Four Rivers Environmental Coalition publication now available
The Four Rivers Environmental Coalition has produced and distributed a new publication highlighting environmental events and organizations in the northern Illinois area. Fifteen organizations are included in the Fall 2002 publication. The first section of the booklet is a calendar of environmental events and programs happening September through December. The second section is a directory of contact information for the environmental organizations. The four-color publication features color photos of local activities and sights.
The Four Rivers Environmental Coalition Calendar/Directory is available through all participating organizations and at the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Rockford Public Library. The publication can be accessed and printed from the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District Web site at www.wcfpd.org.
The winter edition will cover January through March. The publication will be produced three to four times per year. Organizations represented in the publication must have missions that include environmental conservation, education or advocacy.
About Four Rivers Environmental Coalition
In August 1999, the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District hosted a meeting for all the environmental education organizations in the county. The purpose was to identify ways that diverse groups could work together to maximize their effectiveness. Out of that session grew an active collaboration of about 18 organizations that provide environmental education programs in this region.
Early in the organizational process, it was clear that participants represented very diverse types of entities; some are non-profits, some are governmental, some are formal, and some are informal; some do exclusively environmental programming, and others do it as a component of a larger mission. To facilitate cohesiveness, the group developed a mission and purpose statement.
In the spring of 2002, the organization voted on an official name that would reflect the member organizations broad geographic scope: Four Rivers Environmental Coalition. The interests and audiences of the environmental agencies go beyond the boundaries of Winnebago County. The four rivers of this areathe Rock, Sugar, Pecatonica and Kishwaukeeprovide geographic identity without setting political boundaries on the scope of the organization.
Future objectives for this fledgling organization include raising the general awareness and appreciation of environmental issues in the minds of local residents. Through presentation and dissemination of environmental information, the Coalition hopes to create a mindset that says, We have something valuable here, and wed better protect it while we still can. Other objectives include securing additional funding that will benefit various environmental agencies and the Coalition in general. Cooperatively applying for state and federal grants may help overcome some of the obstacles to providing formal and informal environmental education opportunities for all.
The Four Rivers Environmental Coalition will be participating in the Midwest Environmental Education and Conference and Leadership Clinic in St. Charles, Ill., this month. The Coalition will also sponsor the annual Environmental Expo as part of the community Earth Day Celebration on April 17, 2003.
If you are associated with an organization that provides environmental programs and would like to consider joining the Four Rivers Environmental Coalition, please call Jamie Johannsen at 877-6100 for the date of the next general meeting.