to be recycled after the holiday season. Trees may be dropped off at three forest preserve locations in the county through January 20th.
    Drop-off locations are: (1) Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve in Mahomet, inside the maintenance entrance on Route 47; (2) Middle Fork River Forest Preserve in Penfield, at the maintenance building; and (3) Homer Lake Forest Preserve in Homer, in the maple grove area.
The Homer Lake location is available 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM daily.
The other two do not have time limitations. More information is available by calling 217-586-3360 or visiting  HYPERLINK “”
    Trees will be used by the Forest Preserve District in one of two ways.
They will either be sunk into the lakes for fish habitat, or they will be chipped and placed around plantings throughout the District’s 3,899 acres. New this year, the District is offering trees to people for their private lakes.
    The Champaign County Forest Preserve District provides conservation, education and recreation for the citizens of Champaign County and manages 3,899 acres of open space located at Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve, Mahomet; River Bend Forest Preserve, Mahomet; Homer Lake Forest Preserve, Homer; Middle Fork River Forest Preserve, Penfield; and Sangamon River Forest Preserve, Fisher.

Categories (2):News, People


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