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   Workshops

Agroforestry in action: How planting trees can combat climate change and create a new agricultural economy  (11:15)
Kaitie Adams, Research; Demonstration Farm Manager for the Savanna Institute
How incorporating trees into farming systems can increase biodiversity and ecosystem resiliency, boost farm income, heal soil, and actively fight a changing climate. Using examples from the Midwest and around the world,
this presentation will focus on real solutions to pressing problems that farmers, landowners, and citizens can implement immediately.


Finding affordable happiness in a small/tiny house (10:45)
Douglas McWain, Retired Family Counselor and Associate Professor
Small/tiny housing provides a very efficient and sustainable housing solution. Learn how to creatively acquire or build your small/tiny castle on a shoestring (thread) budget.


Gardening for Life (2:30)
Jack Speer and his wife, Judy, promote healthy ecosystems by teaching Ecological Restoration and Permaculture with Small Waters Education, a nonprofit organization based in northern IL. They help create native gardens at schools and homes.
Including more native plants in our yards can benefit the larger ecosystem and look beautiful, too. Learn about the latest methods for supporting birds, pollinators, and other beneficial insects, managing water flows, recharging
sequestration and more. Plenty of practical advice and how-to’s.


Green teams (3:45)
Dan Huntsha, Faith in Place
A Green Team inspires your house of worship to care for the Earth. Strengthen your existing Green Team by connecting your faith community’s spiritual practices and traditions with concerns and solutions for our shared
land, water, and air, and justice for our neighbors. Educate your members, motivate your faith community to incorporate environmental consciousness into all activities, and celebrate accomplishments.

 

Group Solar Buy (2:30)

Teague Dickey, Solar Installer
A group buy offers consumers discounts depending on how many people join. A larger number of systems offers a better discount. The installer is able to provide a discount and benefit because they are getting a larger group of consumers at one time. Iconic Energy is your licensed local solar installer performing more solar installations than any other in the stateline.

Illinois Renewable Energy Opportunities and Next Steps (9:30)
David McEllis, Government Affairs Representative at the Environmental Law and Policy Center. Previously served as Senior Legislative Counsel in the Office of the Illinois Senate President and was lead Senate Democratic
staffer for the Senate Energy and Public Utilities Committee, and the Senate Labor Committee.

He will focus on the Illinois Renewable Portfolio Standard and ELPC’s efforts in implementation of the state renewable energy programs. He will also discuss the 2019 legislative session and ELPCs work related to clean
energy and clean transportation including Illinois solar development and the Clean Energy Jobs Act. 


Illinois Solar for All Program (2:30)
Brad Roos, President, Sustain Rockford
Greater access to the clean energy economy for low-income communities through incentives that help make solar installations more affordable and result in measurable savings for participants.  Approves vendors. Income-eligible. No upfront costs. Operating costs will not exceed 50% of the value of the system.


100% renewable energy and batteries (3:45)

Jeff Green, IREA. Board Member

How can we get to 100% renewable energy? How will batteries play a role in this?

Pushback on Solar in IMEA and REA territories (2:30)

Bob Croteau, working with the ISEA Muni Coop Subcommittee and the downstate Solar Business Coalition fighting these anti solar efforts for the last three years.

Solar is meeting stiff resistance in the rural areas of Illinois and in towns with their own utilities served by the Illinois Municipal Electric Association (IMEA).

With solar becoming more affordable, coal generating power plants are pushing back through the IMEA with restrictive policies and fees that are making solar less affordable with the threat of killing solar completely in these areas. Learn how you can push back with counter information and organization of your fellow members to this threat to deny your access to clean renewable energy.

 


 

 

Rising Carbon Dioxide levels and Carbon Storage/Sequestering by the Oceans and Forest Regeneration (1:15)

Philip. Whitford, Retired Biology Professor and “Dr. Goose” 
New ideas about practical and realistic methods being suggested to help reduce carbon from the atmosphere and store it in long term living systems. Methods to recently  include increasing carbon storage in sea life of all types from corals to algae, plankton, invertebrates, and even fishes and whales. Other methods being tested and or suggested include increasing urban forests and replanting tree and shrubs on major scales in areas stripped of cover by slash and burn forest harvest and mass monotypic growing of oil palms, sisal, coffee, teas, and other products on
what was until recently forest lands.

Singing for Renewing Ourselves and Our World (10:45)
Judy Speer, weaving threads from the realms of Deep Ecology, Permaculture, and Ecological Restoration into experiential programs that help build a life-enhancing culture working with Small Waters Education, a
nonprofit organization based in northern IL. 

Singing together is a powerful force for building a sustainable culture, and improving our emotional health. You don’t have to be a “singer” to join in. This workshop will introduce songs with words from wise poets. They will
take us on a journey of expressing gratitude, honoring our pain for the world, attuning with nature’s wisdom, and focusing with renewed energy for the path ahead.

Super-Easy & Sustainable Indoor Gardening (10:45)

Victor Zaderej/B.J. Miller, Happy Leaf LED 

Learn the secrets of successful indoor gardening.  The Happy Leaf LED team grows greens and herbs year-round, as well as tomatoes, strawberries and even eggplant using low-energy methods and sustainable materials.  These simple practices will keep you in an abundance of fresh food through the year.  The ultimate local food is grown at home!

The Perennial Biomass Initiative: Scientist—Stakeholder collaboration for the next landscape transformation (12:00)

Steve John, Co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit Agricultural Watershed Institute.  AWI’s mission is to conduct research and educational programs on practices and policies that improve water quality, maintain or
restore ecosystem health, and conserve land and water resources in agricultural watersheds. Also on the Steering Committee of Green Lands Blue Waters.

A century ago, Central Illinois farmers, businesses, and scientists played major roles in changing the agricultural landscape through production and processing of soybeans. After World War II, availability of inexpensive
manufactured nitrogen fertilizer helped drive a shift from mixed grain—livestock operations to grain only farming in much of the Corn Belt.
Drawing on this history, this presentation will describe a cross-sector initiative for a 21 st Century paradigm shift featuring perennial biomass crops to enhance agriculture’s economic, environmental, and social triple bottom
line. A basic goal is to significantly increase Midwest farm acreage in perennial biomass crops managed for coproduction of agricultural goods and ecosystem services including greenhouse gas emission reduction, improved water quality and hydrology, healthy soil, and habitat/biodiversity.
The theory of change involves synergistic efforts among universities, farmers and landowners, entrepreneurs and agri-industry, nonprofits, government, investors and philanthropists.


Update on the progress of clay-straw building (1:15)
Jim Hutchison, Farmer/Builder
Straw-clay is an ancient building material modernized by machine-mixing. Materials are compacted into an advanced framed stud wall to produce healthy insulating qualities for house walls. This will be an update on the home that was being built last year. Techniques offered.


What you need to know about Ground Source Heat Pumps (3:45)
Scott Niesen, Owner, Water Furnace
Why now is the time to invest in a Water Furnace heating cooling and hotwater system for your home or business. Over 38 years’ experience manufacturing and ensuring customer satisfaction. Learn more and bring your questions. We will figure it out together based on how you utilize your
property.


Working toward a sustainable, healthy diet (3:45)

Lin Vogl, Sustainability Coordinator, IREA

Planting, preparing and eating locally grown food; shopping for a healthy diet. How the “Blue Zone” can be implemented here.