Rock River Trail to add Aviation Route component to trail offerings

At the Rock River Trail Initiative committee meeting in Dixon, Illinois on April 28, 2016, Emmons Patzer, a guest speaker from the aviation world, presented the concept of adding an Aviation Route along the Rock River Trail. (Please see Emmons’ Powerpoint presentation below.) Emmons made the case for offering an Aviation Route to private plane...
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“The Mighty Rock River and Friends” article in Northwest Quarterly

The Rock River has suffered the impact of urbanization, but many dedicated groups have worked and are working to restore its health. Jon McGinty explores the impact of these efforts, including recognition by the National Park Service. Article in Northwest Quarterly by Jon McGinty, Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 Once a waterway of pristine beauty, the Rock...
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RRTI Presentation for Sustain Jefferson

On March 7, 2016, Greg Farnham from the Rock River Trail initiative had the pleasure of speaking to Sustain Jefferson, a non-profit group advocating for conservation and sustainability in local communities in Jefferson County, Wisconsin.  Below is Greg’s presentation on the Rock River Trail Initiative. Below is the URL link to the article on Greg’s presentation in the Daily Jefferson...
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Conservation Stewardship Program Sign-ups Open

Washington, DC – USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently announced this year’s deadline for producer applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) is March 31. March 31 is also the deadline by which initial applications are needed from farmers with expiring 2012-2016 contracts if they want to renew them for another five years. Some...
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Promotion of the Rock River Trail

As we look ahead to activities to move the Rock River Trail forward, it is instructive to reflect on the vision for the trail initiative as adopted in 2012.  “The Rock River Trail Initiative envisions a commonality of interests in and respect for the Rock River that will result in active participation by a diverse...
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New Rock River Trail Signage in Rockford

Our thanks to Tim Dimke and David Spencer of the Rockford Park District for completing installation of signage to mark the Rock River National Water Trail at put in/take out sites on the river through the city. The signs look great and designate safe access for paddling the Rock River.  

Rock River Recovery Update from WI-DNR

From Rock River Coalition Newsletter Winter 2016 | Visit the Rock River Coalition Website By Mark Riedel, DNR Rock River TMDL Coordinator Our Rock River Basin community has made exceptional progress this past year with our collective Rock River Recovery efforts and implementation of the Rock River Basin TMDL. While most of our newsletters and communications share...
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“Testing the Waters” | A Paddle and Probe Adventure on the Rock River

From Rock River Coalition Newsletter Winter 2016 | Visit the Rock River Coalition Website By Suzanne Wade, Project Coordinator How exciting it will be to have the Rock River in Wisconsin united through our paddling, monitoring and educational event. We’re working out the details, so EVERYTHING IS STILL DRAFT. Check for updates on our website, Facebook and in...
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10 Ways You Can Help Improve Our Waters

By Becky Binz, Education & Outreach Coordinator, Rock River Stormwater Group From Rock River Coalition Newsletter Winter 2016 | Visit the Rock River Coalition Website Did you know that actions (particularly yard care actions) we take at home have a direct impact on our waterways? When precipitation falls, water runs off of our yards and roofs, into...
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Announcing The Rock River Trail 320-Mile Award

The Rock River Trail 320-Mile Award The Rock River Trail Inititative has established a 320-Mile Award for those individuals who reach the goal of doing the whole 320 miles of the Rock River Trail, whether it’s hiking, biking, paddling or driving. Those who finish the trail will be recognized on our 320-Mile Wall of Fame and awarded the Rock...
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Get your Rock River Trail Patch

Show your support for the Rock River Trail by purchasing Rock River Trail patches. Whether you paddle, drive, bike or hike the Rock River Trail, we hope you’ll show your love for the trail by purchasing and displaying our beautiful new patch. It’s only $10 and includes shipping and handling. Makes a great gift! Purchase it...
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Kids In Kayaks Program

Read more about this program at National Parks Service website Traveling along the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, 8th graders at The Mount Washington School learned about important history and a problem of today’s world. The students had been studying Captain John Smith’s work to map the waterways of the Chesapeake. With paddles...
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Rock River advocates to launch inaugural Outdoor Sports Expo in Sterling

Rock River Trail Initiative council members Matthew Hilligoss and Dave Druen are making it happen in Sterling, Illinois! Make plans to attend the inaugural Outdoor Sports Expo to be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 22 at Moonlight Bay Marina, 1552 Mound Hill Road, Sterling, Illinois. Read Article from www.saukvalley.com http://www.saukvalley.com/2015/07/27/rock-river-advocates-to-launch-outdoor-sports-expo/aon64ul/ STERLING – It’s no secret...
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A plan to create a canoe-sharing service Mississippi National River & Recreation Area

Hmmm, Could this work on the Rock River Trail? Download entire article Article from The Star Tribune – July 29, 2015 | http://www.startribune.com/national-park-service-explores-canoe-sharing-service-along-mississippi/319720951/ A canoe ride on the Mississippi River, the stuff of dreams for many, could soon be possible on a whim. The National Park Service is working on a plan to create a canoe-sharing...
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The Yoda, MacGyver and Good Samaritan of RAGBRAI rolled into one

Our own Dean “Bareback” Mathias, Rock River Trail council representative for Rock Island County, is in the news for his good Samaritan efforts on the RAGBRAI bicycle ride across Iowa. Read about Dean and photos of his exploits to help fellow riders at this RAGBRAI article: http://ragbrai.com/2015/07/21/munson-the-yoda-macguyver-and-good-samaritan-of-ragbrai-rolled-into-one/?hootPostID=cd8958a3947dca5d4637b70b7110132c We’ve also posted two photos of Dean and the link ...
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Restoring butterfly habitat on the Rock River

The Rock River Trail Initiative supports planting of milkweed to restore lost butterfly habitat and forage throughout the river corridor in Wisconsin and Illinois. Mary O’Toole of Lake Sinissippi (Rock River – Hustisford, Wis.) kindly forwarded photos of a Swallowtail butterfly and bee on milkweed plants at her lake home. Milkweed is a host plant...
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RRT Signs are going up in Illinois!

IDOT-Dixon has begun installation of road signs to mark the Rock River Trail Scenic and Historic Route in Ogle County.  The initial installation site is on IL Rt 2 at Grand Detour – a beautiful section of the road route. IDOT-Dixon has also given permission to the city of Oregon to install signs to mark the Rock...
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Fifth year in a row that over 10,000 trees have been planted

A big thank you to Chad Pregracke, president of Living Lands and Waters’ One Million Trees program. Chad and his organzation has donated these trees to the Rock River Trail Initiative and our river. This marks the fifth year in a row that over 10,000 trees have been planted within the view shed of the Rock River in Illinois...
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Over 400 youth involved in tree planting project

One of the joys of distributing free oak trees by the Rock River Trail Initiative is to engage with young people in the Rock River corridor. These photos are from Virginia Wiggen and Betsy Parker of the Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona, Wis. Over 400 youth were involved in tree planting including Badger Volunteers...
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Hustisford Dam Removal, Dodge County, Wisconsin

With grants from the Wisconsin departments of commerce and natural resources in 2011, the village of Hustisford and Lake Sinissippi Improvement District were able to remove the low-head canning dam in the Rock River channel just downstream of the main Hustisford Dam.  The low-head dam was built in the early 1900s to create a pool to provide...
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Rollin’ On The Rock

Bob McCray paddle a portion of the Rock River Trail in the summer of 2014 and wrote a wonderful article about paddling on the Rock River in Silent Sports Magazine. The portion he paddled was Oregon, Illinois to Castle Rock State Park, but he also broadly covers the whole river in his article. Enjoy! Click...
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Save the Monarch

Over the last 20 years, 90 percent of monarch butterflies in North America have died off.[1] And we know the reason: massive amounts of Monsanto herbicides killing off milkweed — the only plant on which monarchs will lay their eggs, and the primary food source for monarch caterpillars.[2] We can save the monarch butterfly in...
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Kayakers finish 300-mile trek down Rock River in Rock Island

Kayaker Jake Boucher adjusts his sunglasses as his friends, Garrett Feik and Jon Gress, paddle ahead of him Tuesday on the Rock River. They were nearing the end of a 300-mile journey from the headwaters of the river to Sunset Marina, Rock Island. Photo by  John Schultz Great articles by the Quad City Times on the...
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First test of Rock River Trail a success!

Rock River kayakers complete 320-mile journey down Rock River By Jim HagertyStaff Writer The first kayak trip from the headwaters of the Rock River to the mighty Mississippi since the Rock River Trail was added to the National Water Trails System is in the books. Maranatha Baptist University students Jake Boucher and Jon Gress, along...
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Rock River Trail paddle nearing end

By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Jake Gress, Jake Boucher and Garrett Feik are nearing the end of their start-to-finish kayak trip of the Rock River. Paddling from Oregon, Ill., Friday, May 23,  the team made it to Crow Valley Campground in Sterling, Ill.–a 35-mile trip. “Dan and Shelly Long assisted us in maneuvering around the...
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Rock River kayakers: ‘It’s been great so far’

By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Garrett Feik is an avid outdoorsman. If there’s an empty deer or turkey tag within reach, it’s a safe bet he’ll fill it or spend the rest of the season trying. Catching fish is old hat for the 19-year-old. So is kayaking the entire length of the Rock River, a...
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Support your local honey farms along the Rock River Trail

By Susan Johnson Copy Editor Wisconsin Dane County: Brodhead — Ten Eyck Orchard, on Hwy. 11/81, 3 miles west of Brodhead, open daily from late August to mid-November; 608-897-4014. Cottage Grove — Door Creek Orchard, 3252 Vilas Road, Cottage Grove. (open 10 a.m.-6 p.m.) 608-838-4762. Cross Plains — Appleberry Farm, 8079 Maurer Road, Cross Plains....
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Rock River kayakers paddle through Rockford, head south

Rock River Trail News By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer Kayakers Jon Gress, Jake Boucher and Garrett Feik paddled through Rockford Wednesday, May 21, making stops at several downtown locations, including Nicholas Conservatory, Prairie Street Brewhouse and Blackhawk Park, before continuing their push to Rock Island, Ill., where the Rock River empties into the Mississippi. The...
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Stateline in sight for Rock River kayakers

Kayak for Sabercats: Day 6 By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer The three college students on the Rock River paddling trip known as “Kayak for Sabercats” are approaching the Rockford area. After a relaxing Friday, May 16, Jake Boucher, Garrett Feik and Jon Gress  set up camp on private Wisconsin farmland before a laborious Saturday paddle, one against...
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Kayak for Sabercats: Paddlers approach Rockford

Kayak for Sabercats: Day 8 By Jim Hagerty Staff Writer A night at Hononegah Forest Preserve is all that stands between Jake Boucher, Jon Gress and Garrett Feik and their arrival in Rockford Wednesday, May 21. When they paddle into Rockford, the men will be 134 miles from their ultimate destination: Rock Island, Ill., where...
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