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October 2017
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Fox River Water Trail Data Collection

This fall you can explore the Fox River while supporting an important regional planning project


Thank you to all the volunteers who have collected access site, dam and segment data for the Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative up to this point!  There are still segments where we need your help to collect data.  Fall is a great time for a ride on the Fabulous Fox!  We are pushing to get this done this paddling season. 

The Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative began when individuals attending the Fox River Summit in 2014 learned about the National Park Service (NPS) Water Trail System.  In the summer of 2015 these individuals met to discuss their interest in working together to develop a water trail for the Fox River that may someday be designated as part of the NPS Water Trail System.  The benefits of such a designation include national recognition, a listing on the National Park Service website with interactive maps and other information for paddlers, support for conservation and other efforts to protect the trail. 
The group, the Core Development Team, applied for and is receiving technical assistance from the NPS' Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program to develop the Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative.
The Core Development Team has been busy collecting existing data regarding canoe/kayak access points including signage, parking, and amenities on land at the access location. Data collection on river segments regarding the journey experience such as time expected to travel a segment, hazards, dams and portages, and experience level is also needed. This data will be used to develop maps of the Fox River, a public website and plan for suggested future improvements.

Please contact Karen Ann Miller, Executive Planner with the Kane County Development Department and Illinois Co-Chair of the Wisconsin-Illinois Fox River Water Trail Initiative at millerkaren@co.kane.il.us or (630)232-3418 if you'd like to help while enjoying the Fabulous Fox River!

Pumpkin Composting Drop-off

Don't Let Your Waste Haunt You: 
Recycle your Jack O'Lantern in Kane County


Kane County, in conjunction with Pushing the Envelope Farm in Geneva and the Northern Illinois Food Bank, are offering a free pumpkin recycling event again this year to help you reduce your waste! Jack O'Lanterns, pumpkins and decorative squashes are highly compostable and it is a real shame to just send them to a landfill, when the nutrients they contain could instead be returned to soil that will grow more healthy food! See the event flyer here!

When: Saturday, November 4th from 9am-12pm
Where: Pushing the Envelope Farm at 1700 Averill Road in Geneva.
What: Pumpkins and squashes will be acccepted for composting right on a farm! 

It is very important to keep it contaminant-free; just like food scrap composting.
This means NO: * candles * yarn hair * stickers * googly eyes * plastic ears * plastic of any kind. In other words, only the squashes, pumpkins, and gourds themselves can be composted!

The county's partner, Pushing the Envelope Farm, offers the opportunity to experience sustainable agriculture firsthand. They provide a wide variety of custom programs, such as educational programs and workshops for people of all ages and groups such as schools, synagogues, churches, home school and scout groups.

The 14-acre site hosts organic farmers that grow anywhere from small plots to multiple acres of land. The gardens and farm animals give visitors a chance to experience life on the farm.

They also grow food for the Northern Illinois Food Bank and the Ark of Chicago. See some photos here. And read more about the history of the farm, here. They are also listed on the County website under Drop-offs for food scraps.

Please visit the Kane County Recycles webpage for more information on the program. Questions can be directed to Kane County Recycling Coordinator, Jennifer Jarland, 630-208-3841, recycle@countyofkane.org

Bike Walk Every Town Training

Active Transportation Alliance to help residents develop advocacy campaigns for their communities

The Active Transportation Alliance will hold a Bike Walk Every Town training summit to help residents develop an advocacy campaign for better walking and biking policies. The next training session will be held in Flossmoor on Saturday, October 28, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Registration is free.

What is Bike Walk Every Town?

Walkable communities, high quality bike lanes and easy-to-use public transportation: These are not pipe dreams, but attainable goals that will make our region cleaner, healthier and more livable.

Join Bike Walk Every Town, the Active Transportation Alliance's new suburban advocacy program. The program will help you develop the skills and access the resources needed to strengthen biking and walking in your community.

The free program begins with a regional Advocacy Summit and is followed by a series of webinars. The program includes guest speakers, short readings and homework assignments to help you develop your campaign and advance your advocacy skills. 

You can RSVP online or visit the event page for additional information. 

ON TO 2050: Local Food

CMAP has just published a new report on Local Food which will shape the development of the ON TO 2050 Plan

Having both a diversified agricultural economy and the availability of safe, fresh, nutritious, and affordable food for residents to consume contributes to a resilient region. Read CMAP's new report on Local Food, which summarizes data on crop production, food access, and land preservation and includes findings that will inform the development of ON TO 2050. 

The report focuses on local food production, a subset of the larger regional agricultural economy, which primarily comprises crops not intended for human consumption, such as corn. It also addresses trends in the ability of those in the region to access safe, fresh, nutritious and affordable foods.

The first section focuses on findings from an analysis of local food system data. GO TO 2040 established a set of data indicators and associated goals that CMAP has been tracking since the plan's adoption. These indicators, along with other data the memo considers, document trends in land use patterns, demographics, and the agricultural economy.

The second section discusses the policy context set forth in GO TO 2040 for local food production and access, which have guided both CMAP's activities since the plan's adoption and the work of partners. 

The memo concludes with a discussion of the policy and planning implications of
its findings on the region's local food system. It presents related findings from the ON TO 2050 Lands in Transition Strategy Paper, as well as opportunities for local actions to advance local food production and access.

The Local Food report is available here. You can visit the ON TO 2050 page to view additional reports that have been published to date in support of the next regional plan. 

Kane County Planning Cooperative
Matt Tansley, Land Use Planner - (630) 232-3493 
tansleymatthew@co.kane.il.us or kcplancoop@co.kane.il.us

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