Conservation leader to speak at Green Party meeting

Conservation leader to speak at Green Party meeting


The Winnebago-Boone Green Party will host its monthly meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, June 5, at the Rockford Public Library, 215 N. Wyman St., in the downstairs meeting room.

Jerry Paulson, director of the Natural Land Institute, will talk about local environmental issues including urban sprawl, preserving wetlands, acquiring properties for the forest preserves, Perryville Road, and other highways that drive development.

Paulson grew up on the family farm northeast of Rockford, where he gained an interest in nature. He learned from his father’s good soil conservation practices, and he was involved in 4-H activities. In college, he majored in botany and plant sciences, and earned his M.S. in plant pathology and a B.S. in horticulture at the University of Illinois. He participated in the first Earth Day events and became active in the environmental movement. During his 30-year conservation career, Paulson administered and managed several wetland restoration projects for The Wetlands Initiative. While on staff there, he served as a consultant to the Natural Land Institute’s Science Advisory Committee for the 721-acre Carl and Myrna Nygren Wetland Preserve near Rockton. He also worked for other nonprofit groups, including the Lake Michigan Federation in Chicago, the American Farmland Trust in DeKalb, and the McHenry County Defenders, an environmental group based in Woodstock, Ill.

Jerry Paulson worked for the Natural Land Institute from 1971 to 1981, when he participated in the statewide inventory of Illinois natural areas and supervised work on the first listing of endangered and threatened species in Illinois. He designed and implemented a landowner contact program that served as a model for other states. In July 2000, he was named executive director of the Natural Land Institute of Rockford.

The meeting is free and open to the public. For more information, call David Black at (815) 547-4760.

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